Question 1:

Can "such as" be placed far from the noun it modifies like the case in Example 1?

Example 1:

Many great books withstood the test of time such as Animal Farm, 1984, and Alice's Adventure in Wonderland.

Question 2:

What is the difference between "with comma" and "without comma" before "such as"? I was told it is used to indicate "non-restricted". But I don't even know what "restricted" and "non-restricted" mean when it comes to the use of "such as".

Example 2:

Many great books(,) such as Animal Farm, 1984, and Alice's Adventure in Wonderland withstood the test of time.

  • Example 1 needs a comma after time. Example 2 needs the list of books to be separated by commas from the rest of the sentence. Oct 26, 2021 at 7:47

2 Answers 2


For question 1: Yes, you have used "such as" correctly and in the most common way as well.

For question 2: Comma rules in English are notoriously fickle, just search up the oxford comma as an example (which you've used in both your examples). Ultimately, a comma dictates how a reader would read your sentence, either with a pause or without a pause. It's almost like taking a breath when having a conversation. So in both examples, it is really up to you to decide. There isn't any grand effect and most readers wouldn't take notice of the comma there anyway unless they were reading closely. My one piece of advice would be that longer sentences need the occasional comma that lets the reader process what is being said but not too many as to make reading difficult.

So finally, for your second example, I wouldn't use a comma merely because you have a list afterwards and the comma density makes the sentence a little too chunky but you can totally use a comma if you want, especially if that's your style of writing.


For your first question the answer depends on how far away, and whether the sentence might be misunderstood. In your example the list can only refer to the books; it cannot refer to time or to the test of time. Consider though "Many personal computers need disks with software such as list". The list might be a list of computers, or disks, or software. A reader would expect a list of software, because software is the nearest thing that the list could refer to.

In your second example you need commas before and after the list. The sentence should become "Many great books, such as list, withstood the test of time". You could leave out "such as list" without changing the meaning much, and the commas mark out this phrase.

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