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  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Comma before and

    I have read many recommendations on whether to put a comma before a series of two or more items in a sentence. I am currently homeschooling my 7 year old. My husband and I were both taught not to use a comma in school. However, school work that I have purchased for 2nd grade have the comma before the and. What do you feel I should teach her? I want to make sure she is compliant with the rules with the public school system if she decides to ever go?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Re: Comma before and

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I have read many recommendations on whether to put a comma before a series of two or more items in a sentence. I am currently homeschooling my 7 year old. My husband and I were both taught not to use a comma in school. However, school work that I have purchased for 2nd grade have the comma before the and. What do you feel I should teach her? I want to make sure she is compliant with the rules with the public school system if she decides to ever go?

    Thanks for your help.
    My opinion:
    The placement or omission of the final comma in a list may introduce misunderstanding or dispel it; it may change the meaning.

    Peter left for Sweden with his parents, Ann and Jason.
    The question rightfully arises: How many people went to Sweden?

    Peter left for Sweden with his parents, Ann, and Jason.
    With the use of the serial comma, we know that five people went to Sweden.

    Conclusion: If you want to say five people left and you do not want confusion, use the final comma.

    Now let us take a look at another sentence:

    What I like is sour apple, sour cream and cherry.

    There is a chance to interpret this sentence thus:
    sour apple, sour cream and sour cherry.
    By placing the comma, you deprive the sentence of that possible reading.

    Bottom line: Use the final comma when the sentence so requires.
    Last edited by svartnik; 13-May-2009 at 09:06.

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