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Companies have competed with each other, providing better services, and have done so, while keeping costs low.

Is the sentence above correct? I know that when there is a "comma + one of the FANBOYS" (in this case, "and"), it acts as a coordinating conjunction, but I'm also wondering if it's possible that a comma and conjunction can be part of a non-restrictive clause (in this case, ", and have done so,")

  • The comma after "services" is fine, but the one after "so" is not required. There is no non-restrictive clause in your sentence. "have done so while keeping costs low" is a verb phrase in coordination with "have competed with each other". – BillJ Oct 3 '18 at 6:29
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As far as the comma before "and have done so," is concerned, note that:

Companies have competed with each other, providing better services, and have done so, while keeping costs low.

providing better services is a parenthetical clause and is therefore enclosed within a pair of commas. The rest of the sentence has no redundant commas.

Companies have competed with each other, and have done so, while keeping costs low.

and have done so is, again, a parenthetical.

Companies have competed with each other while keeping costs low.

It is now clear that there's no comma before and as such.

  • I can't see any reason for having a comma after "so". The element "while keeping costs low" is an adjunct in clause structure (within the VP "and have done so while keeping costs low"), and it does not need to have its boundary marked off with a comma. It makes for too heavy a punctuation. – BillJ Oct 3 '18 at 14:52
  • @BillJ I was showing how a parenthetical is enclosed in a pair of commas. Other aspects could only serve to distract from the context/ main point. – Kris Oct 5 '18 at 8:57
  • I'm disagreeing with your statement: "The rest of the sentence has no redundant commas". I'd say the comma after "so" is not required. – BillJ Oct 5 '18 at 9:07
  • @BillJ "The rest of the sentence" does not include parentheticals. – Kris Oct 5 '18 at 9:15

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