Too many commas?
Is this sentence correct?
My brother, Jesse, has a pet peeve.
There is more to the story than Tony's answer suggests -- and the rest of the story determines whether commas are required.
To quote the Chicago Manual of Style: "A word, abbreviation, phrase, or clause that is in apposition to a noun (i.e., provides an explanatory equivalent) is normally set off by commas if it is nonrestrictive -- that is, if it can be omitted without obscuring the identity of the noun to which it refers." This is the typical condition and is covered by Tony's answer.
CMS continues: "If, however, the word or phrase is restrictive -- that is, provides essential information about the noun (or nouns) to which it refers -- no commas should appear."
Thus, if your sentence appeared in the following context, you need to omit the commas:
"I have three brothers. My brother Jesse has a pet peeve."
Because you cannot omit the appositive "Jesse" without obscuring the meaning of this example, you do not use commas.
|link||edited Jul 01 '12 at 19:13 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
Hero of the day
Person voted on the most questions.