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When I read the following sentence out loud to myself, it seems to me that there should be a brief pause before and after the word 'still,' based on how it is being used in the sentence. However, I am unsure as to how commas should be placed around this word (if at all) to create the correct effect:

"What initially motivated me to explore the field of robotics was the realization of the, still, countless opportunities for robots to play a role in people's lives, and have a significant positive impact in doing so."

Is my comma usage correct?

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Nope! There is no call for commas there. "Still" is acting as an adjective in this case, letting the reader know that those opportunities persist. Don't worry that "countless" is also an adjective modifying "opportunities". They are not coordinate adjectives, and so do not require separation.

Your other comma placement (before the second item in a two-item list) is also ill-advised.

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  • I'd get rid of "still" altogether, personally. It doesn't seem to add anything to your point, which I presume has nothing to do with the question that nobody is asking: "Are there still opportunities for robots to play a role in people's lives?" Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 3:28
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    It's actually an adverb rather than an adjective; it's modifying countless.
    – ruakh
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 1:48
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I came here looking for similar advice. I have a suggestion, however.

"What initially motivated me to explore the field of robotics was the realization of the countless opportunities for robots to play a role in people's lives. Even now, after all this time, they have a significant and positive impact."

Maybe try to stress the role of the word "still" in another way. As far as your question goes, I'm no authority on these matters. Still, I would say that your usage is superfluous. It seems to add pauses that interrupt the communication rather than streamlining it.

I know I'm late to this party but I hope this helps.

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    But the poster was asking about comma usage, not about “still”. So I cannot see how your paean to robotics is in any way relevant. The question has been answered. No commas. And as far as I’m concerned, removing still is neither necessary or advisable. It changes the meaning.
    – David
    Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 23:14

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