2

Difficulties faced by poor populations such as starvation or having no access to advanced educational resources touch young people’s hearts and drive them to use their talents to help those in need.

I read these Punctuation rules, and wondering whether I should change the sentence into this

Difficulties faced by poor populations, such as starvation or having no access to advanced educational resources, touch young people’s hearts and drive them to use their talents to help those in need.

If I should, is it because of rule 7b or rule 5, or both?

  • Rules are marvelous things, but never forget that language was originally and is still primarily a spoken medium. Speaking a sentence aloud is often a better guide to where (or whether at all) to interrupt the flow than is the pronouncement of any authority, however exalted it may be. – P. E. Dant Sep 29 '16 at 0:52
1

Yes, you should use commas exactly as in your second example, but the reason is, I think, more related to Rule 6 than the other two you mentioned:

Rule 6. If something or someone is sufficiently identified, the description that follows is considered nonessential and should be surrounded by commas.

You've already established the subject as "Difficulties faced by poor populations", so examples of those problems could be considered "nonessential information". Note that the clause containing the nonessential information can be pretty long, for example:

"My sister, who left home when she was three and didn't return until she was old enough to vote, is coming over for dinner."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.