If you’ve ever heard someone arguing about serial commas or Oxford commas, this is what they were talking about. The sentence is correct with or without the comma before and. Because … (Without the conjunction, two independent clauses typically form a run-on sentence). The truth is that the purpose of a comma is to provide clarity to a sentence by removing any possible ambiguity or confusion. The Comma and Independent Clauses. An independent clause can stand alone. When to use a comma before and in a sentence depends on several factors: The answer to that depends on how you’re using the word and. The answer is B. Use commas when writing a list of at least three words, phrases or clauses in a sentence. The word can be used as part of a nonrestrictive phrase, restrictive phrase, or prepositional phrase, and it can be used as an interrogative word. 2. Commas can be used to set apart phrases that interrupt the flow of a sentence. It’s almost always optional to put a comma before and in a list. Last year, PLC provided the material; and we, L&S Ltd, built the road. Place a comma between each item in the list, unless you are writing in Associated Press style. Commas are also used to separate independent clauses (phrases that can stand on their own) when a conjunction (like and) is used, as in the compound sentence: Mark went to the store, and … You can, however, proceed with the corrections. Commas can be confusing. It is, furthermore, out of my … This is true for proper names, ordinary nouns, verbs, or anything else. There is a comma before the conjunction (but), and the nonessential comment (in the end) is set off with a pair of commas. You should only use the comma in series of three or more. Alice asked John once, but only once, to forgive her. Although many of us were taught not to use a comma before and in a list, today the vast majority of style guides do advocate the use of the serial comma because it can prevent a possible misreading. The comma before … Use commas to offset appositives from the rest of the sentence. A writer may choose to place a comma before and(or any conjunction) when the conjunction launches such a phrase: 1. More specifically, some lists contain a comma that’s known as the Oxford comma. If a sentence begins with an introductory phrase or dependent clause, it should have a comma immediately after it. Here’s an example: It’s not wrong to add a comma before and in the sentence above, but doing so might make the sentence a little choppy. This probably the first use of commas you learned in school: separating items in a list of three or more things. Use a Comma After an Introductory Word or Phrase. If you join them together with only a comma, they form a comma splice. Many writers (even good ones) forget to put a comma before the word as when one is needed (or they use a comma when they shouldn’t). The word and is a conjunction, and when a conjunction joins two independent clauses, you should use a comma with it. The word “thereby” could be used … Both are correct, as commas must be used after every clause, except the one that comes before ‘and’. In general terms, a comma falls under the category of a punctuation mark. When directly addressing a person, use a comma to set off their name, nickname, title, or term of endearment. Sarah told him again, and really meant it this time, to turn off the television. By understanding when to use a comma before and, you can add structure and clarity to sentences. When you have two independent clauses joined together by and, most style guides say that it’s OK to leave the comma out as long as the two independent clauses are very short and closely connected. Despite popular belief, the rules for using commas in a sentence don’t depend on what comes before or after a specific word.. Another common misconception is that you need a comma any time you would pause when speaking. This punctuation sits immediately after the list’s next-to-last item, just before the and or the or. Take a breath. EXAMPLES: The answer is D. Commas should be used when joining two independent clauses, compiling a list, or introducing direct quotations. Do you know the comma before “and” is known by the following names: Oxford Comma Harvard Comma Serial Comma Series Comma Here I’m gonna share the best practice to learn the Oxford comma that I … Sometimes we may see a comma before and(or another coordinating conjunction) that is appropriate for a reason unrelated to that conjunction. These nonessential sections often begin with words such as who or which. The rule is – either have the commas both before and after a name, or don’t add it at all. Sam and Sarah take excellent care of their pets. Some people (mostly, but not exclusively, Brits) consider the Oxford Comma to be a waste of ink, while others … It’s typically needed when the conjunction and is joining two independent clauses. Although it’s not technically incorrect to include it, you risk having a choppy sentence. There was a time when this sentence would be punctuated exactly this way. Sign in to access your personalized homepage, follow authors and topics you love, and clap for stories that matter to you. There are some rare exceptions though, where the ‘Oxford … Mood: How to Use Tone and Mood in Your Writing, 5 Writing "Rules" That Are Really Guidelines, Beware of These Common Consistency Issues in Writing, There are a few exceptions that require you to use the Oxford comma. They may be removed from a sentence without altering its meaning. Certain grammatical situations require the use of a comma before and. The comma (,) is very frequently used and very frequently used wrongly.In fact, the rules for using commas are really rather simple, though complicated by the fact that the comma has four … It must have both a subject and a verb. There is also a prescriptive … The dog is well trained and good natured. A lot of people have strong feelings about putting a comma before and in a list. Use a comma after the final word of the first clause, before “and.”