Commas can be used to offset additional information in your sentence (called parenthesis). For example: |
While on holiday in London, Simon Schmidt, a fireman from New York, rescued a cat from a tree.
(also covered in the lesson Parenthesis)
Commas for ParenthesisCommas can be used to separate additional information (called parenthesis) from the rest of the sentence. It is also possible to use dashes or brackets. When used in this way, commas, dashes and brackets are called parentheses. (See lesson Parenthesis.)
Examples (with each example of parenthesis shaded):
Not Always Mid-SentenceA parenthesis is not always mid-sentence. For example:
Choose Your Parentheses to Assist Your ReaderAlthough the use of commas for parentheses makes for a normal-looking sentence, they can become confused with other commas in the sentence.
A parenthesis is additional information in a sentence. If a parenthesis is removed, the sentence still makes sense.
The defendant, Mr Michael Evans, sat in silence.
("Mr Michael Evans" is additional information. This is a parenthesis.)
The last owner of the Red Lion, who is my sister's friend, won over 4 million on The National Lottery.
("who is my sister's friend" is additional information. This is a parenthesis.)
Comments such as however, therefore, as a result, as far as I am concerned, etc. fall into the category of parenthesis too.
John Winfield, on the other hand, is an experienced jockey.
We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language. (Oscar Wilde)