1

I've got the following two sentences:

  1. This house is new and, what is more, it faces to the south.
  2. This software is easy to use, and what is more, it's free.

These were drawn from a textbook. In 1, and and what is more are separated to each other by means of the comma, as opposed to 2 where they are not separated. Is it possible to write out vice versa, like,

1* This house is new, and what is more, it faces to the south. 2* This software is easy to use and, what is more, it's free.

6
  • Where did you find these examples? I would usually write it (using your first example) as "This house is new and what is more, it faces to the south." The same way it is in this example.
    – Geshode
    Dec 21, 2017 at 2:17
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    @Geshode - That's wrong. "What is more" is a "parenthetical" and should be separated by commas on both ends. Just like you could replace the "()" characters with commas in your comment and maintain the same meaning and rhythm of the sentence.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 21, 2017 at 2:21
  • The link, which I posted, also shows it with two commas, but only for American English. Is it the same in every regional form of English? Because then we should find a way to tell them, that they have a mistake on their page.
    – Geshode
    Dec 21, 2017 at 2:25
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    I agree with @HotLicks; there should be commas immediately before "what" and immediately after "more", as in your example 1 and your modified 2*. Dec 21, 2017 at 3:01
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    collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/what-is-more also gives an example with the comma placed before the "and". I don't think it is "wrong". Dec 21, 2017 at 10:41

3 Answers 3

1

This house is new and, what is more, it faces to the south.

This software is easy to use, and what is more, it's free.

  • This house is new and what is more, it faces to the south.
  • This software is easy to use and what is more, it's free.

I see no need for more than one comma in either sentence.

0

Both seem reasonable. @geshode's comment is correct; the first comma isn't strictly necessary to understanding the sentence.

That said, it is just as "correct" to read it like, "and - even better! - ..."

0

The sentence really needs three commas.

This house is new, and, what is more, it faces to the south.

"what is more" is a parenthetical, and deserves commas front and rear on that account. And "and" is, of course, a conjunction, and, in this case, deserves what isn't quite an "Oxford" comma, to clearly separate the two conjoined sentences. (That comma wouldn't be as necessary absent the parenthetical, but with the parenthetical present it's needed to establish the appropriate rhythm.)

As "proof" of the need for the third comma consider that one could rewrite the example as:

This house is new. And, what is more, it faces to the south.

Where a full stop would be allowed, it's hard to argue that a comma is "too much" punctuation.

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  • 1
    I don't see why it needs three commas. "The house is new and, what is more, it faces to the south." seems fine to me. As you say, the comma before "and" wouldn't really be necessary without the parenthetical, so I don't see why it's necessary with it. Dec 22, 2017 at 2:40

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