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    #1

    punctuation for absolute phrase

    HI all,

    Is there a rule of punctuation for absolute phrase ?

    Home Retail, Britain's No. 1 household goods retailer, posted a 70pc slump in first-half profit, with profitability at its Argos business collapsing as its cash-strapped shoppers felt the pain of the economic downturn.

    Home Retail profits tumble as Argos suffers - Telegraph


    Do I need to put coma in between "collapsing" and "as" ?

    thanks
    Last edited by duiter; 19-Oct-2011 at 10:02. Reason: rule for ruke

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    #2

    Re: punctuation for absolute phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by duiter View Post
    HI all,

    Is there a rule of punctuation for absolute phrase ?

    Home Retail, Britain's No. 1 household goods retailer, posted a 70pc slump in first-half profit, with profitability at its Argos business collapsing as its cash-strapped shoppers felt the pain of the economic downturn.

    Home Retail profits tumble as Argos suffers - Telegraph


    Do I need to put coma in between "collapsing" and "as" ?

    thanks
    I wouldn't consider a comma essential there.

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    #3

    Re: punctuation for absolute phrase

    [QUOTE=duiter;813258]HI all,

    Is there a rule of punctuation for absolute phrase ?

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) I most respectfully suggest that the answer to your question is YES: one uses a comma to set off (to emphasize) an absolute clause. For example: The teacher being sick, the students went home.

    (2) BUT I most respectfully suggest that your sentence does NOT contain an absolute clause. I feel that "as its shoppers feel the pain of the downturn" is simply an adverbial clause modifying the verb (gerund) "collapsing." As the VIP Member told you in his post, there is no need for a comma.

    (a) In other words:

    The profits of Argos are collapsing as ( = at the same time that) its shoppers feel the pain of the downturn.

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    #4

    Re: punctuation for absolute phrase

    To TheParser,

    many thanks for your answer


    "... BUT I most respectfully suggest that your sentence does NOT contain an absolute clause. I feel that "as its shoppers feel the pain of the downturn" is simply an adverbial clause modifying the verb (gerund) "collapsing." As the VIP Member told you in his post, there is no need for a comma."


    So "...with profitability at its Argos business collapsing" is NOt absolute phrase /clause
    What is it ?

    Many thanks again

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    #5

    Re: punctuation for absolute phrase

    [QUOTE=duiter;813358]


    So "...with profitability at its Argos business collapsing" is NOt absolute phrase /clause
    What is it ?

    NOT A TEACHER

    (1) Mea culpa. That's Latin for "my fault." Or as you young people say, "My bad."

    (No, I do not know Latin, but all English speakers learn a few phrases.)

    (2) You are 100% correct. "With profitability collapsing" is, indeed, an absolute clause. I was paying attention only to the adverbial clause that modifies "collapsing."

    (3) So as the Key Member told you, a comma was not needed before the word "as."

    (4) I believe that the whole absolute clause is in bold:

    Home Retail, Britain's No. 1 household goods retailer, posted a 70 pc slump in first half profit, with profitability collapsing at its Argos business as its shoppers feel the pain of the turndown.

    You asked about the comma rule. Well, absolute phrases often come first, so they need a comma in that case. Compare:

    With profitability collapsing at its Argo business as its shoppers feel the pain of the turndown, Home Retail, Britain's No. 1 household goods retailer, posted a 70 pc slump in first half profit.

    I am guessing that The Telegraph writer put the absolute clause at the end because it is so long (because of the adverbial clause). Compare without the adverbial clause:

    With profitability collapsing at its Argo business, Home Retail, Britain's No. 1 household goods retailer, posted a 70 pc slump in first half profit.

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