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Section 8.2.9

Superfluous Commas

Except after an introductory dependent clause, donot use a comma to separate a dependent clause from a mainclause unless the dependent clause provides nonessential information. Seealso Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Modifiers.


Unacceptable

Ever since the atomistic view of matter came to be accepted, it has beena burning question, how to see into the microworld ofmolecular chemistry.

Acceptable

Ever since the atomistic view of matter came to be accepted, it has beena burning question how to see into the microworld of molecular chemistry.

--Adapted from Philip Ball, Designing the Molecular World


Do not set off a clause that is essential to the sentence. Such clauses oftenbegin with that.


Unacceptable

Systematic surveys of the ocean floor revealed, thatthere were submarine mountain ranges, that extended forthousands of kilometers.

Acceptable

Systematic surveys of the ocean floor revealed thatthere were submarine mountain ranges that extended forthousands of kilometers.


Do not use a comma to separate the subject from therest of the sentence.


Unacceptable

A biosensor that produces a changing electrical signal inresponse to levels of glucose in the bloodstream of diabetics, could beused to control the release of insulin so as to maintain the concentration ofblood sugar at a steady, safe level.

Acceptable

A biosensor that produces a changing electrical signal inresponse to levels of glucose in the bloodstream of diabetics could beused to control the release of insulin so as to maintain the concentration ofblood sugar at a steady, safe level.

--Adapted from Philip Ball, Designing the Molecular World


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## Superfluous Commas ##
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