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He gave the music away for nothing because he believed it should be as freely available as the air you breathed, or as the wild blackberries and raspberries he used to gorge on, growing up, in the woods near Tacoma in Washington state.

It seems that the bold part ("growing up, in...") from an article is a participle phrase, but why did the writer put a comma after "growing up"?

2 Answers 2

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Without the comma, the sentence would imply that he grew up in the woods. With the comma, it was the fruit that was in the woods.

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Without the second comma

he used to gorge on, growing up in the woods near Tacoma in Washington state.

means he grew up in the woods, but in your sentence the second comma makes "growing up" a subordinate clause.

he used to gorge on in the woods near Tacoma in Washington state.

Since it is not necessary to the understanding of the sentence and it is offset by commas.

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