Are the uses of commas correct? Or should I use semicolon instead. I don't think this sentence is grammatically correct, esp. the part in bold.

The term Holon is the combination of Greek word “holos”, meaning the whole, and the suffix, “on”.

closed as unclear what you're asking by RegDwigнt Dec 9 '15 at 12:22

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    It's fine grammatically. The bold part is a parenthetical phrase defining the word. – Matt Samuel Dec 9 '15 at 2:56
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    The comma after "the suffix" shouldn't be there. – sumelic Dec 9 '15 at 3:22
  • I understand what you question is about, but only after I visited your page. The same likewise for any user who saw that very generic title. The title, I repeat, is meaningless. We are after all on an English website, so I know the question must be about English, and about grammar. Well, duh? :) As for the bold words becoming invisible after the edit that is strange. Did you try to refresh the page? Try editing the title and see if the same thing occurs, if it does it's worth telling the folks at meta. – Mari-Lou A Dec 9 '15 at 7:59
  • Even a title like "Problem with comma usage" is more informative, although still a little too generic, than the present title. You might find this question and the answers interesting (nothing to do with punctuation, I'm afraid!) english.stackexchange.com/questions/26197/… – Mari-Lou A Dec 9 '15 at 8:02
  • The new title is just as meaningless, and has nothing to do with the original question. So are you asking about grammar or punctuation? You can put ten commas between any two letters of any word, and the result will still be 100% grammatical English, just horribly punctuated. Also, use a semicolon where? The question really is most unclear. Clearly state your reasons for thinking the commas are incorrect. And if you can't state a reason, there's your answer right there. Everything is fine. – RegDwigнt Dec 9 '15 at 12:24

Yes, it is grammatically correct.

Using the comma in this way is termed as an appositive.


An appositive renames or restates the person or thing you just wrote. It is equal and indicates the identical information. Appositives are separated from the rest of the sentence with commas to indicate that the information is a restatement.

In the case of your example, the phrases in the comma elaborates the meaning of the word 'holo', and there is nothing wrong with that. The sentence is grammatically correct.

  • How about the comma after "the suffix"? – Emi Dec 9 '15 at 4:35
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    @Emi: I'd lose that comma. The "on" is not redundant; it is important to the meaning of the sentence. With the comma, you have another appositive, which that bit isn't. – cHao Dec 9 '15 at 6:22

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