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Can anyone please advise me as to which of the following is correct?

1. In some developing Asian countries such as China the population has risen considerably over the past fifty years.

2. In some developing Asian countries such as China, the population has risen considerably over the past fifty years.

3. In some developing Asian countries, such as China, the population has risen considerably over the past fifty years.

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Hello, Steven123—Sentence (3) has the best punctuation. Sentence (2) is better than (1) because long introductory prepositional phrases are customarily set off with a comma in modern English.

When "such as" functions purely to introduce one or more examples in the middle of a sentence, the "such as" phrase should be set off with commas. That is how "such as" is functioning here. Hence (3) is better than (2).

It is perhaps worthwhile to note that "such as" is occasionally found with a more restrictive meaning indicating both identity and similarity, and in that case "such as" is not set off with a comma. The following two sentences are equivalent:

(2a) In such developing Asian countries as China, the population has risen considerably over the past fifty years.

(2b) In developing Asian countries such as China, the population has risen considerably over the past fifty years.

Notice that I have eliminated "some" in (2a) and (2b), to get them to work.

Last edited by David, Moderator

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