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Thread: commas again

  1. FW
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    #1

    commas again

    Are the commas used correctly in these sentences:
    1-The letter, to the Dutch embassy, had been mailed three days before.
    2-The train, to Paris, was delayed.

    3-A letter, to the Dutch embassy, revealed Jon's whereabouts.
    4-A train, to Paris, was delayed.

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #2
    1&2 are wrong- there's no need for commas. 3 is fine. 4 is OK, but would be better if it said 'the one to Paris'.

  3. RonBee's Avatar
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    #3
    I really don't think you need the commas in any of them. However, sentence four could be written as:
    • A train, the one to Paris, was delayed.


    :)

  4. intakaslave
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    #4
    I have to disagree. 1&2 are not incorrect, just subtly different.

    In 1: There is a totally different emphasis when with/without the commas.
    In 2: Same as above.

    Authors of Fiction may have a bit of trouble doing without the commas.

    I would, however, agree with a suggestion that commas be avoided where possible to minimise confusion, this sentence being a prime example!!

    Rgds
    :)

  5. RonBee's Avatar
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    #5
    Sentence one could be written two different ways.

    A:
    • The letter to the Dutch embassy had been mailed three days before.

    B:
    • The letter, the one to the Dutch embassy, had been mailed three days before.


    What do you think?

    :)

  6. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #6
    Actually, on second thoughts, I wouldn't go so far as to say the first two are wrong, but are better without. Your version works, too.

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