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General Writing and Grammar Help/My close friend, John Lee,.....

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Question
Dear Ted:

Would you please have a look at the following sentence?

"If you can take two minutes out of your day to view this video and spread the word about my close friend, John Lee, it would be greatly appreciated."

My questions are the following:

1) Why "If you can take two minutes OUT OF your day" AND NOT "If you can take two minutes FROM your day"?

2) Is it really correct to set apart the name of "John Lee" by commas? Would the sentence also make sense with the omission of "John Lee"?

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

Paolo

P.S. Is the question "Is it really correct to set apart the name of 'John Lee' by commas?" correct and well-formulated?

Answer
Dear Paolo:

"If you can take two minutes out of your day to view this video and spread the
word about my close friend, John Lee, it would be greatly appreciated."

My questions are the following:

1) Why "If you can take two minutes OUT OF your day" AND NOT "If you can take
two minutes FROM your day"?

*** Actually, either of the prepositions can be used.  Both "out of" and "from" mean "to subtract."

2) Is it really correct to set apart the name of "John Lee" by commas? Would the
sentence also make sense with the omission of "John Lee"?

"John Lee" is enclosed in commas, because you MAY have more than ONE "close friend."  If you wrote "my closest friend John Lee," you would not need to use the commas, because you can have just ONE "closest friend."

Your question is correctly written.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

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.

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

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