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