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    #1

    Do I need a comma before which?

    Hi, I can't grasp the meaning on whether I should use a comma before which in the sentence below:

    I studied maths in university, which is when I also taught mechanical engineering.

    If the above is a whole sentence, do I need a comma before which?

    The clause looks essential but its at the end so it looks non-essential at the same time to me :(

  1. indonesia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Do I need a comma before which?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulysses View Post
    Hi, I can't grasp the meaning on whether I should use a comma before which in the sentence below:

    I studied maths in university, which is when I also taught mechanical engineering.

    If the above is a whole sentence, do I need a comma before which?

    The clause looks essential but its at the end so it looks non-essential at the same time to me :(
    I'm thinking non-essential, but lets wait for someone with more knowledge to confirm or deny. I was wondering if your sentence might read better if you changed 'when' for 'where'?

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    #3

    Re: Do I need a comma before which?

    Hmm, well this sentence refers to a different time and also a different place than the present so I'm not sure if I should use 'when' or 'where' in addition to the commas.

  2. Eric Davis's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: Do I need a comma before which?

    Quote Originally Posted by indonesia View Post
    I'm thinking non-essential, but lets wait for someone with more knowledge to confirm or deny. I was wondering if your sentence might read better if you changed 'when' for 'where'?
    What is your relative pronoun pointing at in this sentence? The pronoun "which" doesn't seem to have an antecedent.
    Last edited by Eric Davis; 25-Feb-2010 at 03:16.

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    #5

    Re: Do I need a comma before which?

    What I'm trying to mean by 'which' is the time when I studied maths in university.

    I studied maths in university, which is when I also taught mechanical engineering.

  3. Eric Davis's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: Do I need a comma before which?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulysses View Post
    What I'm trying to mean by 'which' is the time when I studied maths in university.

    I studied maths in university, which is when I also taught mechanical engineering.
    Hmm...

    I taught mechanical engineering while I studied math at a university.
    I studied math at a university while I taught mechanical engineering.
    While I studied math at a university, I also taught mechanical engineering.
    Last edited by Eric Davis; 25-Feb-2010 at 06:23.

  4. indonesia's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Do I need a comma before which?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Davis View Post
    What is your relative pronoun pointing at in this sentence? The pronoun "which" doesn't seem to have an antecedent.

    I see, thanks.

    I thought the intended meaning of the sentence was to tell which university he had studied maths at, so I assumed the relative pronoun was refering to the 'university' and that's why I asked if using 'where' may have been a better choice.
    I think I picked up the wrong end of the stick.

  5. Eric Davis's Avatar

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    #8

    Re: Do I need a comma before which?

    Quote Originally Posted by indonesia View Post
    I see, thanks.

    I thought the intended meaning of the sentence was to tell which university he had studied maths at, so I assumed the relative pronoun was refering to the 'university' and that's why I asked if using 'where' may have been a better choice.
    I think I picked up the wrong end of the stick.

    Giving more information about his school and his teaching position would make the sentence much less sparse. Which university did he attend? Where did he teach mechanical engineering? A few more details about his background could breathe life into that sentence.

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