Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 22
    #1

    Proper Names Functioning as Adjectives (Can we omit the commas in all?)

    To me, "California," "New Jersey," "Texas," "N.Y.," and "1969" are functioning as appositives in the examples below, when in fact they are not. All these words are essential information to the sentence. That said, can we drop the comma after each in the sentences below—yes or no?


    Joe said, "The Sacramento, California, police department is under scrutiny."


    Midge said, "The Elizabeth, New Jersey, warehouse was inspected."


    Stephen said, "The Austin, Texas, jury acquitted the defendant."


    Theresa said, "Brooklyn, N.Y., is where I grew up."


    Frank said, "February 7, 1969, is my date of birth."


    Thank you.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #2

    Re: Proper Names Functioning as Adjectives (Can we omit the commas in all?)

    As with almost all issues of style, you will get different opinions. I would never omit those commas though I would write some sentences differently. For example, there is only one jury, not one in Austin and one somewhere else.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 3,621
    #3

    Re: Proper Names Functioning as Adjectives (Can we omit the commas in all?)

    Keep the commas in all those examples. They're called dependent clauses, meaning (a) that they cannot stand alone as sentences and (b) the sentences would still be true if the clauses were not there: Brooklyn is where I grew up. February 7 is the date of my birth.

    If a dependent clause is inside a sentence (as they are in all of your examples), it needs commas at the beginning and end of the clause. If it starts the sentence, a comma goes after it. If it ends a sentence, a comma goes before it.

    - Like you, I enjoy writing.
    - I, like you, enjoy writing.
    - I enjoy writing, like you.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 29-Jul-2014 at 22:32.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #4

    Re: Proper Names Functioning as Adjectives (Can we omit the commas in all?)

    A clause requires a subject and verb. Those are not dependent clauses.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

Similar Threads

  1. commas with names
    By uksy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-Mar-2012, 10:12
  2. Names and commas
    By Nightmare85 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 14-Jan-2010, 21:34
  3. Commas before and after names
    By hopechest in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-May-2009, 08:29
  4. Commas around names
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Feb-2008, 01:04
  5. Proper names
    By Bartosz Cierach in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 25-Jan-2004, 15:01

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
  •