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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Comma    


Russian Federation


Hello everyone,

could you help me please. I ´ve been taught that this is the right way of using commas:

I like apples, bananas, and berries.

But in Opportunities this rule is given like:

I like apples, bananas and berries.

Thanks a lot for your attention.

17 Nov 2010      

United States

Both are correct and common, so use either rule.

17 Nov 2010     

Russian Federation

 Thank you dear Bruce.

You ´re so quick to answer. 

17 Nov 2010     


Hello Alena:

Both of them are right!

but I would say that in your case is optional, see:

If they go together you don ´t use the comma - For example: ...my sisters Lisa, Jannette and Angelina.

If they don ´t go together use the comma - For example: ...my sisters Lisa, Jannette, Angie, and the neighbor.

 Here are 10 examples of places in which a comma and the word and belong together:

1.   Maria wrote to Mom and Dad, and Jeff wrote to Aunt Kathryn in Milwaukee.(compound sentence)

2.   The meetings take place on Monday, March 19, andThursday, March 22. (days and dates)

3.   The cities we are considering for the conference are Bilbao, Spain, and Oporto, Portugal. (cities with countries)

4.   Why are the dates November 22, 1963, and June 6, 1968, significant in U.S. history? (month-day-year dates)

5.   When you leave the campsite, don ´t leave litter, andrecycle everything possible.(avoiding confusion)

6.   I agree with your remarks, Karina, and will forward them to Mohamed. (direct address)

7.   "Eating Green," the first chapter, and "Buying Fresh," the third, have both been edited. (restatements)

8.   I will contact Maya and, of course, Vy. (parenthetical)

9.   We must reimburse Michael, who brought the food, andKayla, who purchased the decorations. (nonrestrictive clauses)

10.               We will cover commas, semicolons, and colons in the next lesson.(optional comma in a series)

 hope this helps!

17 Nov 2010     


Interesting question. I wondered about it before. In Dutch I was always taught that we do not use a comma before ´and ´ (the comma is used to replace ´and ´ ) but indeed in English I often see a comma before ´and ´ , I was even told once or twice there should be a comma there...

17 Nov 2010     


Oh, thank you el profe55, you typed while I typed..
Your explanation makes sense!

17 Nov 2010     


whenever you listen "I learned the rule that you never use a comma with and. The word and takes the place of the comma".

Forget this wrong-headed so-called rule!

Not using a comma with and is like not using your car ´s turn signal when you are in the turn lane. You may think the signal is unnecessary, but it reassures everyone of your intentions.

Visit: http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2007/03/index.html

17 Nov 2010     

sweet hannah

Both are correct but I think that using the comma before the last item in a list is a little bit more formal style.

17 Nov 2010     


I think el profe55 has said all there is to be said...Great explanationClap

17 Nov 2010     

Puerto Rico

i differ commas before and are used when there is a series of three item before the and or to join two independent clauses

17 Nov 2010     

United Kingdom


Be very careful when you give prescriptive comments and opinions - particularly if you ´ve simply downloaded them from sites like this (scroll down to "Commas With And"). Now, if you could argue your case in your own words....

Otherwise, I agree with Bruce. The comma can be a tricky little fella but there ´s always a certain logic to it as some of Alex ´s (´borrowed´) examples suggest .

Another Alex

17 Nov 2010     

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