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comma before 'both' [adverb]: escalated it, both in and out of

Discussion in 'English Only' started by pyroknife, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. pyroknife Junior Member

    American Eng
    This is a sentence written by me to describe some of my classes:
    Introductory physics courses sparked my interest in fluid mechanics while the upper level course, Mechanics, escalated it, both in and out of the classroom.

    There is quite a few commas placed in close proximity. Mechanics is the name of the upper level course.
    My question is do I need a comma in front of the word both?
    It sounds appropriate to have a brief pause there.
     
  2. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    I don't think that the comma is essential, pyroknife.
     
  3. pyroknife Junior Member

    American Eng
    If you say the sentence out loud, wouldn't there be a natural pause before both?
     
  4. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    Pausing when reading a sentence out loud does not necessitate the presence of a comma at the site of the pause nor does the presence of a comma in the sentence necessitate that you pause at the site of the comma.
    I like commas, but I wouldn't put one between every word and its neighbour.

    See here: "I don't think that the comma is essential, pyroknife." A big ol' comma between your name and an adjective, but I wouldn't pause when reading it. Would you?
     

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