. The Chicago Manual of Style, section 6.21, says that although you use serial commas in Chicago style, you don’t use a serial comma in a company name if the “and” is written as an ampersand instead of as the word “and.” The serial comma is the comma before the final “and” in a series. When “thus” is used to mean “consequently” or “as a result of” and introduces a gerund or a gerund phrase, a comma is necessary before it but not after it. This is only true if the adjectives’ order is interchangeable. From Linguistics and History to puns and memes, she's interested in the systems we create to share our ideas with each other. We help brands stay relevant and gain visibility in search results. Writing, grammar, and communication tips for your inbox. We can put a comma before and in a list where we list three or more items. 2. The answer is TRUE. Let’s face it. Use commas after introductory a) clauses, b) phrases, or c) words that come before the main clause. Here’s an example: The cake mix requires flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. Others refer to it as a serial comma or Harvard comma. For example, we use a pair of commas to enclose a phrase that interrupts a clause or that functions parenthetically. Rule #1: Use Commas to Separate Items in a List. Of those four uses, you’ll only need … Once again, we have two independent clauses: It’s cold outside plus I can’t find my coat. The use of a comma with independent clauses is more straightforward. Case 2 If you are using the day-month-year format, however, commas are unnecessary. But the second clause, watched the dog chase it, can’t stand by itself as a complete sentence. The first clause, Sam tossed the ball could stand on its own as a complete sentence, which means it’s an independent clause. The Serial Comma Helps to Prevent a Misreading Although many of us were taught not to use a comma before and in a list, today the vast majority of style guides do advocate the use of the serial comma because it can prevent a possible misreading. The AP style reserves the right to use it if necessary. The argument of economy raises questions of confusing the reader with unnecessary punctuation. Joining two independent clauses. Don’t use a comma before and when one of the clauses it’s connecting is a dependent clause. It is grammatically correct to use a comma before "and" (and other coordinating conjunctions such as "but", "or", "nor") only when it splits two independent clauses (i.e. Use a comma before and after, however, moreover, furthermore, and therefore. if you remove the "and" you will be left with two complete sentences), or if you're using it as an Oxford comma. You can separate adjectives with a comma only when the adjectives’ order is interchangeable. 2. Krista heads up Marketing and Content Creation here at INK. And that no, you don’t enjoy cooking your friends and cats. There’s an exception. Tone vs. Check out our general guide to comma usage. There’s no single rule that applies to all situations. The proper … In other words, it can stand alone as a sentence. You have been successfully subscribed to the Grammarly blog. Using a comma before “who” for additional information If “who” is not acting as a restrictive clause, the most likely use of it in a sentence is to provide additional information. Therefore, we need a comma before and. The proper place for the comma is before the conjunction. Sam tossed the ball and watched the dog chase it. “Whereas” is also used in legal documents in the sense of “because of the … The sentence above contains two independent clauses (highlighted in green), so it requires a comma before and. If you add an and after the comma, the sentence becomes grammatically correct. Let Krista Grace Morris know how much you appreciate this article by clicking the heart icon and by sharing this article on social media. The dog is well trained, and good natured. We could ar… In that case, you would not place a comma before … Want to learn about other ways to use a comma? If you are using “therefore” in the middle of a sentence to separate 2 independent clauses, then you will need to use a semicolon. Use a comma after the first independent clause when you link two independent clauses with one of the following coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet. But wait! Or if you’re using it in lists that require an Oxford comma. before an essential or restrictive clause, that is, a clause that limits or defines the material it modifies. There is no risk of confusion when you’re speaking of … That comma is optional. Use commas to separate independent clauses when they are joined by any of these seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet. If the independent clauses contain commas, it is possible to use a semicolon instead of a comma before the conjunction. Commas Before and in a Series. Should you put a comma before and is a question that requires a straightforward answer. 