comma before 'and' [conjunction]: different, and hence conflictual,


Senior Member
Different, and hence conflictual, they are, especially in the present case, as they have irreconcilable principles.

I have separated conflictual and different with commas to precise that I only refer to the former when I mention "especially in the present case". Am I making an arguably correct usage, although perhaps a bit too implicit?
  • I hope you will forgive me for saying this, but the topic sentence uses the kind of inversion that is declared as alien in another current thread (Can I say "Welcome, you are"?).

    Rather than comment on the commas, I think it would be much better if you were to re-express the sentence without the inversion.
    There's nothing absolutely wrong with this sort of inversion; it should not be used often, however. It emphasizes the qualities "different" and "conflictual" and is certainly stronger in force than simply "they are different and hence conflictual." This reordering is often used to contradict an assumption or some point raised earlier. For instance, in this case, people might have some reason to believe that "they" are not different. The author uses the inversion to assert that, in fact, they are.

    I know of at least one common example: "Right you are!"

    Language learners should be very careful of inverted constructions in general. They will sound VERY odd, if not used in the proper situation.
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    I see no problem with inverting per se, or with the commas, but to make clear that "especially in the present case" is to modify only "different", it should not be stranded so far away from "different". For this reason, I feel that interposing "they are" conflicts with that purpose.