comma before adjective phrase: put people in a room, alone except for

Discussion in 'English Only' started by jullianus, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. jullianus Senior Member

    Korean
    Hello.

    1.a. Many years ago, psychologists performed an experiment in which they put a number of people in a room, alone except for a ring toss set. It was one of those children’s toys with a short wooden post held upright on the floor and a bunch of round rings. (from Korean university entrance exam)

    I think that 'alone' modifies 'room' and 'alone except for a ring toss set' is essential. If so, why is 'comma' used before 'alone'? Is 'alone except for a ring toss set' non-essential?

    Thank you always~.
     
  2. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    "Alone" (or the full phrase, "alone except for a ring toss set") describes the people, not the room. The only thing in the room, besides the people, was the ring toss set.
     
  3. jullianus Senior Member

    Korean
    Thank you, Enmont~.

    But I can't still understand why comma is used before 'alone'.
     

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