[Grammar] he did not....partly because

Oceanlike

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Singapore
Current Location
Singapore
In this original sentence, can I leave out the comma (after "it")?
If not, why?

(a) He did not believe the news when he heard it, partly because the competition was fierce.

(b) He did not believe the news when he heard it partly because the competition was fierce.
 

GoesStation

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
In addition to indicating where the speaker would pause, the comma tells the reader that partly isn't modifying he heard it. You can't omit it.
 

Rover_KE

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
I'm a comma minimalist, but that one's definitely mandatory.
 
Top