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    #1

    Question The interface sbc command is needed, whenever a VRF is being used.

    Hi,

    Original question:

    The following sentence is from a Cisco technical document.
    Note: The "interface sbc" is a network interface, and "VRF" is the network protocol.

    The interface sbc command is needed, whenever a VRF is being used.
    When I read this sentence, I read it as "The interface sbc command is needed whenever a VRF is being used.", and then I found an unexpected "comma" is there.

    Why a "comma" was added before the word "whenever"? Is it necessary?


    Further question:

    A. Why a "comma" was added before the word "whenever"?
    B. Why was a "comma" added before the word "whenever"?
    C. Why does a "comma" was added before the word "whenever"?

    Which is correct? I prefer to A but it seems is incorrect.

    Please help, thanks.
    Last edited by fenglish; 28-Apr-2016 at 16:53.

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    #2

    Re: The interface sbc command is needed, whenever a VRF is being used.

    Technical manuals frequently contain grammatical errors like the stray comma you found there.

    Your question B is the only correct one. Subjects and verbs are inverted in questions, so question words like why, how, when, etc. must be followed by a verb when they introduce a question.

    Affirmative: A comma was added.
    Interrogative: Why was a comma added? Where did they add a comma? When do I need a comma? Why do I use a comma? How do I know I need a comma?
    I am not a teacher.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The interface sbc command is needed, whenever a VRF is being used.

    Quote Originally Posted by fenglish View Post
    Hi,

    Original question:

    The following sentence is from a Cisco technical document.
    Note: The "interface sbc" is a network interface, and "VRF" is the network protocol.

    When I read this sentence, I read it as "The interface sbc command is needed whenever a VRF is being used", and then I found an unexpected comma is there.

    Why was a comma added before the word "whenever"? It's a mistake.

    Is it necessary? It is wrong. Technical writers don't always have good grammar or punctuation.

    Further questions:

    A. Why was a comma added before the word "whenever"?
    B. Why was a comma added before the word "whenever"?
    C. Why was a comma added before the word "whenever"?

    Those are all the same question!

    Which is correct? I prefer A, but it seems is incorrect.

    Please help, thanks.
    The comma should not be there.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #4

    Re: The interface sbc command is needed, whenever a VRF is being used.

    Quote Originally Posted by fenglish View Post
    Why a "comma" was added before the word "whenever"?
    Many native speakers don't punctuate in a systematic or logical way, so don't be that surprised if you come across rogue commas in such technical documents.

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