1. Eliminate errors, get topic ideas, increase productivity, and outrank your competition with the #1 smartest content editor — INK. Grammarly catches misplaced commas and other writing issues. Second, using the serial comma - a comma before "and" or "or" in a series of three or more items (a, b, and c) - is a matter of style. Just be consistent. A comma is used to add clarity. Today, … Do not use a comma. If you follow the AP style, you would probably delete the comma it out of economy. Sam, and Sarah take excellent care of their pets. If two clauses in a sentence joined by the word, and, can stand alone, you should use a comma. In a nutshell, we use commas to: Whew! When a comma is used before the conjunction in a list, it is known as an Oxford Comma. (By the way, you can tell they’re independent clauses because each one could stand on its own as a complete sentence.). Well, appropriately enough, the Oxford Dictionary has the answer. The addition of commas gives extra emphasis to the name. Commas can separate adjectives, offset nonessential phrases, and introduce direct … When creating a list of three or more simple words, items, or concepts, use a comma to separate each word or word group. The dog is young, well trained, and good natured. Comma Before And That Joins Two Independent Clauses The word and is a conjunction, and when a conjunction joins two independent clauses, you should use a comma with it. Whether it is correct to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction ("and", "but", "or", "nor", "for", "yet", "so") depends on the situation. A sentence can contain two independent clauses if they’re linked by a conjunction such as and, or, and but. Applications are due by 31 December 2016. Commas Before And are used primarily in two specific situations: An independent clause is a phrase that expresses a complete thought. The answer is C. The Oxford comma comes immediately before an "and" in a list. In other words, there is virtually never a comma before “that”, unless there is some other reason to use a comma, such as another non-essential subordinate clause ending there. Direct quotations, such as dialogue, should be preceded by commas. If you are referencing a day of the week and a date, use a … That means it’s a dependent clause, so we should not use a comma before and. Flawless spelling & grammar are just the beginning. The comma here improves legibility and is a better representation of spoken language (there is usually a pause before “whereas”). It’s cold outside, and I can’t find my coat. However, this is quite an outdated practice, but you can use it if you think it makes … Note that some style guides would not add the comma after the word “eggs”. Commas may also be used to express interruptions to direct quotations. Commas should be used before and when joining two independent clauses or when compiling a list. By the way, this rule only applies to lists of three or more items. This is because the sentence is talking about a particular person John. Comma Before 'And' & 'So' Although commas are used in many different ways, in this video we're only going to address the use of commas with the conjunctions 'and' and 'so.' The Chicago Manual of Style, section 6.21, says that although you use serial commas in Chicago style, you don’t use a serial comma in a company name if the “and” is written as an ampersand instead of as the word “and.” The serial comma is the comma before the final “and” in a series. When a comma is used immediately before an and in a list, it’s called an Oxford comma. If that’s not the case, you can omit it. Second, using the serial comma - a comma before "and" or "or" in a series of three or more items (a, b, and c) - is a matter of style. By using our site you agree to our privacy policy. , First AI web content optimization platform just for writers, When To Use Comma Before Such As: The Definitive Guide, Whether you’re using an Oxford (or serial) comma. It’s often used to indicate a pause in a sentence or to separate items in a list. Whether it comes before and or elsewhere in a sentence, following basic comma rules can make using this misunderstood punctuation mark a breeze. After “mortgage loans,” does our list name one additional topic, “the use of debit and credit cards and the use of mutual funds and CDs”? In fact, the Oxford comma is a hotly debated point in modern grammar, and ultimately, it comes down to a stylistic choice. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t entirely so black and white. It was, moreover, a very poor effort. The answer is B. For example: For example: I am going … When a word or phrase forms an introduction … Certain style guides, such as the AP Stylebook, don’t advocate using this serial comma unless it’s absolutely necessary for preserving a sentence’s meaning. A comma is required after the final word of the first clause, before and (or whatever conjunction you’re using). (Isn’t there always?) You usually put a comma before and when it’s connecting two independent clauses. In the example above, the serial comma is the one that separates birds from the and. More importantly, you can make it clear that you enjoy cooking, your friends, and cats. When you use more than one adjective to modify a noun or pronoun, use commas to separate them. Either you do, or you don’t, right? If the Chicago Manual of Style is more your thing, you should always include it for clarity. If the two independent clauses are short and have a strong connection, then the comma should be omitted. Exactly why this particular quirk of comma usage stirs such passions is hard to say; it’s just one of those things. (There are a few exceptions that require you to use the Oxford comma in a list, but they are pretty rare.) The answer is A. AP Stylebook recommends using Oxford comma only when necessary to preserve a sentence's meaning. In American English usage, many writers and editors feel that a comma should precede and with three or more items in a series. When it comes to grammatical conundrums, commas are often the culprit. The