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General Writing and Grammar Help/Comma, and What Comes Next?

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Question
Hi Mr. Johnson,

Here's my conundrum:

Comma or no comma after first Jackson?

Still, Andrew Jackson being Andrew Jackson,
Still, Andrew Jackson, being Andrew Jackson,

Also, what comes next--subject or verb? Does the answer change depending on the comma?

Still, Andrew Jackson being Andrew Jackson, he would not abide by ...
OR
Still, Andrew Jackson being Andrew Jackson, would not abide by ...

Thanking you in advance,

Peggy

Answer
Let's take these two sentences:

1. Andrew Jackson being Andrew Jackson, he would not abide by those rules.
[correct]
2. Andrew Jackson being Andrew Jackson, would not abide by those rules.
 [incorrect]  

Sentence 1 is correct. The first part (the part ending with the comma) is what's known as an absolute phrase, in that it's not connected grammatically with the rest of the sentence, although it adds meaning to the sentence. The subject of the sentence is "he."

Sentence 2 is incorrect. It can be corrected by the addition of a comma. The comma serves the function of setting off the participial phrase "being Andrew Jackson." This is necessary because the verb "would not abide" applies to the first "Andrew Jackson." A correct version is:

2. Andrew Jackson, being Andrew Jackson, would not abide by those rules.
 [corrected]</pre></b>

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Richard Johnson

Expertise

I can answer any question--usually the same day--on correct English grammar, usage, and (non-fiction) writing style, based on the American practice. All answers are explained, and I encourage follow-up.

Experience

I'm a retired editor and a lifelong student of this subject. My library includes a great many works to which I've referred through the years. I currently rely largely on the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.

Publications
For over 30 years I edited the newsletter of my own organization, which had different names but was last known as NotBarter.com.

Education/Credentials
BA, Brooklyn College. Advanced studies in economics and political science.

Awards and Honors
For many years a member of Mensa.

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