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    #1

    Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    My friends(,) Tom, John and James(,) came to visit me.

    Are the commas in brackets needed?

    Thanks.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Yes, in my opinion. They function rather like brackets.

  2. Soup's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    My friends(,) Tom, John and James(,) came to visit me.

    Are the commas in brackets needed?

    Thanks.
    Here's a trick. Omit the appositive 'Tom, John and James' and if your intended meaning stays the same, add commas as 5jj suggests; if, however, the meaning changes, leave out the commas. Here's an example:

    Restrictive Appositive
    A: Who exactly came to visit you?
    B: My friends Tom, John and James came to visit me.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Here's a trick. Omit the appositive [...] and if your intended meaning stays the same, add commas [...]; if, however, the meaning changes, leave out the commas.
    That is a 'trick' worth remembering.

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    #5

    Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Thanks, Soup and 5jj.

    Restrictive Appositive
    A: Who exactly came to visit you?
    B: My friends Tom, John and James came to visit me.

    I don't understand the above explanation. It seems to mean that in my sentence, the commas are optional. Could either of you elaborate?

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Thanks for your help.

  4. Soup's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Thanks, Soup and 5jj.

    Restrictive Appositive
    A: Who exactly came to visit you?
    B: My friends Tom, John and James came to visit me.

    I don't understand the above explanation. It seems to mean that in my sentence, the commas are optional. Could either of you elaborate?

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Thanks for your help.
    No inconvenience. With non-essential appositives the commas are optional from a semantic point of view, but for the sake of consistency in writing commas are added.

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    #7

    Re: Are the commas needed in the sentence?

    Many thanks, Soup.

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