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Use commas to enclose nonrestrictive clauses or phrases, which are not essential to the sentence's meaning.

Examples

  • Incorrect: The bus driver with her ears tuned to the roar decided to take the grumbling bus on a detour across the football field.

  • Correct: The bus driver, her ears tuned to the roar, decided to take the grumbling bus on a detour across the football field.

  • Incorrect: My window as dirty as it is reveals the beauty of nature on a snowy morning.

  • Correct: My window, as dirty as it is, reveals the beauty of nature on a snowy morning.

  • Incorrect: King and Lucille, his customized black Gibson have electrified audiences all over the world.

  • Correct: King and Lucille, his customized black Gibson, have electrified audiences all over the world.

    References

    More information about this rule is available from the following sources.

    Online Resources:
  • The Elements of Style: rule 3

Printed Resources: (see Books on Writing section)

  • Strunk and White: 1-3
  • Hacker: P1-e