0

Some things[,] that have a value[,] derive their value from other things.

The first comma seems like it would only be valid if "that" were switched for "which", but obviously "which" feels wrong in this context. The second comma seems to be too strong of a pause in the sentence flow when read aloud but, without it, the subject of the trailing clause "feels" ambiguous. I say "feels", because obviously there is no ambiguity to speak of; rather, without the second comma, the flow of the sentence feels like it places emphasis on the middle part of the sentence rather than the subject.

How should the sentence be punctuated, or alternatively, how should the sentence be rearranged to flow more correctly than it currently does?

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Sep 12 '17 at 13:28

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

  • 2
    Why do you want to insert commas? "That have a value" is an integrated relative clause, thus commas would be quite wrong here. – BillJ Sep 10 '17 at 8:25
  • @BillJ I explained my thought process in the question. Not sure what was unclear...? Why the downvote? – Nathan Ridley Sep 10 '17 at 11:24
  • Sorry, Nathan, I gave you another downvote because I think Bill's wholly correct. How can you say obviously there is no ambiguity to speak of then ask a question which is only about ambiguity then not accept a clear and simple answer. Do you think this might be better in English Language Learners? – Robbie Goodwin Sep 11 '17 at 22:48
  • @RobbieGoodwin I thought it was obvious, but maybe I was wrong - I'm ok with that. Shame that meant I got a downvote rather than just discussing it with me though :-( – Nathan Ridley Sep 12 '17 at 3:06
  • Mainly I was just given pause because it seemed like there should be a comma there, but I couldn't put my finger on what was actually correct, hence my posing the original question. I'd hoped for some assistance clarifying this. Downvoted instead though. My apologies if I violated any guidelines I was unaware of. If I may make a suggestion- newer users will be less inclined to opt out of participation if they are engaged with before being penalised for any unwitting lack of clarity in their questions. – Nathan Ridley Sep 12 '17 at 3:09

Your Answer

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