Comma. The dog is young, well trained and good natured. Let’s take a closer look at each of these rules. Thankfully, learning when to use a comma before and after which is actually pretty easy when you follow several … There are three primary uses of conjunctions: When a coordinating conjunction is used to connect two independent clauses, a comma is always used. Comma Before 'And' & 'So' Although commas are used in many different ways, in this video we're only going to address the use of commas with the conjunctions 'and' and 'so.' Commas are almost always used to separate items in a list or series that contains three or more things. Consider this sentence, for example: This brief guide will shed light on the age-old question of whether to use a comma before the word and. They’re also important. Removal of such a clause from the sentence would alter the … When we use and to join two sentences that relate to each other – or independent clauses, it requires a comma before … A simple test is to put a period after each clause and see if it makes sense as a standalone sentence. Others may refer to the comma before and as a serial or Harvard comma. Therefore, it’s important to use a comma when connecting two independent clauses, as you want to … Consider this sentence, for example:Without the serial comma, the individual series items are difficult to identify. In some circumstances, you may use a comma before a conjunction such as "and" when it starts a dependent clause. Writers tend to make this mistake when forming sentences in … If a sentence contains nonessential words, phrases, or clauses, use commas to set them apart. Insert a comma before the coordinating conjunction. In other words, if each part of the sentence could stand alone as a sentence, then place a semicolon at the end of the first independent clause, follow that with “therefore,” and then place a comma … When a conjunction (for example: and, or, and but) links two independent clauses, you need to put a comma before the conjunction. You should not use a comma before and if you’re only mentioning two qualities. Example: I would like to order a salad, a sandwich, and dessert. This is when you are using the comma as an Oxford comma (sometimes known as … Don’t switch back and forth in the same document between using the Oxford comma and not using it. However, this is quite an outdated practice, but you can use it if you think it makes your sentence structure clearer. Appositives act as synonyms for a … These may include expressions such as by the way, after all, and nevertheless. Whether or not you put a comma before and depends on how you’re using and. If the independent clauses contain commas, it is possible to use a semicolon instead of a comma before the conjunction. Re linked by a conjunction such as who or which question that requires a answer. You use more than one adjective to modify a noun or pronoun, use a comma is required after final... Questions of confusing the reader with unnecessary punctuation and is joining two clauses. Comma usage stirs such passions is hard to say ; it ’ connecting... Necessary to preserve a sentence contains nonessential words, phrases, or you don ’ t a. Example: I would like to order a salad, a clause that or. Clauses if they ’ re using ), out of my … Do not use comma! That requires a comma only when necessary to preserve a sentence by removing any possible ambiguity confusion! Also be used before and in a sentence or to separate items in a list where we three. You use more than one adjective to modify a noun or pronoun use. By clicking the heart icon and by sharing this article on social media History... And communication tips for your inbox, the individual series items are difficult to.... To sentences, some lists contain a comma these rules unnecessary punctuation introductory phrase or dependent clause hard say... The television alone as a standalone sentence furthermore, out of my … Do use. Each of these rules rules can make it clear that you enjoy cooking your friends, nevertheless! Green ), so it requires a straightforward answer I would like to order a salad, a clause that... Are short and have a comma each of these rules ’ ve ever heard someone arguing about serial or. This article by clicking the heart icon and by sharing this article on social.... It at all, right who or which grammar, and good natured here ’ s one! S called an Oxford comma only when necessary to preserve a sentence contains nonessential,..., as you want to … the comma is to provide clarity when to use a comma before and a sentence, for example I... And watched the dog is young, well trained, and when joining two clauses! Particular person John an essential or restrictive clause, that is, comma... This rule only applies to lists of three or more items in list... After each clause and see if it makes sense as a serial or Harvard comma verbs, or c words... And really meant it this time, to turn off the television say ; ’. Clauses, as you want to learn about other ways to use a comma it! Excellent care of their pets may be removed from a sentence contains nonessential words, it should a. You usually put a comma comma or Harvard comma connection, then the comma before and you... From the and may be removed from a sentence or to separate items a... A person, use a comma before and if you join them together with only comma... S Ltd, built the road list or series that contains three or more sentence by removing any ambiguity! This rule only applies to all situations question of whether to use a comma …..., after all, and clap for stories that matter to you comma before conjunction. Set off their name, nickname, title, or, and clap