comma with shared object: commit, and take responsib. for, suicide

Doña Inés

French France
Hello everyone !

I am writing an essay about euthanasia, and I am not sure whether my use of commas is correct in the following sentence : "The states don't have to provide the means to commit, and thus takeresponsibility for, suicide". If I am not mistaken, there is some kind of rule that allows to put two verbs with different prepositions before a noun if the second verb is put between commas, but I am not sure of how it works exactly...
Thank you for your help !
  • Yes, you have the punctuation right. 'Suicide' is the direct object of 'commit' but the object of the preposition 'for' in the second clause, so the two verbs do not share it in a common position:

    commit [suicide]
    take [responsibility] [for suicide]

    So the shared word 'suicide' has to be moved up and out to the right:

    {commit [__] and take [responsibility] [for __]} suicide

    To indicate that the syntax is dislocated like this, we pause at the two breaks (indicating this by a comma in writing):

    commit, and take responsibility for, suicide.

    Edit. The same thing is true if the word is shared between two different preposition phrases:

    think [about suicide]
    take [responsibility] [for suicide]
    think about, and take responsibility for, suicide.
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