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Question
Dear Ted:

Would you please take a look at the following sentence and answer my question below?

Party time! Brandi is throwing a mad bash, so her friend's husband Marco is helping her move some furniture around in preparation.

My question is:

Is it correct not to enclose "Marco" within/inside commas?

Thank you very much for the help.

Paolo

P.S. Ted, is the question "Is it correct not to enclose 'Marco' within/inside commas?" correctly written? Which is the right preposition to use: "within" or "inside"?

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Party time! Brandi is throwing a mad bash, so her friend's husband Marco is helping her move some furniture around in preparation.

My question is:

Is it correct not to enclose "Marco" within/inside commas?

*** Under usual circumstances, the husband's name is non-essential, so Marco would be placed within quotation marks.  We know that a woman can have only one husband.  However, we do not know how many friends Brandi has.  The way the sentence is written, we can only assume that Brandi has just one friend.  The sentence is vague.

Here is the idea stated in a different way:  Marco, the husband of one of Brandi's friends, is helping her move some furniture.

Thank you very much for the help.

Paolo

P.S. Ted, is the question "Is it correct not to enclose 'Marco' within/inside commas?" correctly written? Which is the right preposition to use: "within" or "inside"?

*** The sentence is correct, and either "within" or "inside" can be used.

General Writing and Grammar Help

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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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