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  1. Bowser
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    #1

    Punctuating a series of prepositional phrases

    In the following sentence, should I use commas to separate multiple prepositional phrases?

    "We walked with friends, on the beach, in the afternoon sun."

    I'm trying to connect each preposition to the verb "walked." Are the commas necessary?

  2. Eric Davis's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 86
    #2

    Re: Punctuating a series of prepositional phrases

    There are three prepositional phrases here:
    with friends
    on the beach
    in the afternoon sun.

    I think the problem is whether the prepositional phrases become adjective modifiers without the commas:

    friends on the beach...

    beach in the afternoon sun.

    I'm curious, too.

  3. Eric Davis's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 86
    #3

    Re: Punctuating a series of prepositional phrases

    What he is trying to say is:

    We walked with friends.
    We walked on the beach.
    We walked in the afternoon sun.

  4. Eric Davis's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 86
    #4

    Re: Punctuating a series of prepositional phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
    In the following sentence, should I use commas to separate multiple prepositional phrases?

    "We walked with friends, on the beach, in the afternoon sun."

    I'm trying to connect each preposition to the verb "walked." Are the commas necessary?

    Maybe it would be best if written as such:

    We walked with friends, on the beach, under the afternoon sun.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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      • English
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      • Australia
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      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #5

    Re: Punctuating a series of prepositional phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
    In the following sentence, should I use commas to separate multiple prepositional phrases?

    "We walked with friends, on the beach, in the afternoon sun."

    I'm trying to connect each preposition to the verb "walked." Are the commas necessary?
    You don't need commas to connect the phrases with the verb. (I think it would rather separate them).

    What is wrong with this?
    "We walked with friends on the beach in the afternoon sun."
    It's unambiguous and easy to understand. In longer sentences you might need commas for clarity.

  6. bhaisahab's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,590
    #6

    Re: Punctuating a series of prepositional phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You don't need commas to connect the phrases with the verb. (I think it would rather separate them).

    What is wrong with this?
    "We walked with friends on the beach in the afternoon sun."
    It's unambiguous and easy to understand. In longer sentences you might need commas for clarity.
    I agree, the commas break up the sentence in an unnatural way and make it hard to read.

  7. Eric Davis's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 86
    #7

    Re: Punctuating a series of prepositional phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You don't need commas to connect the phrases with the verb. (I think it would rather separate them).

    What is wrong with this?
    "We walked with friends on the beach in the afternoon sun."
    It's unambiguous and easy to understand. In longer sentences you might need commas for clarity.

    We walked with friends whom we had known for many years, on a beach that was covered with white sand, under an afternoon sun that burned brightly in a blue sky.

    Blah!
    Last edited by Eric Davis; 24-Feb-2010 at 09:45.

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