Commas Part Four
Use a comma to separate nonessential or nonrestrictive clauses, participial
phrases, and appositives. A nonessential or nonrestrictive element adds
information that is not necessary to the sentence’s basic meaning.
• Nonessential or nonrestrictive clauses
The debate, which was attended by two hundred people, was exciting.
(The fact that two hundred people attended the debate is not
essential to the sentence’s basic meaning.)
ESSENTIAL CLAUSES: (Each underlined clause restricts the italicized
word that it modifies.)
The dress that Mom wore to the dinner last night was a gift from
A man who has confidence will go far.
• Nonessential or nonrestrictive participial phrases
My two buddies, posing for their high school reunion photo, have
worked for the government for the past thirty years. (The fact
that these two buddies are posing for their high school reunion
photo is not essential to the sentence’s meaning.)
ESSENTIAL PARTICIPIAL PHRASES: (Each underlined phrase restricts
the italicized word that it modifies.)
These cards left on the table belong to Gino.
The woman hailing the cab is my sister.
• Nonessential or nonrestrictive appositives
Stuart, my best friend, loves to laugh.
ESSENTIAL APPOSITIVE PHRASES: (Each underlined appositive phrase
restricts the italicized word that it modifies.)
Has your music teacher, Mrs. Brennan, given you the assignment?
The address, 1313 Mockingbird Lane, should ring a bell with televi-
sion viewers of that era..
My Account / Test History
Note: For boys, the period between 14-17 approximately (slightly younger for girls) is called adolescence, i.e. you are an adolescent. In law you are an adult at the age of 18, but many people think of you as an adult when you leave school.
Childhood and adolescence
Sam (on the right) was born in Scotland but when he was two, his father got a new job in London and he grew up in the south of England He went to university at 18 where he ...
... where he met Anthea. He went out with her (= she was his girlfriend; he was her boyfriend) for three years, but towards the end they had lots of rows (= arguments) and they split up (= broke up / separated). In his mid twenties ...
... in his mid twenties he met Maureen. They fell in love and got married within six months.
A year later she got pregnant and they had their first child, a boy. As you can see, she is now expecting their second child (to be pregnant = to be expecting a baby). But sadly Sam met another woman and he left Maureen two months ago to live with the other woman.