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Should there be a comma after architect in the sentence?

This reminded me of the work of architect Leon Krier.

This reminded me of the work of architect, Leon Krier.

This reminded me of the work of, architect, Leon Krier.

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    First, there should be an article in front of architect. That aside, it depends. Is there only one architect (use the comma), or is there more than one, requiring clarification (don't use the comma)? If you say an architect, even though that means there is more than one, use a comma anyway. Aug 11, 2020 at 18:00
  • What about the following: This reminded me of the work of, architect, Leon Krier.
    – alrob
    Aug 11, 2020 at 18:17
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    As I said, you would normally not leave out an article. Although you've put architect between a parenthetical comma pair so that, in this case, it's outside normal conventions of grammar to some degree (actual parentheses would be better), it's still quite unusual. Aug 11, 2020 at 18:26
  • 3
    (2) and (3) are in my view unacceptable. (2) with a restating appositive should not have a comma, so (1) is the correct version. // (4) 'This reminded me of the work of Leon Krier, architect.' is really extragrammatical but is sometimes seen. But then you've really crossed the boundary into peripheral styles, which have looser rules. Aug 11, 2020 at 18:38
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? essential vs. nonessential phrases Aug 11, 2020 at 18:47

1 Answer 1

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In these kinds of sentences the comma is used to indicate supplemental information - in other words information that is not necessary to understand the sentence, but adds to it.

If the information is not supplemental, but necessary, you don't put a comma.

For example:

This reminds me of the work of the President of the United States, Donald Trump.

"Donald Trump" is supplemental information because "President of the United States" completely identifies the person. But

This reminds me of the work of former President of the United States George W Bush.

"George Bush" is not supplemental because it is necessary to distinguish which of the former presidents is being talked about.

Likewise if you only have one sister you write:

This reminds me of the work of my sister, Karen.

But if you have several sisters you write:

This reminds me of the work of my sister Karen.

In your example "architect" is not sufficient to identify the person, so the name is not supplemental. The first sentence is the correct one. (The third is completely wrong.)

Incidentally you could write:

This reminded me of the work of Leon Krier, architect.

because "Leon Krier" completely identifies the person and "architect" is supplemental information.

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