+0

Which of the following is correctly punctuated? In particular, should I use or drop the commas around "Brad"?

1) Louise is getting rid of her ex-husband's stuff when the wind blows and shuts her in the trash container. It's a good thing that her neighbor Brad hears her screams and goes to her rescue.

2) Louise is getting rid of her ex-husband's stuff when the wind blows and shuts her in the trash container. It's a good thing that her neighbor, Brad, hears her screams and goes to her rescue.

Thank you.

+0
teal limeshould I use or drop the commas around "Brad"?

Drop them.

CJ

1 2
Comments  
teal lime In particular, should I use or drop the commas around "Brad"?

If she only has one neighbor, like if they live in the Outback a hundred miles from the next nearest house, keep the commas. If Brad is just one of her neighbors, or it isn't important, lose the commas. It seems odd that we are just now learning his name.

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Commas are not needed unless Louise has only one neighbour.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.

Dear CJ:

Why should I drop them?

Is it an example of appositives? Or is this a case of restrictive or non-restrictive?

Thank you.

Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
teal limeis this a case of restrictive or non-restrictive?

I can only give you my own take on this. It might not necessarily conform to what the textbooks say.

When there is only a proper noun in apposition, I never bother to put commas around it. I don't even bother to work through the logic of "restrictive or non-restrictive". There are plenty of sources online that go into that distinction. In most good writing the probability of a proper noun in apposition being non-restrictive is quite low.


In the following examples I intend to tell the reader exactly who my neighbor is and exactly which planet I'm talking about.

My neighbor Brian is ...; The planet Jupiter is ...


If I've already written something about Brian or about Jupiter, there is seldom any good reason for me, later in my text, to remind the reader which neighbor or which planet I'm talking about by using

My neighbor, Brian, is ...; The planet, Jupiter, is ...

which comes across to me as

My neighbor, whose name is Brian, by the way, in case you've already forgotten, is ...
The planet, whose name is Jupiter, by the way, in case you've already forgotten, is ...

If the text is well written, and the reader already knows who Brian (or what Jupiter) is, all you need later in the text is

My neighbor is ...; The planet is ...
OR
Brian is ...; Jupiter is ...

CJ

Dear CJ:

Would you please explain this part of your answer? Thank you

In most good writing the probability of a proper noun in apposition being non-restrictive is quite low.

teal limeIn most good writing the probability of a proper noun in apposition being non-restrictive is quite low.

When the probability of something happening is low, it is very unlikely to happen. It almost never happens.

The name of a person is a typical example of a proper noun.

So I'm saying that it almost never happens that you need to put commas around a proper noun in apposition (a name that comes after another noun).


In actual practice, it seems to me that writers put commas (or not) almost randomly in such cases. Here are some examples I found online with the word "cousin":

Without commas:

She wrote from Denver City to her cousin Maurice Griffith in far-off California.
Down the street, Arafat Samuni, 36, was having coffee with his cousin Nadal, 30.
After Romeo kills Juliet's cousin Tybalt in a fit of passion, things fall apart.

With commas:

Lovensky Alexandre rides a bicycle while being pushed by his cousin, Jamy Denis.
Cassada and his cousin, Mark Carver of Gastonia, were arrested in December 2008.
Cliff Walker's cousin, Elbert Walker, was always one of detectives' top suspects.

It seems to me that the commas are used when the name of the cousin is regarded as less important in the mind of the writer. This has nothing to do with the idea of restrictive and non-restrictive modifiers.

CJ

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.

Would you write the second set of examples, those with commas, without them?

In other words, do you think the commas are necessary there?

Thank you

Show more