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I am trying to teach myself punctuation rules. I have this sentence:

The Disney version generally considered both racist and sexist portrayed the female characters in stereotypical roles and presented ethnically diverse characters with stereotypical features.

I think the sentence needs a comma after sexist and before portrayed. I also think it needs a comma after roles because of what I have identified as a coordinating conjunction. I.e.:

The Disney version generally considered both racist and sexist, portrayed the female characters in stereotypical roles, and presented ethnically diverse characters with stereotypical features.

Did I punctuate the sentence correctly? Is this a coordinating conjunction?

  • As to the question, as Louel points out, the "generally considered both racist and sexist" part is a parenthetical, and can be set off using commas, dashes (not hyphens) or parentheses on both sides of it. Using only one comma is wrong (just like using only one of a pair of parentheses would be wrong). What you have right now is a sentence with a single comma between the subject and the predicate, which is wrong in contemporary English (but used to be okay a couple centuries ago). – RegDwigнt Feb 4 '14 at 22:33
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You ought to write it this way:

"The Disney version, generally considered both racist and sexist, portrayed the female characters in stereotypical roles and presented ethnically diverse characters with stereotypical features."

Comma before generally and after sexist. "Generally considered both racist and sexist" is a non-essential clause (it gives additional information about the Disney film).

  • Would i be correct by saying for the rules its "Place commas after introductory elements" and "Items in a series"? – icelated Feb 4 '14 at 21:37
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    There is a wealth of information on the web about the correct uses of commas, including debate about whether they may be used merely to signal a pause when reading. Here is a thread where you might find help. All this has been covered before. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 4 '14 at 22:25
  • You also need some sort of punctuation mark after 'roles', in my opinion - either a comma or a semi-colon. – WS2 Feb 5 '14 at 0:29
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Yes - well, two commas actually - right where you suspected.

In...

The Disney version, generally considered both racist and sexist, portrayed the female characters in stereotypical roles and presented ethnically diverse characters with stereotypical features.

..., "generally considered both racist and sexist" is a parenthetical expression.

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