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Author Topic: Stupid comma question  (Read 378 times)

reese07

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Stupid comma question
« on: October 29, 2007, 10:49:06 PM »
So it's coming down to the wire. I'm planning on submitting my apps this week and I'm putting the final touches on my PS. I need help with a sentence and whether i need a comma. Here it is:


"At the age of seven (comma?) I decided to pursue..."

Do I need a comma there? Thanks...

Ender Wiggin

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Re: Stupid comma question
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2007, 11:00:21 PM »
So it's coming down to the wire. I'm planning on submitting my apps this week and I'm putting the final touches on my PS. I need help with a sentence and whether i need a comma. Here it is:


"At the age of seven (comma?) I decided to pursue..."

Do I need a comma there? Thanks...

You should use a comma.  The sentence would make sense if you didn't include the phrase "At the age of seven," so it is proper to use the comma. 

If you are interested (and most of us should be, since we are going into a profession that requires a lot of writing), http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/default.aspx has some wonderful tips for improving writing.  That's the link for the "Grammar Girl" podcast.  She gives great advice for such things as when to use who or whom, which vs that, i.e. or e.g., and many other common questions.  (Sorry to shill for her, but I have found her podcast incredibly helpful.)

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Sra

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Re: Stupid comma question
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2007, 05:13:07 PM »
A comma in this situation is a matter of preference. Simple English sentences are structured as SVO -- subject verb object, and anything preceding the SV is usually offset by a comma. However, this rule is more important when the information preceding the SV is rather lengthy, and as a matter of personal preference, I find that some commas in this position can upset the flow of the sentence. I think that's the case with this sentence, and I'd leave the comma out. But this isn't a huge grammatical issue, and no one will think less of you either way.

ManTGeo

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Re: Stupid comma question
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2007, 05:35:33 PM »
A comma in this situation is a matter of preference. Simple English sentences are structured as SVO -- subject verb object, and anything preceding the SV is usually offset by a comma. However, this rule is more important when the information preceding the SV is rather lengthy, and as a matter of personal preference, I find that some commas in this position can upset the flow of the sentence. I think that's the case with this sentence, and I'd leave the comma out. But this isn't a huge grammatical issue, and no one will think less of you either way.

+1

Ender Wiggin

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Re: Stupid comma question
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2007, 05:48:02 PM »
A comma in this situation is a matter of preference. Simple English sentences are structured as SVO -- subject verb object, and anything preceding the SV is usually offset by a comma. However, this rule is more important when the information preceding the SV is rather lengthy, and as a matter of personal preference, I find that some commas in this position can upset the flow of the sentence. I think that's the case with this sentence, and I'd leave the comma out. But this isn't a huge grammatical issue, and no one will think less of you either way.

Sorry--I could have been more clear about that.  I was posting at work, and didn't have as much time as I would have liked.  I should have said that--at least as a general rule--you won't be wrong if you include the comma.  As you said, in many cases it is a matter of personal preference.  I tend to err on the side of including the comma in most cases, but not nearly as often as they did in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

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