- On May 25, 2021
Commas have lots of uses, but there’s one in particular that confuses a lot of people, including me. I always have to look up the rule, so I hope that by writing this post, I can remember it once and for all.
I have two daughters. If I refer to one of them in a sentence like I’m going shopping with my daughter Susannah, I would not put a comma before her name, and that’s because of Amelia, my other daughter. Same thing if I were to say I’m going shopping with my friend Bill. No comma between friend and Bill because I’m lucky enough to have more than one friend.
Now back to my daughters and the commas.
If I write I’m going shopping with my daughter, Susannah (with comma), I’m saying I have only one daughter and her name is Susannah. If Susannah (as my only daughter) were to appear in the middle of the sentence, I’d bracket her name with commas, as in I’m taking my daughter, Susannah, shopping at the new mall.
Being a fair parent, however, I’ll hit the stores with both of them, so the following is correct: I’m going shopping with my daughters, Susannah and Amelia. The comma goes before their names because, that’s it, they’re my only daughters and that’s what they’re called.
So, girls, where would you like to go? My treat!