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commas for omitted words

A comma may be used to indicate that repeated words have been omitted from the second clause in a compound sentence:

  • The African countries sent six representatives; the Asian countries, five.

However, the comma marking the omitted words may be dropped if there is no loss of clarity. In that case, the semicolon between the compound sentences can be replaced by a comma:

  • John won two prizes, Marta three.