I have recently read a sentence in a story .

The four of you may be proficient, each in your own subject.

I wonder why is the comma used before each. Is the word each adverb or pronoun in this sentence ? Looking forward to your wisdom replies ---

  • You're probably trying to accommodate some rule of thumb like 'never use a comma before a prowhatsit'. Here, 'each in your own subject' is a parenthetical (subclass: further detail provided: arguably a deleted resumptive modifier), and parentheticals usually (and certainly in this case) need setting off with one or two commas, parentheses, or dashes. May 15, 2016 at 15:42
  • @TrevorD So it's a pronoun or an adverb then, right? May 16, 2016 at 0:49

2 Answers 2


In this case "each" is used as a pronoun and is the subject of the dependent clause. Edwin is correct that the comma is used because the clause is a parenthetical and requires punctuation to offset it from the rest of the sentence. It doesn't have to be a comma. The sentence could also have been written:

[...] proficient-- each in your own subject.


[...] proficient (each in your own subject).

If the sentence continued after the word subject, another punctuation mark would be used to indicate the end of the parenthetical:

[...] proficient, each in your own subject, [additional content]

If I were writing a sentence like this I would use a comma rather than a different punctuation mark because the comma suggests a pause in speaking while other punctuation suggests other things (like a hasty additional comment with dashes or a quiet aside with parentheses).


Good morning Naykhit,

I think "each" is a quantifier despite every, a kind of determiner. Just like Italian, it's used as a singular countable noun.

I hope I draw you in the picture.

Regards, Jack

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