Which parallel to "a growing number of ..."

ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

However, other areas like improving maternal and newborn health still need much more attention. Similarly, diseases of the poor such as neglected tropical disease, and a growing number of health problems associated with noncommunicable diseases continue to be widespread, notwithstanding the fact that for the most part they are easy to prevent and treat.

(This come from a study book introducing how to translate English into Chinese. I don't find it origin.)

How to parse the underlined part?
Diseases of the poor such as: 1. neglected tropical disease; 2. a growing number of ... diseases
Or:
1. Diseases of the poor such as neglected tropical disease
2. A growing number of ... diseases

Are they both possible grammatically? If not, would you please tell me the reason?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, the two parts you’ve underlined are the two separate issues being mentioned. But, as in other examples from this book, the punctuation is really poor. Is that intentional?
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    The comma before "and" tells me that your second reading is correct.
    I was taught "A and B", "A, B, C, and D".
    But is "A, and B" OK? If yes, when is this comma needed/used? I feel it is needed when the "A" is long (like "A such as ..., and B" in #1). I don't know about the usage of the comma here.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    A and B — the conjunction joins them, so no comma is needed.

    With 3 or more items, each has a comma after it, BUT the one before the conjunction does not need one (it’s optional).
    A, B, C, D and E :tick:
    A, B, C, D, and E :tick: (mainly American usage, with what’s called the Oxford comma before the conjunction)
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There is no A and B there. I take it you mean the comma after “tropical disease”. That one is added to indicate a pause and to avoid ambiguity. The sentence is badly punctuated, as I said. It can’t be taken as an example of how to do it properly. It would be clearer as follows, with the “such as” phrase enclosed in commas:

    Similarly, diseases of the poor, such as neglected tropical disease, and [also] a growing number of health problems associated with noncommunicable diseases, continue to be widespread, notwithstanding the fact that for the most part they are easy to prevent and treat.
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    There is no A and B there. I take it you mean the comma after “tropical disease”.
    I mean A is "diseases of the poor such as neglected tropical disease"; B is "a growing number of health problems...diseases".
    A (diseases of the poor such as neglected tropical disease), and B (a growing number of health problems associated with noncommunicable diseases)
    That one is added to indicate a pause and to avoid ambiguity. ...
    Similarly, diseases of the poor, such as neglected tropical disease, and [also] a growing number of health problems associated with noncommunicable diseases, continue to be widespread, notwithstanding the fact that for the most part they are easy to prevent and treat.
    Do you mean without the above red comma, "such as" would apply to "a growing number of..."? So the red comma has to be added.

    A comma is not needed if there is no "such as...", i.e. diseases of the poor and a growing number of health problems.... Right?
     
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