Regardless of a nasty repute as some of the complicated components of English grammar, the comma really follows pretty easy guidelines.
Chief amongst them is that the necessity for commas is primarily decided by the necessity for readability.
In different phrases, you actually solely want a comma when the meaning of a sentence or its clauses doesn’t make sense with out one.
Whether or not a comma is required earlier than or after sure phrases is a typical grammar query. That is comprehensible should you strive to memorize set guidelines for every phrase.
What’s extra helpful is to perceive the precise function a phrase, phrase or clause has in a sentence.
When you do that, commas you discover will fall into place like expertly organized dominoes.
This weblog will deal with the phrase “together with,” inspecting the methods the phrase is utilized in sentences and when it requires a comma.
Do you want a comma earlier than “together with?”
Whether or not “together with” requires a comma will depend upon what the phrase is doing in your sentence. Whether it is a part of a non-restrictive or unessential clause or phrase, you want a comma. Alternatively, if “together with” is the beginning of a phrase that’s important to your sentence’s meaning, you shouldn’t add a comma. Though this rule is easy, it may be a bit difficult because the phrase “together with” is ambiguous. A method to give it some thought is that if what follows the phrase are objects important to the subject beneath dialogue, you shouldn’t add a comma. If what follows are just a few examples of issues relating to the subject, you do want a comma.
Comma guidelines for restrictive clauses and phrases
A phrase is a gaggle of phrases in a sentence that types a cohesive group or thought. Not like clauses, which should include no less than a verb and which frequently embody a topic or object, phrases can encompass any group of phrases.
The phrases “large plate of spaghetti” is a phrase, whereas “I ate the enormous plate of spaghetti” is a clause. The phrase “together with” primarily seems in phrases somewhat than clauses, so for the remainder of this put up we’ll stick to discussing phrases.
When a phrase is restrictive or important, meaning it extra fully defines the principle clause of the sentence.
One simple means to inform you probably have a restrictive phrase is by eradicating it, as a result of that may change the meaning of the sentence or make it nonsensical.
For instance, within the sentence “My brother solely eats meals together with french fries,” the phrase “together with french fries” is restrictive.
It’s simple to inform, as a result of with that phrase eliminated the sentence turns into the somewhat odd “My brother solely eats meals.”
Commas earlier than “together with” in restrictive phrases
As you’ll be able to notice from the instance sentence above, restrictive phrases don’t use a comma earlier than them.
If we return to the concept that commas exist to add readability to a sentence, it’s apparent why: the dearth of a comma pulls the attention alongside the sentence to the tip with out stopping, in order that we all know all of the concepts it comprises are strongly linked.
Briefly, should you can’t take out the phrase that begins with “together with” out of your sentence, it’s restrictive and shouldn’t have a comma.
“Alfred’s girlfriend will solely go to see films together with vampires.”
“Jennifer hates listening to songs together with bagpipes.”
In each of those sentences, the phrases “together with vampires” and “together with bagpipes” are important to understanding the meaning.
As with our earlier french fry instance, the primary sentence here’s a bit odd with out its restrictive phrase there to inform us what sort of films Alfred’s girlfriend likes.
Equally, we’d have a tendency to look askance at Jennifer if she hates listening to any sort of music in any respect.
This clues us into the truth that we’re coping with restrictive phrases, and meaning we must always not insert a comma.
“Jennifer’s favourite singers are all ladies, together with Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Aretha Franklin.”
“The actress was a well-known speaker for a lot of causes, together with her means to make individuals cry.”
In these examples, the phrase comma earlier than “together with” lets us know what follows is a listing of examples that we will safely skip.
Within the second sentence, we all know that the actress’s means to make individuals cry is just one motive she’s a well-known speaker.
We don’t know what the others could be, however we all know that there are others, and even when we didn’t checklist something we might nonetheless know she was well-known for multiple motive.
Are you able to think about the primary sentence with out the comma? It could mean that the singers Jennifer like are actually the three singers following mixed right into a single particular person.
Whereas which may make for an fascinating science fiction movie, it doesn’t make a lot sense!
“Together with” or “That Contains”?
It’s value noting that whereas they’re grammatically appropriate, sentences with a restrictive phrase and the phrase “together with” look and sound somewhat odd.
Sometimes, a restrictive phrase utilizing this phrase would take the shape “that embody” (or “that features” or “that included”) as a substitute of “together with.”
Rewritten to match that sample, our instance sentence about bagpipes would appear to be this: “Jennifer hates listening to songs that embody bagpipes.”
Whereas each types are grammatical, you’d be best served to rephrase any sentences that include a restrictive clause or phrase starting with “together with.”
As a bonus, this implies you don’t have to fear about whether or not or not you want a comma earlier than “together with,” as a result of you’ll be able to keep in mind that it solely wants to seem in non-restrictive phrases, which all the time use a comma.
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