Does this sentence need a comma?


My husband and I disagree about whether or not this sentence needs a comma:


She's very interested in animals with a particular affinity for dogs. 


She's very interested in animals, with a particular affinity for dogs. 


Thank you for your opinions and help!

edited Dec 21 '13 at 16:01 Melanie Hebert New member

1 answer


Comma rules can be tricky with prepositional phrases and adjust based on length, usage, and presentation.


There are several reasons that you should use a comma:

(1) It is a particularly long prepositional phrase.

(2) It has the same usage as that of a parenthetical expression (it can be removed without obfuscating meaning).

(3) It is being separated from the word it modifies by another prepositional phrase (it is modifying "interest" adverbially, and not adjectivally modifying "animals")

(4) It could obfuscate the meaning of the sentence if it is NOT separated by commas: (Is she only interested in animals which show affinities for dogs? ;)            )


These concepts lead to one overwhelming conclusion:  Separate it with commas.

link comment edited Dec 21 '13 at 07:30 Aaron Prejean Expert

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.