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  1. #1
    pambele Guest

    Default Comma with the word 'either'

    I get confused when it comes to using commas before certain words. Is it correct to use the commas with either as...?

    But he's fought at a much lower level. Not the biggest heavyweight in the world, either, at 6ft 2ins, he wears opponents down more than he bangs them out...

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Comma with the word 'either'

    Hello Pambele

    In this usage, "either" is an adverb, and is used for emphasis after a negative statement.

    In your example, I would not put a comma on each side of "either"; rather, I would say:

    1. But he's fought at a much lower level. Not the biggest heavyweight in the world, either: at 6ft 2ins, he wears opponents down more than he bangs them out...

    Or you could use a dash instead of the colon.

    I would paraphrase "either" here as "moreover", or perhaps "I would stress".

    All the best,

    MrP

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Comma with the word 'either'

    What confuses me about 'either' is basically this:

    No, I can't either.

    No, I don't either.

    I don't go mountain climbing and I don't go mountain walking, either.

    No, I don't like peaches or nectarines, either.


    Note the commas after two 'eithers' and not with the other two. Why is this?

  4. #4
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Comma with the word 'either'

    Hello Galindez

    There is some variation in comma (and semi-colon) usage among native speakers. Traditionally, the comma represents a slight pause; but many people now think of the comma as simply a visual sign of a break in the sense.

    Thus some people would punctuate that last paragraph as follows:

    There is some variation in comma and semi-colon usage among native speakers. Traditionally the comma represents a slight pause, but many people now think of the comma as simply a visual sign of a break in the sense.

    Moreover, people tend to use fewer commas in shorter sentences. But it wouldn't be wrong to punctuate your sentences as follows:

    No, I can't, either.

    No, I don't, either.

    However, you do have to be a little careful with commas in the vicinity of "either"; your last sentence, for example, if punctuated thus:

    No, I don't like peaches, or nectarines either.

    means "no, I don't like peaches; nor do I like nectarines".

    All the best,

    MrP

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Comma with the word 'either'

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    Hello Galindez
    There is some variation in comma (and semi-colon) usage among native speakers. Traditionally, the comma represents a slight pause; but many people now think of the comma as simply a visual sign of a break in the sense.
    Thus some people would punctuate that last paragraph as follows:
    There is some variation in comma and semi-colon usage among native speakers. Traditionally the comma represents a slight pause, but many people now think of the comma as simply a visual sign of a break in the sense.
    Moreover, people tend to use fewer commas in shorter sentences. But it wouldn't be wrong to punctuate your sentences as follows:
    No, I can't, either.
    No, I don't, either.
    However, you do have to be a little careful with commas in the vicinity of "either"; your last sentence, for example, if punctuated thus:
    No, I don't like peaches, or nectarines either.
    means "no, I don't like peaches; nor do I like nectarines".
    All the best,
    MrP
    Thanks Mr P. (Pambele also thanks you; I am two and the same but messed up my log in details).

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