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  1. #1
    maxman is offline Newbie
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    Default I'm determined to understand commas

    Please help me understand which rule of commas applies in these examples:

    1. I frowned, but William just turned his head, trying to lead my attention to the lady with the question.

    2. She was still leaning forward, tapping her fingers on the table, and waiting for my reply.

    In sentence 1, do I have an indroductory element, plus a ?? -- don't know what the second one is.

    In sentence 2 are my commas correct, and what do you call them?

    a. Bracketing comma (parathentical element, or appositive)
    b. Listing Comma
    c. Joing comma (between a conjunction)
    d. Gapping Comma (when you leave words out)
    e. Comma to set off an introductory element

  2. #2
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: I'm determined to understand commas

    Quote Originally Posted by maxman View Post
    Please help me understand which rule of commas applies in these examples:

    1. I frowned, but William just turned his head, trying to lead my attention to the lady with the question.

    2. She was still leaning forward, tapping her fingers on the table, and waiting for my reply.

    In sentence 1, do I have an indroductory element, No, the first comma is a joining comma. plus a ?? -- don't know what the second one is. bracketing comma
    In sentence 2 are my commas correct, and what do you call them? Yes, and they are clearly listing commas.

    a. Bracketing comma (parathentical element, or appositive)
    b. Listing Comma
    c. Joing comma (between a conjunction)
    d. Gapping Comma (when you leave words out)
    e. Comma to set off an introductory element I think a lot of people call this a bracketing comma. Bracketing commas come in pairs in the 'middle' of a sentence, but are single if they isolate the beginning or the end of the sentence.
    Summary of Commas

  3. #3
    Munch's Avatar
    Munch is offline Member
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    Default Re: I'm determined to understand commas

    While I think you have done a good job answering the question, your link suggests that the commas in sentence 1 can’t be bracketing commas because “but William just turned his head” can’t be removed from the sentence. Well it could, but the meaning would be drastically changed.

    Bracketing commas always come in pairs, unless one of them would come at the beginning or the end of the sentence, and they always set off a weak interruption which could in principle be removed from the sentence:
    Perhaps I have misunderstood, though. What do you think?
    Last edited by Munch; 28-Oct-2010 at 07:19. Reason: I always mess up my formatting.

  4. #4
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: I'm determined to understand commas

    Quote Originally Posted by Munch View Post
    While I think you have done a good job answering the question, your link suggests that the commas in sentence 1 can’t be bracketing commas I don't think it suggests that. because “but William just turned his head” can’t be removed from the sentence. Well it could, but the meaning would be drastically changed.
    1...Well changing the meaning would clearly not be allowed.
    2...To me, the first comma in sentence 1 is clearly a linking comma, and the second comma is a bracketing comma.
    Remember that there could be only one bracketing comma.
    Perhaps I have misunderstood, though. What do you think?
    Have I addressed all your points?
    Last edited by 2006; 28-Oct-2010 at 16:14.

  5. #5
    Munch's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm determined to understand commas

    I see now that the parenthetical statement is “trying to lead my attention to the lady with the question”. When bracketing commas appear alone, the start or end of the sentence serves to “open” or “close” the bracket as appropriate.

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