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Nonessential Clauses and Phrases

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Kaitlyn Gaschnig

on 26 February 2013

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Transcript of Nonessential Clauses and Phrases

WHY DOES THIS MATTER? Good writers use more commas than periods.
Rather than writing a bunch of short sentences,
add nonessential elements.

Using different grammatical elements will spice up your writing.

Be detailed without being wordy.

It encourages you to be more specific in your writing.
Nonessential elements often occur to
give added detail to sentences with
proper nouns. What is a nonessential clause
or phrase? The easiest way to understand nonessential clauses is
to first understand what makes an essential clause. Using Commas Correctly Essential or nonessential? The man who spray painted this graffiti thought he was quite clever. Nonessential
Clauses & Phrases When a clause or phrase is essential, it is necessary to understand the meaning of the sentence. It cannot be deleted or moved within the sentence without altering the meaning. For example:
The man who teaches public speaking dramatically recited the song "Hotel California." So what makes a clause or phrase nonessential? Simply, if the phrase or clause can be
removed from the sentence without changing its meaning, it is NONESSENTIAL. When an element is nonessential, it must be offset with commas. Mr. Abrams, who teaches public speaking, dramatically recited the song "Hotel California." A nonessential phrase would look like this:

Kate, looking for a new album, flips through the vinyl
selection at Tunes.

You could move the phrase looking for a new album anywhere in the sentence or remove it altogether without changing the meaning. Here's the good news:

Commas with nonessential phrases
follow the same rules as commas
with appositives! Rule: Use commas before and after nonessential words, phrases, and clauses Now it's your turn:

Take a sentence from your paper or create a new sentence that could be used in your paper, and enhance it with a nonessential clause or phrase.
Submit to Socrative. Same sentence, now with a nonessential clause: Mr. Abrams who looks startlingly like Jon Stewart apologized profusely for giving you the wrong due date for the essay. The dog who scared the mailman away is clearly belligerent. The fat cat reclining on the couch belongs to my friend, Dan. Essential or nonessential? The students unanimously agree that Ms. Gaschnig who made this Prezi is the coolest teacher ever.
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