The gapping comma
The gapping comma is very simple. It is used to avoid repetition and to show that words have been left out.
The blue files contain invoices from 2012; the red files, from 2013.
The words that have been left out are “contain invoices”.
The matrix is split into two parts: one encompassing the changes made to the draft by PP; the other, by TH.
The words that have been left out are “encompassing the changes made to the draft ”.
Now look at this example:
An appeal is examined within 21 days, and a complaint, within 60 days of the date they are filed.
Here the words that have been left out are “is examined within”.
I have used a gapping comma here, but it’s not really necessary, as you see below:
An appeal is examined within 21 days, and a complaint within 60 days of the date they are filed.
So you have a choice with gapping commas – don’t use one if the sentence makes sense without it, but put one in if you’re doubtful.
You have yourself used two commas in a sentence which is reproduced below:
“I have used a gapping comma here, (comma) but it’s not really necessary, (comma) as you see below”
Do you think the use of second comma here is justified? I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Hi Pranjal, I take your point. The second comma is not strictly necessary. I do, however, often put a comma before “as” where the “as” introduces a longer part of the sentence. So I guess it’s a habit. Well done for noticing it!