1. victo
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    victo Active Member

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    Drop the commas before the verbs?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by victo, Jun 4, 2015.

    Would you omit the comma before the verbs (that is, "are") below in each example sentence? I've bracketed the questionable commas for easy reference.
    Thank you.


    Hammers, screwdrivers, and so on[,] are needed for this undertaking.

    Hammers, screwdrivers, and so forth[,] are needed for this undertaking.

    Hammers, screwdrivers, etc.[,] are needed for this undertaking.
     
  2. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Yes you drop them there because the second part of the sentence after the list relies on the first part to make any sense.

    I'm sure someone can put it into technical terms for you. It's 3:48 a.m. for me and my brains frazzled.
     
  3. victo
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    victo Active Member

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    Darn! Go catch some Z's. :)
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Technically, (and I'm pantsing here) the 'etcetera' clauses are part of the list, aren't they? Hammers, screwdrivers, etcetera are needed for this job. Hammers, screwdrivers, and so forth are needed for this job. Hammers, screwdrivers, and nails are needed for this job.

    I think you could leave the comma out and be correct. However, commas are not absolutes. I'm of the school that they should be used to make a sentence read as clearly as possible (at least in fiction.) So I don't have a problem with : Hammers, screwdrivers, etcetera, are needed for this job. Hammers, screwdrivers, and so forth, are needed for this job.
     

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