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If we are using a comma, with as or at then that implies a dependent non restrictive part of the sentence, but how do you determine what is restrictive or not?

1.My best friend committed suicide because he was being bullied for being blind, at his high school shortly after this song was released.

For instance: similar sentence structure.

2.He lost his home and his job, at a time when America was in a financial depression.

Comma: as it is non essential to the meaning of the sentence and makes logical sense eitherway.

But even without the comma 1. still makes no sense as it would imply the suicide was a result of being blind at school.



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panda blue 4831.My best friend committed suicide because he was being bullied for being blind, at his high school shortly after this song was released.

It's writer's choice for the most part, but you can do it wrong, like here. The problem is word order, and the comma, far from helping, trips the reader up because he wonders what it is doing there. Try "My best friend committed suicide shortly after this song was released because he was being bullied at his high school for being blind.

Whenever you are tempted to fix something with punctuation, take another look and see whether you can't fix it with words.

panda blue 4832.He lost his home and his job, at a time when America was in a financial depression.

This comma is defensible, I guess, as a dramatic pause, but it does not add anything: "He lost his home and his job at a time when America was in a financial depression."

Stick with mandatory commas, and you won;t go far wrong. Any good stylebook will give you the rules.

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panda blue 483how do you determine what is restrictive or not?

This distinction applies primarily to modifiers of nouns. In your examples you have adjuncts which are adverbial in nature. In my opinion both of your commas are wrong.

However, as already stated in another reply, you may want to make a dramatic pause in the second example. I'd use a dash for that.

He lost his home and his job — at a time when America was in a financial depression.

CJ