comma btw subject and verb: Whether he can play... or not, depends on

Akasaka

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello everyone,

Whether he can play with the team tomorrow or not, depends on his condition.

Is this comma necessary here? Can I do without it?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Monkey F B I

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Leave the comma out. I believe it's a comma splice as you have it now.

    Also, you may want to consider changing the order to "Whether or not he can play with the team tomorrow depends on his condition."
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It's not what I would call a comma splice (two independent clauses separated by a comma, no conjunction) but I don't see what purpose a comma would serve here.
     

    Akasaka

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    It's not what I would call a comma splice (two independent clauses separated by a comma, no conjunction) but I don't see what purpose a comma would serve here.
    Thanks panjandrum,
    I assume the comma here indicates the end of the noun clause.
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Thanks panjandrum,
    I assume the comma here indicates the end of the noun clause.
    That may be the intention, but that is not the purpose of a comma. There should be no comma after the subject if it is directly followed by the verb, as in this case. The comma is incorrect. A comma, as is the case in this sentence, might appear after the subject if the sentence is interrupted, but there is no interruption in your example.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I have quite often seen the sort of comma that Akasaka is proposing. It seems to arise when a spoken version of the sentence has a break that is longer than between the other words in the sentence: "... tomorrow * or * not ** depends ..." where the * represents a given duration spoken space - the longer space here sets off the clauses as Akasaka would like to do in written form.

    I agree that it is not necessary and by most rules it would be considered incorrect. However, I think it helps non-native speakers trying to deconstruct a complex sentence to understand its meaning (as one might do in what we used to call "parsing" or denoting the clauses in English grammar lessons) in the same way the spoken version does.
     
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