1

Beijing will face trade sanctions from the United States, which brought the case, and the European Union and Japan.

vs

Beijing will face trade sanctions from the United States, which brought the case, the European Union and Japan.

Which one is correct?

1
  • I think both are correct. The first one uses the 'and' after the phrase to avoid inferring that the US brought the EU and Japan along in a handbag along with the case. It makes the end of the phrase more apparent.
    – Oldcat
    Mar 26, 2014 at 20:28

3 Answers 3

1

Both are equally correct. However, the first one:

  • either contrasts the US with everyone else (for reasons unspecified but possibly clear from context), which the second one does not,
  • or employs polysyndetic coordination, in which case the register is probably off unless you are writing the next Iliad.
0

I'd make it quite clear by using brackets, and use an Oxford comma to signal the pause I'd like when reading:

Beijing will face trade sanctions from the United States (the country that brought the case), the European Union, and Japan.

0

The second one is technically correct. The phrase "which brought the case" is a prepositional phrase that doesn't modify the rest of the sentence. I would probably say it like this, for clarity:

Beijing will face trade sanctions from the European Union, Japan and the United States, which brought the case.

Here's a better possibility:

Beijing will face trade sanctions from the United States, which brought the case, as well as the European Union and Japan.

4
  • "Beijing will face trade sanctions from the European Union, Japan and the United States, which brought the case." This makes it sound like all three of them brought the case, does it not?
    – Nitin Garg
    Mar 26, 2014 at 15:47
  • The prepositional phrase is the reason I'm confused. Without it, I'm confident that the second sentence is correct.
    – Nitin Garg
    Mar 26, 2014 at 15:54
  • In a list, you only use an "and" before the last item, not in between every item. And you're right, my example does make it sound like all three brought the case. I'll edit with a better possibility.
    – milestyle
    Mar 26, 2014 at 18:24
  • 1
    Which brought the case is not a prepositional phrase. Which is a relative pronoun, not a preposition.
    – Anonym
    Mar 26, 2014 at 18:32

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