Anonymous:
I would really appreciate your advice on whether a comma is necessary before 'rather than'.

If it were in the best interests of the plant to have its seeds spread by birds or any other means, rather than by humans, humans would be greatly discouraged from eating the fruit.

or

If it were in the best interests of the plant to have its seeds spread by birds or any other means rather than by humans, humans would be greatly discouraged from eating the fruit.

Thank you so much for your help.
Hi,

I would really appreciate your advice on whether a comma is necessary before 'rather than'.

If it were in the best interests of the plant to have its seeds spread by birds or any other means, rather than by humans, humans would be greatly discouraged from eating the fruit.

or

If it were in the best interests of the plant to have its seeds spread by birds or any other means rather than by humans, humans would be greatly discouraged from eating the fruit.

If the phrase 'or by any other means ' were not used, I'd punctuate the sentence like this.
If it were in the best interests of the plant to have its seeds spread by birds rather than by humans, humans would be greatly discouraged from eating the fruit.

As written, it seems unclear whether the phrase is intended this way
( by birds or any other non-human means ) (rather than by humans)
or this way
( by birds) (or any other means rather than by humans).
Which do you think is the intended meaning?

I would prefer to reword the sentence to clarify, rather than to rely on commas.

Best wishes, Clive

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Anonymous:
Thank you for your advice Clive.
The sentence is supposed to mean (by birds or any other non-human means) (rather than humans).
Thank you, I will try to reword the sentence.
Thank you for your time,
Anne.
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