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  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Eileen(,) whose dog is lost(,) is depressed.

    Are the commas optional?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    I would use the commas.

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Otherewise it sounds like you have a bunch of women named Eileen and you're using "whose dog is lost" to identify which of them you mean.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Eileen(,) whose dog is lost(,) is depressed.

    Are the commas optional?

    Thanks.
    No, they are mandatory.

  5. #5
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    You could use dashes or parentheses, so no they are not mandatory. But some parenthetical isolation of the dependent clause is required. In fact the comma pair proposed are merely an adaptation of the most suitable punctuation for such cases, the parentheses. They are, in fact, called parenthetical commas. ;)

  6. #6
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    You could use dashes or parentheses, so no they are not mandatory. But some parenthetical isolation of the dependent clause is required. In fact the comma pair proposed are merely an adaptation of the most suitable punctuation for such cases, the parentheses. They are, in fact, called parenthetical commas. ;)
    Thanks, Konungursvia.

    Could you please elaborate so that I have a clearer picture of your answer? I am sorry about having to ask you to explain again, but it is because my command of English is not good enough. Thanks.

  7. #7
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Thanks, Konungursvia.

    Could you please elaborate so that I have a clearer picture of your answer? I am sorry about having to ask you to explain again, but it is because my command of English is not good enough. Thanks.
    Could someone please help? Thanks.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Could someone please help? Thanks.
    He's saying, simplifying a little, that I was wrong in saying that the commas are mandatory because you could write "Eileen (whose dog is lost) is depressed." or "Eileen - whose dog is lost - is depressed." instead.
    By the same token, I guess, the commas are not mandatory because you could write, "Eileen is depressed because her dog is lost."
    However, it remains that if the two choices are i) that sentence with commas, and ii) that sentence with the commas removed and nothing added, the only correct choice is i) - which is what I meant by calling the commas mandatory.

  9. #9
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Thanks, Raymott, for the detailed explanation.

  10. #10
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    He's saying, simplifying a little, that I was wrong in saying that the commas are mandatory because you could write "Eileen (whose dog is lost) is depressed." or "Eileen - whose dog is lost - is depressed." instead.
    Are the above sentences in bold a common way of punctuation by native speakers?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 13-Jul-2011 at 12:53. Reason: amendment

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