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Thread: comma usage

  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    comma usage

    Do you put a comma before the word 'and' in a list of three things?

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    #2

    Re: comma usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Do you put a comma before the word 'and' in a list of three things?
    Many people say you should, but I don't think having a comma there serves any useful purpose in most cases.
    "in most cases" especially means when the list consists of single words.


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    #3

    Re: comma usage

    In my formal English grammar lessons, (I'm English) I was taught never to put a comma before the word 'and'. However, it is commonly used and you can find it in lots of newspaper articles etc.

    But for lists of objects:
    'He bought some apples, pears, bananas and satsumas.' I would say that you definitely should not use a comma here.

  2. rewboss's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: comma usage

    The comma before "and" or "or" is called the "Oxford comma". Some publications insist on it.

    If your editor/teacher/professor/whatever does not give you any rules regarding the use of the Oxford comma, then my personal preference would be to use it when it avoids ambiguity:

    "The two companies in question are Grabbit and Dodgem and Runne."

    Hmm. What are the names of the companies? Do you mean:

    "Grabbit, and Dodgem and Runne"

    or

    "Grabbit and Dodgem, and Runne"?

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