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Good time of the day. Can you please tell me whether or not it is correct to insert a comma prior to the word "embedded" in this sentence?

"He leaned down to the nearest tablet embedded in a little mound of ground."

I just have an odd feeling that a comma is not needed, but it is hard for me to make a correct decision.

P.S. Can you also tell me how can the word "embedded" be classified as a part of speech in this instance?

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The comma changes how the sentence reads; either way is grammatically valid, but one will be right for your meaning.

Without it, I interpret this sentence as "He leaned down to the nearest one of the tablets that were embedded in a little mound of ground," with an ambiguity between a sense of multiple tablets in one mound, or many tablets of which only some are embedded in mounds - in this second sense, there may be other, closer tablets, but they aren't embedded in mounds and he isn't leaning towards them.

Adding the comma breaks the link between "nearest" and "embedded," so with it I interpret the sentence as "He leaned down to the nearest tablet, which was embedded in a little mound of ground."

I suspect the second sense is the one you want, so I'd include the comma, but that depends on the meaning you intend.

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