Skip to main content

When used nonrestrictively, a parenthetical can start with a coordinating conjunction. E.g.1, "I like bachelors, or unmarried men, because they are fun."

However, I see writers using parentheticals with a coordinating conjunction that are clearly adding new information to the sentence and thus are restrictive. E.g.2, "These apples, and the bananas next to them, are delicious."

The commas in e.g.2 look entirely unnecessary and incorrect to me. Are they?  

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

When used nonrestrictively, a parenthetical can start with a coordinating conjunction. E.g.1, "I like bachelors, or unmarried men, because they are fun."

However, I see writers using parentheticals with a coordinating conjunction that are clearly adding new information to the sentence and thus are restrictive. E.g.2, "These apples, and the bananas next to them, are delicious."

The commas in e.g.2 look entirely unnecessary and incorrect to me. Are they?  

Hi, GreenThunderBolt—When "or" introduces a word or phrase that is to be interpreted as semantically equivalent to the word or phrase preceding "or" (that is, when "or" is the "or" of equivalence), it is normally set off by a comma.

Yes, in (2), the commas are unnecessary. Their presence has the effect of emphasizing the conjunct phrase ("and the bananas next to them"). The commas are not incorrect if that is what the writer wants to do.

Last edited by David, Moderator

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×