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    #1

    Comma question

    In this extract.
    "Hello, Mrs. Spade. I'm Pierre Tardivel." He was conscious of how out-of-place his Québécois accent must have sounded here -- another reminder that he was intruding. There was a moment while Mrs. Spade looked Pierre up and down during which Pierre thought he saw a flicker of recognition on her face.


    Wouldn't it be better if there were a comma between "down" and "during", like the below modified version, or is it just unneeded and incorrect.

    "Hello, Mrs. Spade. I'm Pierre Tardivel." He was conscious of how out-of-place his Québécois accent must have sounded here -- another reminder that he was intruding. There was a moment while Mrs. Spade looked Pierre up and down, during which Pierre thought he saw a flicker of recognition on her face.


    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: Comma question

    In my opinion it's unnecessary but not wrong, in view of the fairly long clause ending with down.

    Rover

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    #3

    Re: Comma question

    Thanks Rover,
    so the clause "during which Pierre thought he saw a flicker of recognition on her face" is a dependent clause(but a dependent clause starts or ends with a subordinating conjunction but in this case it starts with a preposition.)?
    Or is it a modifier? But what is it describing(is it describing the time when Mrs. Spades looking up and down.)?

    Thanks.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Comma question

    "There was a moment, while Mrs. Spade looked him up and down, when Pierre thought he saw a flicker of recognition on her face."
    I would write it as above.

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    #5

    Re: Comma question

    Sorry, never mind about my above post; I got mixed up a bit. I came to conclusion that it acts as a modifier/dependent clause.

    Thanks bhaisahab, however the phrase "when Pierre thought he saw a flicker of recognition on her face" is a bit confusing(because of the misplaced modifier?)

    Sorry, this is really getting out of topic.
    Last edited by kazewolf; 18-Apr-2011 at 02:06.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Comma question

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "There was a moment, while Mrs. Spade looked him up and down, when Pierre thought he saw a flicker of recognition on her face."
    I would write it as above.
    Yes, or "moment ... in which".
    The author is confusing the longer time period of Mrs. Spade's looking with the moment of Pierre's thinking/seeing. "During" is wrong for the latter.
    I hope this isn't a well-known author.

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