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Which one of these is the right way to include both "the book" and the title of the book in a sentence:

  • The book, Wuthering Heights, is worth a read.
  • The book Wuthering Heights is worth a read.

If none of them are right, what is the right way to write such a sentence. I am trying to express the idea that there is a book named Wuthering Heights and that book is worth a read.

In general, I have this problem for other types of sentences too, e.g., title of songs, movie names, etc. For example, "The song, When you say nothing at all, was written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz." Is there a grammar terminology or grammar concept that deals with introducing the type of object (book, song, etc.) and the title of the object, that I can look up to learn more about construction such sentences?

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It depends on if Wuthering Heights is being used as essential information or not.

I picked up a random book from the table. The book, Wuthering Heights, seemed like it might be interesting.

Here, although the title of the book provides additional information, it's not really essential.

I looked at the course syllabus. The book Wuthering Heights was required reading.

In this case, the passage loses its essential meaning without the title of the book.


Syntactically speaking, the use of a pair of commas dictates if the thing being mentioned is essential or not. If you use commas, it's nonessential; if you don't use them, it is essential.

However, you can look at the overall context and realize that, based on semantics, it really should be one way or the other. If the use of commas (or the absence of commas) is at odds with what's being described, then it should be changed.


In your standalone sentence, it's likely that the title of the book is essential information. However, it's also possible that it could be nonessential information if it follows from the right kind of previous sentence:

I picked up Emily Brontë's novel from the library. The book Wuthering Heights is worth a read.

There are no commas here, and it sounds awkward because of what came before.

I picked up Emily Brontë's novel from the library. The book is worth a read.

This sounds more natural. So, too, does the version where the title is added as additional, but nonessential, information:

I picked up Emily Brontë's novel from the library. The book, Wuthering Heights, is worth a read.

(To put this into further context, Wuthering Heights is the only book that was written by Emily Bronte. So, the readability of the sentences aside, the book is all the information that's required if that's a known fact.)


In short, both of your versions could be right. It depends on context and what you're trying to convey.

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WUTHERING HEIGHTS is essential to the meaning; hence, no commas should be used. Note the difference here: WUTHERING HEIGHTS, the book, is worth a read. WUTHERING HEIGHTS is worth a read. (Fine as is)

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