Discussion in 'English Only' started by sus4, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. sus4

    sus4 Senior Member

    Japan - Japanese

    Under what condition is the preposition "include" preceded by a comma?

    1. It will cost you $65 including sales tax.[ref.] (No comma.)

    2. All on the plane were alive, including the pilot.

    3. Dwight Yoakam treated his fans to some of his classics, including "I Sand Dixie," at the festival.

    Do I have to place a comma before "including" in sentence 3? Until now, I've always put a comma when using the word "including," but now I wonder if there's any rule.

    Thank you.
  2. Aud Duck Senior Member

    Illinois, USA
    English--United States
    It's not based on the word "including," but what sort of grammatical function it has. You definitely need a comma in number 3, because "including" comes before a phrase that is not necessary to the meaning of the sentence. My English teachers have always told me that a good test for whether or not to use a comma is whether or not the sentence makes sense without the bit inside the commas. The sentence makes plenty of sense as "Dwight Yoakam treated his fans to some of his classics." Therefore, you do need a comma before "including."

    The same holds for number two. You could say "All on the plane were alive," and it would make sense. Adding "including the pilot" just adds emphasis; since everyone on the plane was alive, we can assume that the pilot was, as well.

    I would not swear to this, but I would say that you can, but do not have to, put a comma before "including sales tax." Wait for others to respond before you believe me on that one.

    In general, "including" prefaces statements that are not crucial to the meaning of a sentence; therefore, it usually requires a comma.
  3. sus4

    sus4 Senior Member

    Japan - Japanese
    Thank you for your help, Aud Duck.

    This is a very clear explanation. So, maybe the same rule holds for "such as" and "like"?

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