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    #1

    Use of Commas

    Internal debate "raging" at work over a grammatical issue. Would like the opinion of some grammar experts. Where would you place commas, if any, in the following sentence?

    "Earningsversus budget were unfavorable by $1 million or 30 basis points due primarilyto higher commodities."

    Thanks in advance for responses.


  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Use of Commas

    I would not use any commas there, but you have a problem with spaces.

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    #3

    Re: Use of Commas

    Spaces aren't the only problems I have.

    Thanks for the reply.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Use of Commas

    Quote Originally Posted by cbs1 View Post
    There is an internal debate raging (no quotes required) at work over a grammatical issue. I would like the opinion of some grammar experts. Where would you place commas, if any, in the following sentence?

    "Earnings versus budget were unfavorable by $1 million or 30 basis points due primarily to higher commodities."

    Thanks in advance for responses.
    Unnecessary. Thank us after we've been helpful by clicking the "Thank" button.

    According to your profile, you are a native English speaker. As such, learners on this site will assume that everything you write is written correctly so please make sure you use full sentences.

    I can't make head nor tail of your sentence so I can't suggest anything useful regarding commas.

    If you copy and paste on the forum, please take a moment to check the spacing after you paste. For some reason, spaces sometimes get removed. That's what happened in your first post between "Earnings" and "versus", and between "primarily" and "to".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: Use of Commas

    Thank you for the guidance regarding posts on the site. I will use full sentences in all future posts, and I will check posts to ensure the software has not dropped any spaces.

    The information contained in the sentence is directed to the financial community so I can understand your confusion. Perhaps you can comment if I provide further explanation.

    Earnings refers to current actual earnings.
    Budget is the amount of earnings we projected prior to the beginning of the current fiscal year.
    Our actual earnings were below budget by $1 million. Our actual earnings margin was .3% below budgeted margin.
    The primary reason for the budget miss is the cost of commodities.

    The sentence is a concise way of expressing this information to the financial community. I was simply trying to get an opinion on punctuation in the sentence as written. I trust that helps explain the situation, and I hope you can now respond with an answer.

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    #6

    Re: Use of Commas

    I would set off the phrase "or 30 basis points" with commas before and after.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Use of Commas

    Quote Originally Posted by cbs1 View Post
    ...
    The sentence is a concise way of expressing this information to the financial community. I was simply trying to get an opinion on punctuation in the sentence as written. I trust that helps explain the situation, and I hope you can now respond with an answer.

    The financial near-meltdown of 2008 was caused by alleged experts not understanding what other alleged experts were up to.
    I can see no justification for saying 'were unfavourable' when you mean 'fell short' (which incidentally is more concise) or for saying 'commodities' were 'higher'.

    b

    PS Dave's right about the commas.
    Last edited by BobK; 21-Nov-2014 at 21:42. Reason: Added PS

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    #8

    Re: Use of Commas

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I would set off the phrase "or 30 basis points" with commas before and after.
    Me too
    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.

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    #9

    Re: Use of Commas

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I would set off the phrase "or 30 basis points" with commas before and after.
    I believe that is mandatory if $1m is 30 basis points.
    "I'm going out with Anna, or Ms Smith." Anna is Ms. Smith.
    "I'm going out with Anna or Ms Smith." This is a choice. Without a comma the sentence refers to either $1m or 30 basis points.

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