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Help - where should I put my comma(s)?!

(30 Posts)
BecauseImWorthIt Fri 29-Jul-11 10:09:44

This is the sentence, without any commas:

"We have not reviewed this in full (and indeed the ISO 20252 standard has to be paid for) but there are a couple of issues that have to be raised here:"

And this is what I have written:

"We have not reviewed this in full, (and indeed, the ISO 20252 standard has to be paid for,) but there are a couple of issues that have to be raised here:"

I seem to have completely lost the plot and can't work out if this is correct!



Macaroona Fri 29-Jul-11 10:11:29

The second version is fine but lose the parentheses - the comma does the job for you of separating the clause, you don't need them any more.

TobyLerone Fri 29-Jul-11 10:13:05

Drop the parentheses. The second one is fine.

LaCerbiatta Fri 29-Jul-11 10:13:07

You have the brackets so don't need the commas. Also the comma after 'to be paid for' doesn't look right.

midnightexpress Fri 29-Jul-11 10:14:19

Either lose the brackets as macaroona says, or keep them and use just one comma, after 'paid for', but outside the brackets, not inside:

"We have not reviewed this in full (and indeed, the ISO 20252 standard has to be paid for), but there are a couple of issues that have to be raised here:"

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 29-Jul-11 10:20:35

Thank you!

ME - that's what I wrote the first time! I don't know why I had a sudden panic/lack of confidence.

Funk Mon 08-Aug-11 05:18:45

The first version was correct!

Funk Mon 08-Aug-11 05:20:41

Sorry but ME's version (and therefore yours) is so wrong and messy.

ninjasquirrel Mon 08-Aug-11 05:51:25

I agree with Funk - no commas needed if you have brackets. You would usually not put commas after 'and' or 'but'.

MrsWembley Mon 08-Aug-11 06:31:40

Yep, brackets effectively replace the commas, so use one or the other. There are situations where you could use both but, if you ever do, make sure the comma is outside the bracket unless it's inside the part of the sentence that's between the bracket.

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 08-Aug-11 10:44:20

Why wrong/messy, funk?

So what is/are the rules?

Funk Mon 08-Aug-11 10:57:21's difficult to explain on paper: I would say that less is better ie hold back on commas. Grammar was very important in my work so I bought books and studied the rules.

Don't worry about it - 90% of people wouldn't even notice. I used to work with some of the UKs top businessmen, in a service role, and I (often) had to correct their mistakes. Sometimes they would argue the point (and lose!)

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 08-Aug-11 11:30:39

But I need to know!

My problem is that I am part of the school era that was never taught proper grammar, so I write/punctuate pretty instinctively. I use commas to indicate the end of a clause, or where a break in the sentence would occur if you were reading it out.

Which is fine, but doesn't always help when it gets complicated with the introduction of brackets, etc!

I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to know the rule(s)!

(Which is why I'm posting in Pedants' Corner, I guess grin)

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 08-Aug-11 11:31:08

Oh, and my degree is in Linguistics and Literature, so I am blush that I don't actually know what the rules are

Funk Mon 08-Aug-11 11:38:21

Because - I wasn't taught grammar at school either and I don't have higher education.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 08-Aug-11 11:40:28

OP, it's because the commas act in the same way as the brackets that you've already got. What you say above ('I use commas to indicate the end of a clause ...') is the correct reasoning, but here the brackets do the same job, so commas are superfluous.

TeamDamon Mon 08-Aug-11 11:45:20

You need what are called parenthetical commas - i.e. commas which do the same job as parentheses. They mark out the part of the sentence which can be removed without changing the essential meaning of the sentence. Therefore your first version is correct, or a version in which you substitute commas for the parentheses. You would not use both in your sentence.

This site is excellent - I recommend it to all my students. It sets out what you need to know simply and clearly, with examples and practical exercises.

TeamDamon Mon 08-Aug-11 11:46:48

The comma after 'and', by the way, is called the Oxford comma and there are endless debates on whether it should be used or not. So if you do use it, you are not technically wrong!

Katisha Mon 08-Aug-11 11:50:44

Don't forget the apostophe in issue's...

Macaroona Mon 08-Aug-11 12:33:15

I thought an Oxford comma was after an 'and', e.g. in a list? confused

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 08-Aug-11 12:34:41

grin at Katisha!

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 08-Aug-11 12:36:49

Thanks, TeamDamon - that is a great site. I have favourited it. (Ha! Don't you just hate it when nouns become verbs?!)

TeamDamon Mon 08-Aug-11 16:20:07

Macaroona - am not sure how what you are saying contradicts what I am saying, so I am not sure why you are confused. Didn't I say that an Oxford comma came after 'and'? <confuses self>

BecauseI'mWorthIt - it is a great site! And yes, nouns becoming verbs - sigh. grin

midnightexpress Mon 08-Aug-11 16:32:15

Sorry, funk et al, but I disagree. The brackets serve a different function in the sentence from the comma. The brackets separate the information in them from the rest of the first clause, while the comma separates the main clause from the subordinate clause. You could use commas instead, but would need a comma after 'full' in order to show that the 'and indeed..' clause is to be considered as subordinate information.

And I didn't just buy the books. I write them. wink

TeamDamon Tue 09-Aug-11 10:05:01

I hope you write the books more clearly than you wrote that post! I'm not sure who you are including in the 'et al' but I am sure that my description of parenthetical commas covers both the comma after 'full' and the comma after 'for' as a substitute for the brackets.

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