2

Y has been in a heated discussion with another person. X has been observing that discussion / argument:

Yの目が、なんとか怒りを抑えつけようとしているのを、Xは見てとった。

"X could see the suppressed anger in Y's eyes."

How does Japanese sentence structure allow for a comma between "目が" and "なんとか"?

btw: When speaking, I don't think you'd do a pause there.

  • 4
    You can do a pause there if you want. Why not? There are very few comma rules in Japanese. – Blavius Aug 14 '15 at 23:38
  • Well, there are some fairly strong tendencies that can be described, and it's true that not all comma use corresponds to pauses in speech. I think this is a good question. – snailboat Aug 15 '15 at 0:16
  • @Blavius I can agree about pausing whenever you want. And, my sense about not pausing is based on really nothing. I'm hoping a native speaker will chime in and tell it like it is. If they say "do not pause", then a pause is not the reason for the comma is all I'm saying. – david Aug 15 '15 at 1:30
  • @David_W; I upvoted Blavius's comment while I was thinking of "pause" as psychological one, rather than physical one. What's more important is that there are no particular regulation concerning punctuation in Japanese. – user4092 Aug 15 '15 at 15:17
  • @user4092 Interesting. I understand about Japanese commas now. But, of course, English has rules (that even sometimes conflict). I'm pretty passionate about using the "serial comma". – david Aug 15 '15 at 18:35
3

There is no grammatical reason you need comma there.

Assuming this is written by a professional writer who cares punctuation marks, I think this comma is there because the author actually wanted this sentence to be read somewhat slowly, so that this sentence looks impressive or important.

When this sentence is read aloud, a professional speaker probably does pause there, and read this sentence with emotion.

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