You have been successfully subscribed to the Grammarly blog. But wait! Use a comma before and after, however, moreover, furthermore, and therefore. Exactly why this particular quirk of comma usage stirs such passions is hard to say; it’s just one of those things. The Serial Comma (a.k.a the Oxford Comma) Perhaps one of the most hotly contested comma rules is the case of the serial comma or the Oxford comma . Correct comma replacement depends on whether such as introduces an essential or nonessential clause. The school has a vegetable garden in which the children grow cabbages, onions, potatoes, and carrots. There’s no definitive answer, because different style guides recommend different usage.  The district court agreed with the defense and held that "distribution" was an exempt activity. Nevertheless, the style that seems to be recommended the most is to always include a comma before “etc.”; it is recommended even by those who discourage the use of the Oxford comma (the comma before the last item in a list). Furthermore, if the reader is unaware of which convention is being used, both versions are always ambiguous. , The opinion in the case said that 43 of the 50 U.S. states had mandated the use of a serial comma and that both chambers of the federal congress had warned against omitting it, in the words of the U.S. House Legislative Counsel's Manual on Drafting Style, "to prevent any misreading that the last item is part of the preceding one"; only seven states "either do not require or expressly prohibited the use of the serial comma".  Journalists typically do not use the serial comma, possibly for economy of space. Ampersands in relatively formal text may be used to form a compound name (e.g. Here’s a sample sentence without the Oxford comma:. It said "Although authorities on punctuation may differ, when drafting Maine law or rules, don’t use a comma between the penultimate and the last item of a series. After all, t he Oxford comma gets its name from Oxford University Press, where its readers, editors, and writers would commonly use it. In English language punctuation, a serial comma, or series comma (also called an Oxford comma or Harvard comma), is a comma placed immediately after the penultimate term (i.e. For example “Dear Mr Smith” in a business email has lost the comma. on May 9, 2017. The Serial Comma. But the second clause, watched the dog chase it, can’t stand by itself as a complete sentence. MLA style (as well as APA and Chicago ) requires the use of the serial comma—AP style highly recommends leaving it out. The jumper is available in green, yellow, and black and white. AP Style—the style guide that newspaper reporters adhere to—does not require the use of the Oxford comma. Oxford comma (also known as the "serial comma" or "Harvard comma") is the name given to the optional final comma in a series. You may, therefore, continue with the project. Writers who normally avoid the serial comma often use one when it avoids ambiguity. 1. Both are correct, as commas must be used after every clause, except the one that comes before ‘and’. The dog is well trained, and good natured. As a general rule of thumb, you can leave out the comma before the last item in a list unless putting one in will reduce confusion. For the song, see. After a time phrase that comes before a sentence or independent clause. This is ambiguous because it is unclear whether "a maid" is an appositive describing Betty, or the second in a list of three people. The final comma in these lists (before the word ‘and’) is known as the ‘serial comma’. On the other hand, removing the final comma: leaves the possibility that Betty is both a maid and a cook (with "a maid and a cook" read as a unit, in apposition to Betty). This practice is controversial and is known as the serial comma or Oxford comma, because it is part of the house style of Oxford University Press. When there are three or more list items, then those following "US convention" should use a comma (often called an Oxford Comma) with the conjunction (usually "and" or "or"). An Oxford comma is the final comma used before an “and” at the end of a list and is used to avoid ambiguity: The family meal was soup, fish and chips, and ice cream. Sentence or independent clause same is true for the comma before the appears... His client was unable to attend the hearing ” is a comma before and in a email. Compound name ( e.g and pepper and salt two qualities Erika Suffern serial commas should seek the of. 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