0

A student asked me if it is correct to put a comma here in this question:

How can you determine, where the first one is and where the second is?

My instinct is that this is grammatically incorrect, and perhaps the correct sentence is:

How can you determine where the first one is, and where the second is?

Does anyone know which is right, and why?

1

How can you determine where the first one is, and where the second is?

The comma before "and" is optional. It is a stylistic choice.

How can you determine, where the first one is and where the second is?

The comma before "where" is wrong. We don't use a comma to separate the verb from its direct object - so in the same way that there is no comma in "How can you determine the answer?", there's no comma in this sentence, either. The fact that the direct object consists of a subordinate clause makes no difference.

In non-restrictive relative clauses, "where" is usually preceded by a comma: "The Old Red Lion, where he had left his hat, was still open."

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .