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  1. #1
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    comma or no comma

    Which is correct?

    The French Ministry of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac, acknowledged that ...

    or comma in first instance or no commas at all?

    Or is it a case of preference? (PS: I know it would be 2 commas if the person's name came first.)

    If 2 commas, you would then say:

    The President, Barack Obama, acknowledged ...

    but that sounds like you're telling the audience the name of the President, doesn't it?

    I'm leaning towards one but if anyone has any other ideas I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks
    Bertie

  2. #2
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Re: comma or no comma

    Quote Originally Posted by bertietheblue View Post
    Which is correct?

    The French Ministry of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac, acknowledged that ...

    or comma in first instance or no commas at all?

    Or is it a case of preference? (PS: I know it would be 2 commas if the person's name came first.)

    If 2 commas, you would then say:

    The President, Barack Obama, acknowledged ...

    but that sounds like you're telling the audience the name of the President, doesn't it?

    I'm leaning towards one but if anyone has any other ideas I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks
    Bertie
    NOT A TEACHER.

    "The French Ministry of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac, acknowledged that ..."

    That's correct, but I'm not sure I can explain why. Isn't "Anne-Marie Idrac" an appositive? Appositives are always set off with commas.

  3. #3
    corum is offline Banned
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  4. #4
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Re: comma or no comma

    Thanks, Corum. Very interesting. From article: 'The capital of Michigan, Lansing ....'

    So my hunch was right - one comma in the first instance then?

  5. #5
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: comma or no comma

    With appositives, it is either zero commas or two commas.

    The French Ministry of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac, acknowledged that...

    The French Ministry of State for Foreign Trade = Anne-Marie Idrac

    --> non-restrictive --> set of commas

    ----
    This is a good example to illustrate comma usage:

    Suppose I have two brothers : Peter and Paul

    My brother Peter is good.

    my brother ≠ Peter
    my brother = Peter + Paul

    --> In 'My brother Peter', 'Peter' restricts the reference from 'Peter + Paul' to 'Peter'. Restrictive apposition --> no comma

    On the other hand,

    My brothers, Peter and Paul, are smart.

    my brothers = Peter and Paul --> no restriction --> set of commas around 'Peter and Paul'

  6. #6
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: comma or no comma

    Quote Originally Posted by bertietheblue View Post
    Which is correct?

    The French Ministry of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac, acknowledged that ...

    or comma in first instance or no commas at all?

    Or is it a case of preference? (PS: I know it would be 2 commas if the person's name came first.)

    If 2 commas, you would then say:

    The President, Barack Obama, acknowledged ...

    but that sounds like you're telling the audience the name of the President, doesn't it?

    I'm leaning towards one but if anyone has any other ideas I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks
    Bertie
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, Bertie.

    (1) May I ask: is that a typo?

    (a) Of course, Ms. Idrac is not the "ministry."

    (2) Thus should it not be:

    The French Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac,

    acknowledged that ....

    or

    French Minister of State for Foreign Trade Anne-Marie Idrac

    acknowledged that .... (P. S. I think -- only think -- that our

    famous TIME magazine "invented" that kind of title.)

    or

    Anne -Marie Idrac, the French Minister of State for Foreign Trade,

    acknowledged that ....(I think that this was long the "correct"

    way until TIME magazine came along with its much shorter and

    snappier style.)

    Have a nice day!

  7. #7
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Re: comma or no comma

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    With appositives, it is either zero commas or two commas.

    The French Ministry of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac, acknowledged that...

    The French Ministry of State for Foreign Trade = Anne-Marie Idrac

    --> non-restrictive --> set of commas

    ----
    This is a good example to illustrate comma usage:

    Suppose I have two brothers : Peter and Paul

    My brother Peter is good.

    my brother ≠ Peter
    my brother = Peter + Paul

    --> In 'My brother Peter', 'Peter' restricts the reference from 'Peter + Paul' to 'Peter'. Restrictive apposition --> no comma

    On the other hand,

    My brothers, Peter and Paul, are smart.

    my brothers = Peter and Paul --> no restriction --> set of commas around 'Peter and Paul'
    The link you provided suggests that both of these sentences are correct:

    "The French Ministry of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac, acknowledged that ..."

    "The French Ministry of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac acknowledged that ..."

    The difference between the two sentences might be that in the first "The French Ministry of State for Foregin Trade" is the subject, while in the second it's "Anne-Marie Idrac."

  8. #8
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Re: comma or no comma

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    With appositives, it is either zero commas or two commas.

    The French Ministry of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac, acknowledged that...
    Still not sure. Look at the example from the reference you provided:

    'The capitol of Michigan, Lansing is home to Michigan State University.'

    One comma. How is my example different?

    Oh and TheParser - yeah, sorry, 'Minister ...'

  9. #9
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Re: comma or no comma

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    The link you provided suggests that both of these sentences are correct:

    "The French Ministry of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac, acknowledged that ..."

    "The French Ministry of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac acknowledged that ..."

    The difference between the two sentences might be that in the first "The French Ministry of State for Foregin Trade" is the subject, while in the second it's "Anne-Marie Idrac."
    Jasmin165 - we were thinking the same thing at the same time, it seems!

  10. #10
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: comma or no comma

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    The link you provided suggests that both of these sentences are correct:

    I did not read the link. I was thinking it says the same thing as that which I already know.

    Notice that when the appositive comes first in a sentence, it is followed by a comma.

    Yeah, as I understand it, only one comma when the second noun phrase is the subject, irrespective of whether we have restrictive or non-restrictive apposition.

    I understand the idea but can't accept it. I do not see the logic in it. In apposed NP's, the order does not matter if there is no restriction.
    I think the link is confusing. Forget the one-comma option and you will remain a happy person.
    Last edited by corum; 01-Jun-2010 at 12:14.

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