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    #1

    Use of commas

    Which sentence is correct?

    1. Willow the dog is sleeping in the kennel.
    2. Willow, the dog is sleeping in the kennel.
    3. Willow, the dog, is sleeping in the kennel.

    Willow being the dog's name.

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Use of commas

    Only the third is correct. We do not separate a verb from its subject by a single comma.

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    #3

    Re: Use of commas

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, TanLi:

    When you get some extra time, you may wish to check your books or the World Wide Net for "appositives."

    Appositives are set off (surrounded) by commas. They indicate that the words between the commas give us some extra information that is NOT absolutely necessary.

    I have made up these examples:

    "Kyoto, a city in Japan, is extremely beautiful." ("A city in Japan" is just a reminder to some people who may not know that fact.)
    "New York City, the Big Apple, is on the East Coast." (Some people do not know that the "Big Apple" is NYC's nickname.)
    "Mrs. Smith, my math teacher, is always patient with her students." (I wanted to describe Mrs. Smith. I decided to more fully identify her by telling you that she is my math teacher. If I deleted (erased) "my math teacher," the sentence would still be grammatically correct.)

    Mona: Mrs. Smith is always patient.
    James: Who is Mrs. Smith?
    Mona: My math teacher.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Use of commas

    I think commas are not needed in 'The dog Willow is sleeping in the kennel'.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    "Kyoto, a city in Japan, is extremely beautiful."
    'A city in Japan' seems to mean 'which is a city in Japan', a non-defining relative clause, where 'which is' can be omitted.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: Use of commas

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    1. I believe that many people agree with you:

    "My dog, Willow, is sleeping in the kennel." ( I have only one dog.)
    "My dog Willow is sleeping in the kennel." (I have two or more dogs. That is to say, "My dog Willow, not my dog Parser, is sleeping in the kennel.")

    2. I believe that many people agree with you regarding the source of appositives: "Mrs. Smith, [who is] my math teacher, is very patient and kind."
    Last edited by TheParser; 27-Jul-2015 at 13:07.

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    #6

    Re: Use of commas

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, TanLi:

    When you get some extra time, you may wish to check your books or the World Wide Net for "appositives."

    Appositives are set off (surrounded) by commas. They indicate that the words between the commas give us some extra information that is NOT absolutely necessary.

    I have made up these examples:

    "Kyoto, a city in Japan, is extremely beautiful." ("A city in Japan" is just a reminder to some people who may not know that fact.)
    "New York City, the Big Apple, is on the East Coast." (Some people do not know that the "Big Apple" is NYC's nickname.)
    "Mrs. Smith, my math teacher, is always patient with her students." (I wanted to describe Mrs. Smith. I decided to more fully identify her by telling you that she is my math teacher. If I deleted (erased) "my math teacher," the sentence would still be grammatically correct.)

    Mona: Mrs. Smith is always patient.
    James: Who is Mrs. Smith?
    Mona: My math teacher.
    Although you are not a teacher, you are writing more standard answer on this forum of "ask a teacher" here.
    I learned a lot from you.
    A question I want to ask is "I prefer no.2 is a good answer which is better than no.3".
    Ok, why no.3 is better than no.2?
    But i can't express to you, because I'm poor at English.
    I don't know how to express my view. But, I will wait to you for answer my question.

  3. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Use of commas

    "Polyester, the dog is sleeping in the kennel!"
    "The dog is sleeping in the kennel, Polyester!"

    They mean the same thing to me, Polyester.
    Polyester, what do you think?


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    #8

    Re: Use of commas

    Quote Originally Posted by TanLi View Post
    2. Willow, the dog is sleeping in the kennel.
    3. Willow, the dog, is sleeping in the kennel.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Polyester:

    1. As Teacher Tzfujimino showed us, No. 2 is a so-called direct address.

    a. There is a person named Willow.

    i. Someone is talking to Willow.

    a. Willow, the dog is sleeping in the kennel.
    b. Hey, Willow, would you please take out the garbage?
    c. I love you, Willow.


    2. In No. 3, there is a dog named Willow.

    a. Someone says that "Willow is sleeping in the kennel."

    i. The person who says that sentence thinks that the listener may NOT know who Willow is, so the speaker adds an appositive (extra information): "Willow, the dog, is sleeping in the kennel."

    a. As Matthew Wei reminded us, that is a shorter way to say: "Willow, who is the dog, is sleeping in the kennel."

    *****

    My name is James. So someone might say to me: "James, the teacher is sleeping! Let's go home! She won't know! Hurry up, James."

    That is completely different from "James, the teacher, is sleeping." In that sentence, the basic information is "James is sleeping." The teacher is named "James." But the speaker feels that the listener may not know that fact, so the speaker adds an appositive. As Matthew Wai reminded us, that is a simply a shorter way to say "James, who is the teacher, is sleeping."

    (In speech we use pauses; in writing, we use commas.)

    If you still have questions about the difference between a direct address and an appositive, please ask. I am sure that someone else can do a better job than I in explaining it.


    P.S. In your post (#6). you quoted my whole post (#3). Just a gentle reminder that the moderators get upset when we quote someone else's whole post. They want us to quote only the parts that are important. For example, I quoted only part of TanLi's post (#1).

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