Quick Grammar question

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Emma.
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Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:57 pm

Quick Grammar question

Postby Emma. » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:36 pm

Can someone help me with this? Not a PS issue but seemed like the best place for this kind of question:

"I met with your colleague John Doe who spoke very highly of your work"

Commas before and after John Doe??

fusac8
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:51 am

Re: Quick Grammar question

Postby fusac8 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:47 pm

yep absolutely.

edit: ps it's called an apposition in case you want to look it up.

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thecilent
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Re: Quick Grammar question

Postby thecilent » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:49 pm

Commas before and after is your best bet

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Emma.
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Re: Quick Grammar question

Postby Emma. » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:14 pm

Thanks guys.

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verklempt
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Re: Quick Grammar question

Postby verklempt » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:06 pm

I would not use commas. In this sentence, I don't see "colleague" and "John Doe" as appositives. Rather, "colleague" serves as a straight modifier of "John Doe" and does not need commas. A few illustrative examples:

I went to talk to Senator Jane Doe about the bill being discussed.

I talked to a senator, Jane Doe, about the bill being discussed.

It's subtle, but it depends on what you are emphasizing. From my perspective, the emphasis is that John Doe is a colleague (no comma) not that you met with a colleague, a person by the name of John Doe (commas).

Bottom line: it's a nitpick of a choice; neither is wrong or ungrammatical.




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