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50

As Dan has said in his comment, the comma adds gravitas. However, I believe it also changes the implication of the sentence. Complete the job, as directed could be interpreted as "You have been told to finish this task. Do so.", which says nothing about how you should perform it. In contrast, I feel the clear implication of Complete the job as ...


37

The comma after “job” tells us that the phrase as directed is non-restrictive. The sentence states “you have been directed to do a job”, and implies that how you do it is up to you. But if we take out the comma, Complete the job as directed. Now “as directed” is restrictive, and the sentence is saying something more severe: Do the work, and make ...


5

In clauses with a long subject such as lampooning a bad idea with humor, we do sometimes make a mini-pause in speech before the verb, which is why some pople would place a comma after humor. However this would be incorrect. One of the few absolute rules of English punctuation is that we must not separate a verb from its subject by a single comma.


4

The best way to think about a comma is a pause. Say the sentence out loud. Do you pause? If so, put in a comma. If you don't, no comma needed. Honestly, I wouldn't put a comma in that sentence. There are no grammatical rules that require a comma, and I don't pause at all when saying it.


3

What you describe is the rhetorical figure known as anacoluthon (you can look it up on Sylvae Rhetoricae), which is the process of "beginning a sentence in a way that implies a certain logical resolution, but concluding it differently than the grammar leads one to expect." You begin by enumerating items in a list, but then break off to conclude, ...


3

Some people resist them, but this seems to me a fine candidate for a parenthetical. You are offering a single reward that can vary slightly in nature based on the donor's preference. I think it's simple and clear to write: You'll get your name (and a link to your Twitter profile, if you'd like) listed on our website. This could be made even clearer if ...


2

This is a style issue rather that a right-or-wrong issue. You can use a colon, or italics (but both would be overkill), or single quotes, or even go all retro and underline the title. None of them are wrong, but they are different styles. If it is for publication, check their style guide. If it is not, either choose a style guide to follow or just do your ...


2

You're attempting to represent a table with two columns (something like target and result) with punctuation, and there's not really a "correct" answer, but by far the most common convention is to use a colon. See for example the screen capture from a television commercial from the classic 1997 Mastercard "Priceless" campaign in this blog post, where "real ...


2

The em dash has several uses. It allows, in a manner similar to parentheses, an additional thought to be added within a sentence by sort of breaking away from that sentence—as I’ve done here. Its use or misuse for this purpose is a matter of taste, and subject to the effect on the writer’s or reader’s “ear.” Comma consistency appeals to me as a ...


2

This is what I and another person who's a native speaker think: The former is the correct alternative. If it was a longer sentence, you'd probably have to add a comma after prevent, but in this case and as the sentence is, you only need one comma after but. As a very detail-oriented person who has spent years on learning and teaching English, I cannot ...


2

Anna delayed, but did not prevent the rise of the Borg. = "1. *Anna delayed. 2. Anna did not prevent the rise of the Borg." That is probably not what you mean, and it is ungrammatical to boot, because to delay is a transitive verb. You can't just delay. You have to delay something. Anna delayed, but did not prevent, the rise of the Borg. = "1. ...


2

I would punctuate it as: "The church would be your hospital, the holy water your medicine, and the priest your doctor" on the basis that the commas are then separating items in a list. To be frank though, I think the option you rejected ("The church would be your hospital, the holy water would be your medicine, and the priest would be your doctor.") ...


2

I would personally write it out as: "By the time he died, Faraday had helped to create..." simply because it changes the subject into another person mid-sentence, and it would make a lot more sense to separate it with a comma.


2

In Michael Swan's examples of sentences beginning with well as a discourse marker (Practical English Usage, 2005. 143-15), he always puts a comma after the word. So do I.


2

None of your examples needs a comma before the preposition. All of the following would be nonsense: I looked, on the other side of me and seen a bird. I looked on the other side, of me and seen a bird. I looked, on the other side, of me and seen a bird. All, of my friends came with me except Ron. All of my friends came, with me except Ron. ...


2

1) The style of the time for punctuation is what is called a "closed" style, meaning just about everything that even feels like a clause will be punctuated as such. (Not as closed as, say, it would have been 100 or more years earlier, but more than we would find acceptable today, perhaps.) That said, a shift in tense would be a still more obvious marker for ...


2

Punctuation is a rather subjective area - some like lots of it and some prefer a minimalist approach. Answering your first question... I too would put a comma before "and had reached". I would justify it by saying there are two pieces of information, essentially two sentences: "I was working in the saloon of the Indiaman. I had reached an exciting point ...


2

Consulting pp. 211-213 of the full text of Churchill's memoir reveals that his voyage on the Indiaman took place after he had just finished serving in the army in India. "On my homeward steamer", he writes, "I made friends with the most brilliant man in journalism I have ever met". He was in the saloon of the ship and working on a book called ...


1

I wouldn't think so because individual and group studies is one thing - studies. So I would kind of look at this like X, and Y where x = "individual and group studies" and y = "reports under investigation"


1

The final element "even an entire clause" appears to be an appositive phrase, and as such is correctly separated off by a comma. But in fact it does not modify the noun phrase (one word) that precedes it. Rather, it should be understood as an ellipted alternative predicate. The expanded sentence becomes: Sometimes, though, a simple subject can be more ...


1

The commas do actually have rules-many more than most people imagine, and these are misused more often than not. Commas replace an "and" in a sentence. (three items in a list- first two have a comma and the third just an "and"-the comma means "and") Commas show when things are out of place like adverbs (they answer the questions: when , where, why, how, and ...


1

With a comma: focus is on job completion and as previously suggested says nothing about how it is to be completed. The alternative without a comma has the sense of an imperative command that says do the job as directed in the way directed, but the punctuation is incomplete. With out a "!" ending the sentence the meaning and expression is weak and somewhat ...


1

Commas usually depict a small pause while reading. This is a mark of clarity while saying something. In your case, 'The French word entrailles means inward.' - this sentence is the most precise. You do not need to place entrailles between commas as it is evident that you are explaining the meaning of that particular word. As Dan Bron suggested in his ...


1

There is no question that there should be a comma after "contention." A comma must be used between two independent clauses joined by a conjunction, except when those independent clauses are very short.


1

The comma doesn't 'mean' anything as such. It separates the two things that you have no right to do, resell the content ... and create a business ... . In view of the two preceding commas, I would use a semi-colon instead of a comma here to mark a stronger break.


1

Yes the comma is necessary. If you wish to avoid it: "...using X (the second tool) ...", or" Also in your example "This category was constructed using the tool 2, X" What is the purpose of the definite article? It almost implies that the tool is named 2X, and that your comma is therefore misplaced.


1

With out without a comma, the meaning of using the tool 2, X is not clear. The definite article does not help. Assuming that 2 is the position on a list and X the name, these are possible: ...using tool 2, X ... using tool #2, X ... using tool No. 2, X All of these have a necessary comma.


1

I prefer your third version: During the Great Depression, the Nazi Party gained a lot of popularity because they promised to make Germany great again, and there was nothing the German people as a whole wanted more. This is on the grounds that here the commas delimit the sense units of the sentence, and also mark the places where it would be natural for ...


1

Ditch commas; (and) begin over-zealously replacing words: (with) colons! During the Great Depression the Nazi Party gained a lot of popularity; they promised to make Germany great again and there was nothing the German people wanted more.


1

I was taught, lo, many years ago, that you should use a comma before the name of the person(s) you address. Therefore, "Hello, John" is correct. I've been looking through all of my manuals to find a source. I haven't found one yet, but I know that I will find it if I keep looking. If you're only communicating with one person, there is no need to use the ...



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