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  1. #1
    Mary Bright is offline Junior Member
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    Question Dates and Modifiers of Time Separated

    In some sentences I run across the dates and modifiers of time separated by comma, in some sentences, however, they remain 'free'. It looks something like this:

    In 1896, they moved from the island to a big city and settled there forever.
    Today, there are more and more people who prefer to live in the countryside rather than in town.

    vs

    In 1768 he became famous and rich and no longer needed any sort of help.
    These days the country is developing very fast and noone knows what it will be in the near future.

    My guess is that it depends on the length of a sentence and its rythmic structure but I'd rather learn a teacher's explanation.

  2. #2
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Re: Dates and Modifiers of Time Separated

    With a comma it's an introductory phrase.
    Without a comma it's an integral part of the sentence.

    There's information here about commas after introductions.

  3. #3
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Re: Dates and Modifiers of Time Separated

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Bright View Post
    In some sentences I run across the dates and modifiers of time separated by comma, in some sentences, however, they remain 'free'. It looks something like this:

    In 1896, they moved from the island to a big city and settled there forever.
    Today, there are more and more people who prefer to live in the countryside rather than in town.

    vs

    In 1768 he became famous and rich and no longer needed any sort of help.
    These days the country is developing very fast and noone knows what it will be in the near future.

    My guess is that it depends on the length of a sentence and its rythmic structure but I'd rather learn a teacher's explanation.
    NOT A TEACHER.

    The comma introduces a short pause - and, to my knowledge, that's all it does in those examples.

  4. #4
    Mary Bright is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Dates and Modifiers of Time Separated

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    With a comma it's an introductory phrase.
    Without a comma it's an integral part of the sentence.

    There's information here about commas after introductions.
    Why, freezeframe, according to the instructions given on the page, short introductory phrases (and I assume 1789 or today a short one) are not recommeded to separate with a comma.

    Besides -- that's about what Allen 165 has just posted -- it's strongly advised that I should put a comma if it feels like making a pause after an introductory element. But it's a little bit problematic for that who learns the language, isn't it?

  5. #5
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Re: Dates and Modifiers of Time Separated

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Bright View Post
    Why, freezeframe, according to the instructions given on the page, short introductory phrases (and I assume 1789 or today a short one) are not recommeded to separate with a comma.

    Besides -- that's about what Allen 165 has just posted -- it's strongly advised that I should put a comma if it feels like making a pause after an introductory element. But it's a little bit problematic for that who learns the language, isn't it?
    Compared to Russian, in English a lot of commas are optional. There are very few rules on where the comma must be placed.

    You don't have to put a comma there, but you can. If you put a comma there, you're changing it from a restrictive to a non-restrictive element. But it's up to you.

  6. #6
    Mary Bright is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Dates and Modifiers of Time Separated

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    Compared to Russian, in English a lot of commas are optional. There are very few rules on where the comma must be placed.
    If you put a comma there, you're changing it from a restrictive to a non-restrictive element. But it's up to you.
    I feel much relieved.

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