username1396673
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  • Hey, has anyone heard of the comma sandwich rule? Is it an accurate rule? It's when we have three clauses in a sentence separated with commas.If the clause in the middle is removed the sentence will still make sense, like this:

    Sarah, who works for the hospital, felt sick on the way home from work.

    So if I removed the middle sentence, it would look like this:

    Sarah felt sick on the way home from work.
    SEE IT STILL MAKES SENSE

    But then I saw this sentence and got confused. I saw this on one of the grammar sites while researching for answers.
    Is this correct use of commas too, but when I remove the middle bit the sentence is effected, and the sentence does not make sense at all:

    While Tom reads novels, jack reads comics, but Sam reads only magazines.

    If I removed the middle part set of with commas, then it would look like this:

    Whiles Tom reads novels but Sam reads only magazines.
    IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE!

    Please someone explain!!
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tory88
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You are right about the first sentence, and this is a correct use of commas - to contain a separate clause which adds additional information, but could be removed.

Your second sentence, however, is different. Here, the sentence is communicating a series of events, and so is not using the comma sandwich rule. There must be a comma before but, and also before Jack. This is a different rule, however, and so the sentence doesn't have to make sense with the middle bit removed.
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(Original post by tory88)
You are right about the first sentence, and this is a correct use of commas - to contain a separate clause which adds additional information, but could be removed.

Your second sentence, however, is different. Here, the sentence is communicating a series of events, and so is not using the comma sandwich rule. There must be a comma before but, and also before Jack. This is a different rule, however, and so the sentence doesn't have to make sense with the middle bit removed.
This is slightly confusing. Can you give me some examples where you would not use comma sandwich rules when combining three clauses in one sentence.
Thank you!

Is this correctly punctuated:

When I had my first pet, john decided to name our pet dog derp, as it reminded us of our long lost friend who went to travel the world.

The business will need to abide by the strict rules, as this may enable them to be successful, and because these rules will enable us to proceed every task from the best of our ability.

While the students wait for their final GCSE results, they get impatient and noisy, since they are unable to contain their excitement.
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tory88
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(Original post by Highfiveyou)
This is slightly confusing. Can you give me some examples where you would not use comma sandwich rules when combining three clauses in one sentence.
Thank you!

Is this correctly punctuated:

When I had my first pet, john decided to name our pet dog derp, as it reminded us of our long lost friend who went to travel the world.

The business will need to abide by the strict rules, as this may enable them to be successful, and because these rules will enable us to proceed every task from the best of our ability.

While the students wait for their final GCSE results, they get impatient and noisy, since they are unable to contain their excitement.
All three sentences are correct grammatically, as far as I can tell, but are quite clunky. Try to write sentences which flow when you say them aloud, using commas to punctuate small pauses in the speech.
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(Original post by tory88)
All three sentences are correct grammatically, as far as I can tell, but are quite clunky. Try to write sentences which flow when you say them aloud, using commas to punctuate small pauses in the speech.
Clunky? So if I used this method in other subjects other than english, then will I be penalised?

Thank you for the feedback!
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tory88
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(Original post by Highfiveyou)
Clunky? So if I used this method in other subjects other than english, then will I be penalised?

Thank you for the feedback!
You're unlikely to be penalised, provided the message is clear. Clunky means that it doesn't flow very well - reading it aloud naturally leads to stumbling - and this means the message can be confused. If you focus on putting across your points, you should be fine.
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(Original post by tory88)
You're unlikely to be penalised, provided the message is clear. Clunky means that it doesn't flow very well - reading it aloud naturally leads to stumbling - and this means the message can be confused. If you focus on putting across your points, you should be fine.
How about this:
Together with the narrow range of consultation required, it also prevents diversity on the bench, which impacts upon judicial impartiality.

Is also setting off non essential parts from the sentence, so if I remove the middle it should still make clear sense.

Is this called an appositive?
And can conjunctions be used with appositives?

You have been a massive help to me. Thanks.
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tory88
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I believe that's still gramatically correct, but still a little clunky. A better way to say it would be:

"It, together with the narrow range of consultation required, also prevents diversity on the bench, impacting upon judicial impartiality."

I don't believe you are using an appositive. As I understand it, an appositive adds information about a noun; this is not what you're doing.

(Original post by Highfiveyou)
How about this:
Together with the narrow range of consultation required, it also prevents diversity on the bench, which impacts upon judicial impartiality.

Is also setting off non essential parts from the sentence, so if I remove the middle it should still make clear sense.

Is this called an appositive?
And can conjunctions be used with appositives?

