comma with absolute construction: A striking figure, she commands...

  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The reason is that the example you give inverts the normal word order. The comma is used to indicate the parenthetical nature of the first clause.

    Example:

    Bilbo, a hobbit, had hairy toes. == Bilbo (a hobbit) had hairy toes. (Normal word order)

    A hobbit, Bilbo had hairy toes. == (A hobbit) Bilbo had hairy toes. (Inverted word order)


    The meanings of the phrases above are identical. The unusual word order is a literary device and would not be used in normal speech.

    So:

    Summitt (A tall, striking figure on- and off-court) commands respect wherever she goes. = (A tall, striking figure on- and off-court) Summitt commands respect wherever she goes.


    I hope this helps.
     
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