Dec 12th, 2010, 05:19 am
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Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
| | Re: [comma] One person who worked with him and drove the route regularly, praised him
No, the comma shouldn't be there. who worked .... regularly is a defining relative clause which forms part of the subject - and a subject and verb can never be separated by a comma.
Commas are used with non-defining relative clauses. Notice the difference between...
A. All of the passengers who wore life jackets were saved.
B. All of the passengers, who wore life jackets, were saved.
In (A) the relative clause defines "All of the passengers" - it tells us which passengers we're talking about - ie the ones who wore life jackets. The meaning is : All of the passengers who wore life jackets were saved whereas all of the passengers who didn't wear life jackets died.
In (B), however, the relative clause merely adds a bit of information about "All of the passengers" - All of the passengers were saved because they wore life jackets.
So non-defining clauses are separated from the main sentence by commas to show that they are not an integral part of it. They are frequent in written English but much rarer in the spoken language. Non-defining clauses, on the other hand, are common in both.
The "mistake" with the use of the comma often occurs, I think for two reasons :
a) people are used to seeing commas used with (non-defining) relative clauses in written English and therefore presume they should be used with all types.
b) in spoken English there might well be a pause between the end on the non-defining relative clause and the verb - especially if, as in your example, the NDRC was fairly long (yours is actually two NDRCs co-ordinated by and). So you might well say One person who worked with him and drove the route regularly (pause) praised him for "a brilliant piece of driving." Generally in English a pause in the sentence in spoken language can be conveyed by a comma in the written language - which leads people to make the mistake that you've pointed out here. It's an over-generalisation of a rule that doesn't actually apply in this case.