You have been a massive help to me. Thanks.
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(Original post by tory88)
I believe that's still gramatically correct, but still a little clunky. A better way to say it would be:

"It, together with the narrow range of consultation required, also prevents diversity on the bench, impacting upon judicial impartiality."

I don't believe you are using an appositive. As I understand it, an appositive adds information about a noun; this is not what you're doing.
This is my main problem I don't know how to punctuate when there are three clauses in a sentence with a comma.

Please help. Show me how you would punctuate a sentence with three clauses with a comma and why.
Thanks.

Is this more accurate: The business will have to proceed every task in the right way, to meet the criteria of the businesses' aims and objectives, ensuring every task is proceeded accurately and up to standard.

Have I used the commas correctly?

Some say you can't use a comma unless their is a cordinating conjunction that comes after the comma. I'm just really unsure.
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tory88
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(Original post by Highfiveyou)
This is my main problem I don't know how to punctuate when there are three clauses in a sentence with a comma.

Please help. Show me how you would punctuate a sentence with three clauses with a comma and why.
Thanks.

Is this more accurate: The business will have to proceed every task in the right way, to meet the criteria of the businesses' aims and objectives, ensuring every task is proceeded accurately and up to standard.

Have I used the commas correctly?

Some say you can't use a comma unless their is a cordinating conjunction that comes after the comma. I'm just really unsure.
Your commas are fine, although you can't proceed a task (you can proceed WITH a task, however). There really isn't any foolproof way, except experience - this is why people always say English is a difficult language to master, even if it is easy to learn to speak. My best advice is to read as much good writing as possible (respected newspapers, higher tier magazines or decent novels - not pulp fiction - are all good).
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(Original post by tory88)
Your commas are fine, although you can't proceed a task (you can proceed WITH a task, however). There really isn't any foolproof way, except experience - this is why people always say English is a difficult language to master, even if it is easy to learn to speak. My best advice is to read as much good writing as possible (respected newspapers, higher tier magazines or decent novels - not pulp fiction - are all good).
Thanks Tory. Yes, you're right commas are hard to master. Before I never really knew the rules and decided to pop them wherever I would pause, but now I'm on edge. Everywhere I studied I got taught different rules, and it does get confusing. If I do have three clauses I'll just use the pausing rule. I've had enough of commas they are annoying. They also make me feel less confident while writing important pieces of work. I just hate getting anxious. They're not as simples as they may seem.
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(Original post by tory88)
Your commas are fine, although you can't proceed a task (you can proceed WITH a task, however). There really isn't any foolproof way, except experience - this is why people always say English is a difficult language to master, even if it is easy to learn to speak. My best advice is to read as much good writing as possible (respected newspapers, higher tier magazines or decent novels - not pulp fiction - are all good).

I had one more question. Can I use a comma before a subordinating conjunction like this:

The whole school had half day, since it was parents evening.
Or
Since it was parents evening, the whole school had half day.

Some say never put a comma when the independent clause comes first. I'm unsure as American rules and UK rules are different. By the way are you a student? If you don't mind me asking.

When I do look online for answers, there are hardly any UK based rules as most of them are American.
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tory88
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(Original post by Highfiveyou)
I had one more question. Can I use a comma before a subordinating conjunction like this:

The whole school had half day, since it was parents evening.
Or
Since it was parents evening, the whole school had half day.

Some say never put a comma when the independent clause comes first. I'm unsure as American rules and UK rules are different. By the way are you a student? If you don't mind me asking.

When I do look online for answers, there are hardly any UK based rules as most of them are American.
Your second sentence is correct (the first one works without the comma there, but is less free-flowing). I've just graduated from a physics degree and am now training to teach physics and maths in secondary schools. But I am also a semi-professional book reviewer in my spare time, so I do have some exposure to writing for publication beyond lab reports.
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(Original post by tory88)
Your second sentence is correct (the first one works without the comma there, but is less free-flowing). I've just graduated from a physics degree and am now training to teach physics and maths in secondary schools. But I am also a semi-professional book reviewer in my spare time, so I do have some exposure to writing for publication beyond lab reports.
Oh, good on you!
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JLOGorgeous
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You have to leave out or omit the conjunction ‘but.’ Why? Because it was there to connect a phrase or a clause in the first place. So there are some exceptions to the rule, when you remove the middle sentence. That is why you should always read sentences out loud.

Therefore the above sentence should read: Whilst Tom reads novels; Sam reads only magazines. Instead of a comma — a semicolon is used to show the comparison.
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