Recent graduates of our programme have gone on to work as developers, in spatial analysis,

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walkkker

Senior Member
Chinese
Recent graduates of our programme have gone on to work as developers, in spatial analysis, and a number have continued to PhDs.

Can I just delete this comma to make this sentence become "Recent graduates of our programme have gone on to work as developers in spatial analysis, and a number have continued to PhDs."? Are the two sentences the same?
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Both are correct, but their meanings are different.

    With the comma, it means that some recent graduates have gone on to work as developers, but perhaps not in spatial analysis. Some have also gone on to work in spatial analysis, but perhaps not as developers.

    Without the comma, it defines a much narrower field for recent graduates: developers (not any other position) in spatial analysis (not any other field).

    If you're familiar with set concepts, it's the difference between the union and the intersection of two sets. With the comma, the statement includes both circle A and circle B. Without the comma, it includes only the shaded area in the middle of the diagram.

    intersection_b.png


    (I have ignored the PhD clause. It's unrelated to your question.)
     

    walkkker

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Both are correct, but their meanings are different.

    With the comma, it means that some recent graduates have gone on to work as developers, but perhaps not in spatial analysis. Some have also gone on to work in spatial analysis, but perhaps not as developers.

    Without the comma, it defines a much narrower field for recent graduates: developers (not any other position) in spatial analysis (not any other field).

    If you're familiar with set concepts, it's the difference between the union and the intersection of two sets. With the comma, the statement includes both circle A and circle B. Without the comma, it includes only the shaded area in the middle of the diagram.

    View attachment 34987

    (I have ignored the PhD clause. It's unrelated to your question.)
    Thank you.
    I got it.
     
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