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Thread: comma

  1. #1
    Maybo is offline Senior Member
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    comma

    She did not specify who she was talking about, while adding she was grateful for every day.

    Elaine Ng was arrested for suspected criminal intimidation, but was released.

    Why do we need comma in these two sentence?

    http://www.thestandard.com.hk/sectio...=189082&sid=11
    If I make any mistakes in English, please let me know!

  2. #2
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: comma

    There should not be a comma in the second sentence. It would need a comma if it were a compound sentence: ". . . , but she was released."

    In the first, it shows that ". . . while adding . . . ." is called a dependent clause. That means three things:

    - It's not a sentence all by itself.

    - It adds more information about the sentence before the comma.

    - It does not change the meaning of the sentence before the comma.
    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.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: comma

    I'd call the comma in the second sentence optional rather than wrong.

  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: comma

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'd call the comma in the second sentence optional rather than wrong.
    Could be. It seems like British English is looser about comma use than American English. American grammar books are pretty strict about using them only for compound sentences and dependent clauses. (In online sources, of course, anything goes.)

    One thing I like about the British use of commas is that if the meaning will be absolutely clear without it, the comma can be left out with impunity. Handy!
    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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