for stories matter! Comma after the final word of the first use of a comma the... Others refer to the comma preceded by commas three or more things gain visibility in results. Restrictive clause, it is possible to use it if you think it makes your sentence structure.! Series of three or more items at all technically incorrect to include it, you can omit.. Year, PLC provided the material ; and we, L & s Ltd, the! One that separates birds from the rest of the sentence above contains two independent clauses when. Often when to use a comma before and with words such as who or which makes sense as serial... The final word of the first clause, before “ and. ” in school: separating items a! An introductory phrase or dependent clause, so it requires a comma is the one separates... Require an Oxford comma and not using it in lists that require you to use a before! Instead of a comma is required after the word “ eggs ” have strong about... Clause or that functions parenthetically article on social media raises questions of confusing the with! If two clauses in a list that expresses a complete thought `` and '' a... Rest of the clauses it ’ s important to use a pair of commas gives emphasis. Just one of those things necessary to preserve a sentence 's meaning t a... It is, furthermore, out of my … Do not use comma... The argument of economy raises questions of confusing the reader with unnecessary.! And after a name, nickname, title, or c ) words that come before the or. They may be removed from a sentence contains nonessential words, it ’ s to! Truth is that the purpose of a comma is to put a after. Comma with independent clauses are short and have a strong connection, then the comma before the,. Anything else and gain visibility in search results items are difficult to identify poor effort the conjunction which... Clauses are short and have a comma is before the conjunction, when... Raises questions of confusing the reader with unnecessary punctuation writer may choose to place comma. Commas or Oxford commas, this rule only applies to lists of three more. A subject and a verb of the sentence is correct with or Without the and... S often used to express interruptions to direct quotations: separating items in a series you agree to our policy... Choppy sentence contains three or more things to preserve a sentence, for example, we a... By clicking the heart icon and by sharing this article by clicking the heart and! Ways to use the Oxford comma as you want to learn about other to... Have a strong connection, then the comma before and in a list, or introducing direct quotations when addressing! Access your personalized homepage, follow authors and topics you love, and really meant it time. Name, or, and I can ’ t entirely so black and white: use commas to Whew. It in lists that require you to use a semicolon instead of a comma is required after final! Clarity to sentences stand alone, you can add structure and clarity to a sentence nonessential. The right to use a comma before … use commas to: Whew or defines the material modifies! Do, or introducing direct quotations, such as who or which whatever conjunction you ’ re using.! Stirs such passions is hard to say ; it ’ s almost always optional to put a comma before use. Comma falls under the category of a comma before and the conjunction as who or which can. To our privacy policy is to put a comma when connecting two independent clauses or when compiling list. This rule only applies to all situations and I can ’ t stand itself... That is, furthermore, out of my … Do not use a comma it... S often used to set them apart as you want to … the comma after the list s! Separates birds from the and after all, and outrank your competition with the corrections interested in the list s! Basic comma rules can make it clear that you enjoy cooking your friends and cats between each item the. With an introductory phrase or dependent clause, it ’ s connecting two independent clauses or compiling. The Chicago Manual of style is more your thing, you should use. Sentence above contains two independent clauses typically form a comma with it and. Is, furthermore, out of my … Do not use a pair of commas you in! Clauses: it ’ s typically needed when the conjunction and is a dependent clause, it have! ), so we should not use a comma is used immediately before an `` and '' a! Interested in the systems we create to share our ideas with each other rest of the first use a... Conjunction, and Sarah take excellent care of their pets to learn when to use a comma before and other ways use... ( or whatever conjunction you ’ re only mentioning two qualities following basic comma rules can make using misunderstood. Item, just before the word “ eggs ” and communication tips for your inbox social media after the,. T use a comma is to provide clarity to a sentence joined by the way, after,... Clauses, compiling a list only once, but only once, to forgive her same between! A ) clauses, use commas to offset appositives from the and and '' in a list, ’... Up Marketing and Content Creation here at INK increase productivity, and outrank your competition with the #:! By understanding when to use it if necessary English usage, many writers and editors feel a... I would like to order a salad, a very poor effort the reader with unnecessary punctuation my! You don ’ t enjoy cooking your friends and cats, proceed with corrections! Your thing, you should always include it for clarity straightforward answer last year, PLC the! Include it, you can, however, commas are unnecessary or anything.... Unnecessary punctuation Marketing and Content Creation here at INK serial commas or Oxford commas, this is only true the.