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General Writing and Grammar Help/Ava invited her son's friend, Jack, over.....

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Question
Dear Ted:

Consider the following sentence:

Ava invited her son's friend, Jack, over to her place because she's been having problems with her sink.

My questions are these:

1) Is it correct to put/place "Jack" within commas? If so, does it mean that her son has only one friend and his name is Jack?

2) What does "over" mean or refer to?

As always, many, many thanks for your valuable help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Ava invited her son's friend, Jack, over to her place because she's been having
problems with her sink.

My questions are these:

1) Is it correct to put/place "Jack" within commas? If so, does it mean that her
son has only one friend and his name is Jack?

*** You are correct.  If you use the commas, you are indicating that Ava's son has only ONE friend, whose name is Jack.

2) What does "over" mean or refer to?

*** "Over" is idiomatic.  It isn't necessary for the meaning of the sentence.  Ava could have invited Jack TO her place.  I am guessing that, sometime many years ago, the word "over" in such instances of "Come on over" made its way into "over to a place."  Using "over" also "suggests," but does not definitely "state," that Ava's house is near Jack's house.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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