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General Writing and Grammar Help/My sister Brandi....., my sister, Brandi,.....

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Question
Dear Ted:

If the following two sentence are both correct, what do they imply?

1) My sister Brandi has two children.

2) My sister, Brandi, has two children.

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

If the following two sentence are both correct, what do they imply?

1) My sister Brandi has two children.

2) My sister, Brandi, has two children.

*** They are both correct.  Sentence #1 implies that you have more than one sister and you are speaking ONLY about the one named "Brandi."  ["Brandi" is an essential element and should not be enclosed within commas.]

Sentence #2 implies that you have just ONE sister, and she has two children.  Her name is non-essential, but you are giving the name as added information.  This additional information IS enclosed in commas.

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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