I want to mention an author's name with his discovery. What would be a smart way to say that:

Mr Adam (1808-1882), who first described the properties of "X"...

Is this wording grammatically correct?

I think it is correct a correct way to mention the author who discovered the X.

  • It's an incomplete sentence. Mr. Adam, who first described the properties of X, is a genius. Sep 13, 2013 at 9:25
  • Yes, what @VijayaRagavan said. Or, you could put your fragment at the end of a sentence: The reaction is named for Mr. Adam, who first described the properties of X.
    – J.R.
    Sep 13, 2013 at 9:51
  • I think that your question has been answered in the comments. If you'd like to see further discussion in more detailed answers, please edit your question to identify why you think this may or may not be grammatically correct, so there is more to say about the matter.
    – J.R.
    Sep 13, 2013 at 9:54
  • 1
    Update: I've reopened the question. It still seems a bit like proofreading (another no-no on ELL), but I'll acknowledge your effort to improve the question at least. We'll see what happens.
    – J.R.
    Sep 13, 2013 at 10:56
  • I've proposed an edit to your title to make it more constructive. Note that a vague "questions" (not really a question) like "grammar correction" is not in your interest; it reduces the chance that someone will open your question because they don't know what it's about. An actual summary of your question would be worth your effort. (I tend to get grammatical terms all mixed up in my own language, so I invite true grammarians to improve on what I came up with.) Apr 16, 2016 at 22:40

1 Answer 1


As VijayaRagavan and J.R said, your sentence is incomplete. In what context are you trying to use that information? If you are going to talk about Mr Adam and you want to mention his discovery along with his name, you need a second comma:

  • Mr Adam, [who first described the properties of X], [And here other things you want to say]

When you say "who first..." you are providing additional information. The use of the comma there would be to set off parenthetical elements. You can read more about this usage of the comma in this page, case number 4.

However if that is not your intention, if you just want to talk about him and his discovery in a paragraph, you can do it like this:

  • Mr Adam (1808-1882) was the first to describe the properties of X...

You can see plenty of examples of this in Wikipedia, for example: Richard Strauss

Richard Georg Strauss (11 June 1864 – 8 September 1949) was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras.

There is no need for the pause the comma provides. If you use the comma, it makes it seem like Mr Adam's discovery is not the main point of your sentence. It looks like you just want to add information so the reader can understand better or know more about Mr Adam, but the key component of your message is something else.

That is why everyone suggested using 2 commas. If however the discovery is the key part of what you want to say, you should directly talk about it.

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