Results 1 to 10 of 10
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Danish
      • Home Country:
      • Denmark
      • Current Location:
      • Denmark

    • Join Date: Apr 2013
    • Posts: 8
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Is this comma used wrong for clarification?

    Hello. I wrote an English paper some weeks ago and when I got my paper back I had a comma error that I could not quite understand.
    I want to check if I have made an error and understand what the error is.

    "Professor Popenoe and Dr. Scott Haltzman are both of the opinion that for some, L.A.T. relationships might hinder the social ability to form long-term relationships".

    Note: L.A.T is a term for Living Apart Together, which means couples who are together but live apart.So the reason why I used the comma there was to clarify that it is: for some that L.A.T relationships might hinder...
    And if I did not have the comma there I was afraid it might be read as: some L.A.T relationships might hinder...

    I would like to know if it really is an error and why it is and error or why it is not an error.

    I really appreciate the help and thank you in advance!

    Kind regards Mathias.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 37,142
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Is this comma used wrong for clarification?

    I would have used a comma there too.

    Please also see my post #5 - I hadn't noticed that there was no comma before "for". I would enclose "for some" between two commas.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 22-Apr-2013 at 21:41. Reason: Extra info to avoid confusion.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,044
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Is this comma used wrong for clarification?

    Me, too.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Danish
      • Home Country:
      • Denmark
      • Current Location:
      • Denmark

    • Join Date: Apr 2013
    • Posts: 8
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: Is this comma used wrong for clarification?

    Are you English teachers? Could you provide some grammar argument why it would be okay?

    Because I cannot convince my teacher with my own words that I can use a comma there. I tried to say that comma can be used for clarification in a sentence, but he says that there is no need for this comma and it is actually dividing the sentence up in way that is gramatically wrong.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 37,142
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: Is this comma used wrong for clarification?

    I should have pointed out that I would also have added a comma before "for some".

    They are of the opinion that, for some, LAT relationships ...

    Without any commas, it reads as "some LAT relationships" which makes no sense.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 22-Apr-2013 at 19:49.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,044
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: Is this comma used wrong for clarification?

    Your teacher is wrong. Whether this is worth getting into an argument with him is a different question.

    The argument you already made is the correct one: without the comma it reads as "some LAT relationships." The comma adds clarity, it signals that "for some" is one thought and "LAT relationships" begins another thought.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: Is this comma used wrong for clarification?

    I wouldn't. It is clearly wrong in "Professor Popenoe and Dr. Scott Haltzman are both of the opinion that, L.A.T. relationships might hinder the social ability to form long-term relationships". The insertion of 'for some' requires two commas or none. in my opinion.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Danish
      • Home Country:
      • Denmark
      • Current Location:
      • Denmark

    • Join Date: Apr 2013
    • Posts: 8
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: Is this comma used wrong for clarification?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I wouldn't. It is clearly wrong in "Professor Popenoe and Dr. Scott Haltzman are both of the opinion that, L.A.T. relationships might hinder the social ability to form long-term relationships". The insertion of 'for some' requires two commas or none. in my opinion.
    This makes sense and I see what you mean. Can you, however, explain it with grammar? so I can justify it to my teacher.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9

    Re: Is this comma used wrong for clarification?

    Quote Originally Posted by MathiasPedersen View Post
    This makes sense and I see what you mean. Can you, however, explain it with grammar? so I can justify it to my teacher.
    It's not so much grammar as the conventions of punctuation. let's simplify the sentence:

    1. A and B are both of the opinion that, C might hinder something.

    A comma either before or after 'that' is wrong in English, though in some other languages it is acceptable before.

    2. For some (people), C might hinder something.

    That's fine.

    3. A and B are both of the opinion that for some, C might hinder something.

    That is not acceptable. The comma appears to make an inappropriate break between 'that' and 'C might hinder something'.

    4. A and B are both of the opinion that, for some (people), C might hinder something.


    That's fine. The pair of commas acts in a similar way to brackets.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Danish
      • Home Country:
      • Denmark
      • Current Location:
      • Denmark

    • Join Date: Apr 2013
    • Posts: 8
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #10

    Re: Is this comma used wrong for clarification?

    Thank you for taking to explain this - that was very helpful!

Similar Threads

  1. clarification
    By loufa in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-Nov-2011, 19:20
  2. Wrong in principle, wrong in practice.
    By trila in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 22-Mar-2010, 00:14
  3. clarification
    By seemsuday in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Jan-2007, 13:02
  4. Clarification
    By akumaraswamy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Jan-2007, 06:52
  5. Clarification
    By shubha in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-Jan-2006, 03:46

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •