If you have a list of items separated by commas, can it be used as an appositive if you separate it from the rest of the sentence by yet another by comma?

Here's an example:

The factory produces various types of ropes , such as cotton, acrylic, nylon, etc. , from garment waste.

In the above sentence, I use two commas (in bold here) as appositive commas, whereas the other commas are used to separate the items on the list. Is this correct? If not, why not?

  • The use of asterisks to produce italics doesn't work very well in this situation (the first set doesn't get converted at all). I tried editing your text to use <i>,</i> instead, which is another way of doing it, but the formatting on just the commas isn't visible. Perhaps you could try putting them inside square brackets. Aug 14, 2018 at 5:17
  • There are no appositive noun phrases in your sentence.
    – BillJ
    Aug 14, 2018 at 9:31
  • Possible duplicate of Does the appositive in this sentence need to be set off with commas?
    – bookmanu
    Aug 14, 2018 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


Yes, it's correct.

However, some people could think it was confusing. Stylistically, you can always use different punctuation to indicate the appositive if the commas concern you:

The factory processes different types of ropes (such as cotton, acrylic, nylon, etc.) from garment waste.

The factory processes different types of ropes—such as cotton, acrylic, nylon, and so on—from garment waste.

But there's nothing grammatically wrong with the sentence as you had it.

(Note that in my second revision, I replaced etc. with and so on. This is because some style guides, such as The Chicago Manual of Style, recommend only using etc. inside parentheses.)

  • Thank you Mr. Bassford. I think you are absolutely correct; I also found what you suggested on other sites. Aug 14, 2018 at 8:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.