I was reading a scientific article and in the "HIGHLIGHTS" section it says:


  • Evaluation of climate change effects on surface runoff.

  • SWAT model, the best simulation daily runoff for watershed.

  • The model predicted average temperature increase by 2006–2100 of 6 􀀁C by the CanEMS2.

  • Precipitation in the upcoming period of 2006–2100 shows a 52% increase.

  • The runoff in the upcoming periods of 2006–2040 under RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, and RCP 8.5 scenarios is increased by 45, 49, and 50%, respectively.

I'm wondering does that mean: SWAT model is the best simulation daily runoff for watershed ? If so, why they used comma instead of "is" ?

I've also read about comma usage in English from here but couldn't figure out which usage applied in the above sentence.

  • That isn't a sentence (it has no verb). If you edit the question to provide the surrounding text perhaps we can help. Dec 23, 2021 at 16:14
  • @EthanBolker Thanks. Edited.
    – Etemon
    Dec 23, 2021 at 16:21
  • 2
    I would say it's No. 5 (appositive). This is a list of highlights so they don't have to be complete sentences, although some are. Dec 23, 2021 at 16:29
  • I’m voting to close this question because a list of highlights don't have to be complete sentences, although some are Dec 23, 2021 at 17:18

2 Answers 2


The first two items are not complete sentences and hence should not end with full stops. That first item also should not start with a capital letter.

SWAT model, the best simulation daily runoff for watershed [full stop removed]

The above example is a noun phrase consisting of SWAT model and its appositive.

This construction gives an idea expressed by the following independent clause but is not equal to it.

SWAT model is the best simulation daily runoff for watershed.

That comma after SWAT model is a bracketing comma, as explained below.

There are four types of comma: the listing comma, the joining comma, the gapping comma and bracketing commas.

Bracketing commas always come in pairs, unless one of them would come at the beginning or the end of the sentence, and they always set off a weak interruption which could in principle be removed from the sentence.



This is on that first item in your list.

When the entries are not full sentences, listed items begin in lower case unless they are proper nouns –

A number of things need to be considered before starting your own business:

      •  premises, which may be bought or rented
      •  finance, such as a secured bank loan


  • Thanks for the answer. Can you please elaborate on why the first Item should with lowercase letter?
    – Etemon
    Dec 23, 2021 at 17:25
  • @Etemon, I have added explanation in my answer. Dec 24, 2021 at 0:08

I think the sense of that bullet point is that the highlighted article uses the SWAT model, with an implicit "which is" the model with the best simulation of daily watershed runoff (not "simulation daily runoff for watershed").

That said, I think this is badly written. Several of the bullet points have grammatical problems. They are hard to read because they do not have the same structure. Some are sentences, some are fragments. You can't learn much about good written English by studying this example.

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