comma before and after adverb: I like history, specifically, in the

Discussion in 'English Only' started by clandry, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. clandry Junior Member

    American English
    Let's say I used the sentence "I like history specifically in the field of US history."

    Where do the commas belong?

    This is what I think "I like history, specifically, in the field of US history."
    I also think "I like history, specifically in the field of US history" sounds right as well.
     
  2. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Welcome.
    Are you trying to say that the only history you like is US history and you don't like any other history?
    Or
    You like history and in particular you like the specific field of US history.

    I think this will affect the phrasing and punctuation,
     
  3. clandry Junior Member

    American English
    The latter - particular interest in US history.

    Would "particularly" be better instead of "specifically?"
     
  4. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Indeed, that will eliminate the confusion!

    I like history, particularly US history.
     
  5. clandry Junior Member

    American English
    Thanks!

    If instead, I meant US history as the "only" history. Would that require 2 commas?
     
  6. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Then you get into how clear or overt you want to be with regard to liking, being indifferent to or even disliking the other histories out there :D
     
  7. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I'm afraid I would be puzzled by "I like history specifically in the field of US history" whether or not you used commas, clandry:(.

    It's the "in" that would puzzle me....
     
  8. clandry Junior Member

    American English
    Is the use of "in" in "I like history, particularly in the field of US history" better?
     
  9. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I'm sorry, I would still find the "in" strange, clandry.

    The sentence, as written, implies that you would be happy to say "I like in the field of US history". Would you?:)
     
  10. clandry Junior Member

    American English
    Oh I see.

    What if I said:
    "I would like to contribute significantly to the field of history, particularly in the of US history?"
     
  11. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I guess there's a typo here, clandry:).

    It might be worth going back a step and asking what your real point is...?
     
  12. clandry Junior Member

    American English
    I would like to contribute significantly to the field of history, particularly to the of US history.
    Is that the typo?
     
  13. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Look a little bit to the right of "in." Do you see anything? (Probably you don't see something.)

    When you're wondering about comma use, say the sentence out loud to yourself. Where do you pause? Put the commas into the sentence where you pause. You wouldn't say:

    "I like history [pause] particularly [pause] US history."

    You would say:

    "I like history [pause] particularly US history."

    The commas go where the pauses go.
     
  14. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Clandry, you're really puzzling me:(

    Neither
    I would like to contribute significantly to the of US history.
    nor
    I would like to contribute significantly in the of US history.

    makes any sense to me.

    Perhaps I'm missing something?

    EDIT: I agree with lucas about putting commas where we put pauses in speech....

     
  15. clandry Junior Member

    American English
    I mean "I would like to contribute significantly to the field of history, particularly to/in the field of US history."
     
  16. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    Why not just say "particularly US history"?
     
  17. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Then, yes, I would probably use a comma.

    (Gosh, that was tough!:D)
     

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