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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Lightbulb Placement of commas before a person's name and occupation

    Hello, I am currently writing an essay and I have these two sentences written:

    In the book The Ocean at the End of the Lane, it can be argued that the author, Neil Gaiman, intends...

    and

    The house-keeper, Ursula, becomes tangible proof for a child who....

    I'm unsure if the commas I have placed are necessary or what the rules corresponding to names and occupations are.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Placement of commas before a person's name and occupation

    Your commas are correct. Note that in your opening sentence, you should have said "... and I have written these two sentences".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Placement of commas before a person's name and occupation

    Welcome to Using English

    Use the commas to set off the name. It's additional information (grammatically) that "re-names" the noun that came before it, so you set it off with commas.

    You might want to look up the grammatical term "appositive."
    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.

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Placement of commas before a person's name and occupation

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Welcome to Using English

    Use the commas to set off the name. It's additional information (grammatically) that "re-names" the noun that came before it, so you set it off with commas.

    You might want to look up the grammatical term "appositive."
    Yes. You'll notice that if you removed the names and the commas, the sentences would still be true. That's because the names are dependent clauses. They add information without changing the facts. For example, without the commas, you would be telling us either which housekeeper or which Ursula!
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 02-May-2016 at 23:16.
    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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