1

Are the commas around 'as such' correct? I think there are too many commas in this sentence but I also feel that they should be there.

Once I was sitting with a group of children who had just been caught shoplifting, and, as such, some of them were hiding themselves behind others.

1

I respectfully disagree with the answers given, thus far. It may be because I'm old school, and do not agree with some of today's grammar/punctuation thoughts of "do what looks good."

You do need the comma before and. If you were to take out as such from the sentence, no one would argue that you need a comma before and.

Once I was sitting with a group of children who had just been caught shoplifting, and some of them were hiding themselves behind others.

(FYI - You also don't need the word, themselves, in this sentence....and to confuse things further, you need a comma after Once.)

I do, however, understand what Peter and Joao are saying. All the commas may make the sentence confusing to the reader. In situations like this, I tend to rewrite the sentence to avoid any awkwardness. For example...

Once, I was sitting with a group of children who had just been caught shoplifting. As such, some of them were hiding behind others.

I just don't believe we should have to change long-standing, basic grammar/punctuation rules to fit today's writing. I know...old school. 😉

  • For what I learned in school I respectfully disagree with you in regard of your sentence "You do need the comma before and". The simple fact that the word "and" is already a connector (or in a more fancy term, a conjunction), it already bonds the two sentences together. The comma is thus grammatically incorrect because it creates a "pause" in the sentence, breaking the natural flow desired when the author used "and". Try taking the comma out and see it is way more relieving. – Joao Arruda Mar 11 '16 at 20:12
  • But I am very very happy about your alternative sentence. I think it kills the problem completely. And sorry for the long time to respond. – Joao Arruda Mar 11 '16 at 20:13
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As Peter said, the comma before the word and is really not necessary and thus the sense of strangeness. The commas before and after "as such" emphasize the expression, isolating it from the rest of the sentence, kind of making an introduction to the following chunk. This device is called appositive and, allowing myself to make an appositiveception here, is widely used in literature.

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