After he lit the room, with the flashlight he had in his pocket, he read the papers he found on the desk.

Can you put a comma between with and pocket? I am thinking it can be done if the "with the flashlight he had in his pocket" is not necessary to the overall meaning of the sentence, but I am not 100% sure this is ok.

1 Answer 1


You can use commas to make a kind of parenthesis, but in your example we can't tell whether he put lights on then used his flashlight to read the papers, or used his flashlight throughout.

Do people still light rooms? (Perhaps they do in the US. In the UK we put the light on.)

Does he take the flashlight out of his pocket or leave it in there?

One of these might work:

Taking a/the flashlight from his pocket, he found some papers on the desk and read them.


By the light of his flashlight he found a desk with papers on and read them.

If he knew there would be a desk use the desk. If not, use a desk.

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