oxford comma before or after and

Entirely optional - correct punctuation neither demands nor requires it. Use of the comma is inconsistent with the conventional practice of the region. 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 . Just be consistent. [14], The Times once published an unintentionally humorous description of a Peter Ustinov documentary, noting that "highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector". Entirely optional - correct punctuation neither demands nor requires it. You usually put a comma before and when it’s connecting two independent clauses. Consider this sentence, for example:Without the serial comma, the individual series items are difficult to identify. AP Style—the style guide that newspaper reporters adhere to—does not require the use of the Oxford comma. [7] A majority of American style guides mandate use of the serial comma, including APA style,[8] The Chicago Manual of Style, Garner's Modern American Usage,[9] The MLA Style Manual, Strunk and White's Elements of Style[10] and the U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual. There are different punctuation marks in the English language. "[47][48][49], In the case known as O'Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy,[50] a federal court of appeals was required to interpret a statute under which the "canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution" of certain goods were activities exempted from the general requirement of overtime pay; the question was whether this list included the distribution of the goods, or only the packing of the goods for distribution. (There are a few exceptions that require you to use the Oxford comma in a list, but they are pretty rare.) "[51] In addition to the absence of a comma, the fact that the word chosen was "distribution" rather than "distributing" was also a consideration,[52] as was the question of whether it would be reasonable to consider the list to be an asyndetic list (a list in which the coordinating conjunction is absent). When considering grammar and legal translation risks are even higher. Perhaps no mark of punctuation ruffles feathers more than the serial comma (also called series comma, Oxford comma, and Harvard comma).This comma precedes the final item in a list or series, before the word and or or.With the exception of newspapers, most publications use the serial comma, because it helps writers … Associated Press Style Guide (AP Style) The Serial Comma/Oxford Commas You also need a comma before an interrogative “which” when the word appears in dialogue. Read more about the Oxford Comma. First things first: what is the Oxford comma?Also called serial comma, it is a comma placed after the penultimate item in a list and before the conjunction “and” or “or.”. Maeve Maddox (English Ph.D. and DWT writer) (link) Mark Nichol (UC Berkeley instructor and DWT writer) (link) Mary Cullen (Business writing instructor) The Chicago Manual of Style The Elements of Style MLA Style Guide (link) Grammarly If you examine works published in English before 1905, you will find a near-universal placement of commas and periods before a closing quotation mark, whether single or double. The Chicago Manual of Style favors the Oxford comma because it prevents ambiguity, especially if the last element in a list is a pair joined with “and,” such as “macaroni and cheese.” Ex: Mistakes in legal grammar rules can change entire rulings, like with Oakhurst Dairy. The Economist Style Guide notes that most British writers only use it where necessary to avoid ambiguity. Check out our general guide to comma usage. The dog is well trained and good natured. So in this case neither the serial-comma style nor the no-serial-comma style resolves the ambiguity. Common arguments for consistent use of the serial comma: Common arguments against consistent use of the serial comma: Many sources are against both systematic use and systematic avoidance of the serial comma, making recommendations in a more nuanced way (see #Recommendations by style guides and subsequent sections). Common starter words for introductory clauses that should be followed by a comma include after, although, as, because, if, since, when, while. That comma is optional. Use a comma before and after, however, moreover, furthermore, and therefore. There’s no single rule that applies to all situations. The sentence above contains two independent clauses (highlighted in green), so it requires a comma before and. Oxford comma (also known as the "serial comma" or "Harvard comma") is the name given to the optional final comma in a series. Commas before or after conjunctions. Ampersands in relatively formal text may be used to form a compound name (e.g. This would still be ambiguous if a serial comma were added, as Mandela could still be mistaken for a demigod, although he would be precluded from being a dildo collector.[25]. Therefore, we need a comma before and. 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. Oakhurst Dairy settled the case by paying $5 million to the drivers,[53] and the phrase in the law in question was later changed to use serial semicolons and "distributing" – resulting in "canning; processing; preserving; freezing; drying; marketing; storing; packing for shipment; or distributing". Ampersands in relatively formal text may be used to form a compound name (e.g. This page was last edited on 29 November 2020, at 10:52. A quick and easy guide to the comma. Read more about commas in lists. A lot of people have strong feelings about putting a comma before and in a list. These forms (among others) would remove the ambiguity: Ambiguities can often be resolved by the selective use of semicolons instead of commas; this is sometimes called the "super comma" function of semicolons. Not all writers or publishers use it, but it is used by Oxford Dictionaries – some people refer to it as ‘the Oxford comma’. The sentence above written in AP style would look like this: Please bring me a pencil, eraser and notebook. The fact that your last sentence looks unnatural, despite having correct commas, is evidence that you shouldn't use an ampersand like that! Sam and Sarah take excellent care of their pets. Sam tossed the ball and watched the dog chase it. Oxford comma (also known as the "serial comma" or "Harvard comma") is the name given to the optional final comma in a series. Furthermore, if the reader is unaware of which convention is being used, both versions are always ambiguous. Here’s what you can do next: 3.9K shares; Share; Tweet; Pin; Want this infographic on your blog or website? Writing, grammar, and communication tips for your inbox. 8 Pros and Cons (Infographic) by Jennifer Frost. For example, a list of three countries might be punctuated either as "France, Italy and Spain" (without the serial comma) or "France, Italy, and Spain" (with the serial comma). The Serial Comma. before the coordinating conjunction [usually and or or]) in a series of three or more terms. It matches the spoken cadence of sentences better. RIGHT The claimant’s attorney stated that his client was unable to attend the hearing. ", 2003; This punctuation style, however, does have a drawback: It may imply a closer connection than actually exists between the last two elements of the series (p. 89). The first clause, Sam tossed the ball could stand on its own as a complete sentence, which means it’s an independent clause. The comma before such as is correct because the phrase is a nonessential clause. Don’t switch back and forth in the same document between using the Oxford comma and not using it. We traveled to China, Thailand and Japan. Proponents of the Oxford comma say it’s necessary to avoid potential ambiguity. There is a ferocious grammatical debate over whether a comma should go before the final conjunction in a series of three or more elements. This is when if you don’t use the comma, the meaning of the sentence changes. Therefore, the conclusion should be to use the comma before “and” etc. 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"). (Isn’t there always?) 2. For example, a list of three drinks might be punctuated either as "beer, wine, and whisky", or as "beer, wine and whisky". We took tomatoes, cottage cheese, and pepper and salt. This is called the serial comma or Oxford comma. The position of a comma can often reflect the sense in which the word is being used. The Oxford comma is an optional comma before the word ‘and’ at the end of a list. 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). Other style guides take the opposite approach. You should not use a comma before and if you’re only mentioning two qualities. You can use two commas for three items, or if you’re like me you obsess over the Oxford Comma. 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”? But the second clause, watched the dog chase it, can’t stand by itself as a complete sentence. You need to put a comma between the different items in a list, as in the following sentences: Saturday morning started with a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and French toast. Minimum wage; overtime rate", "Author calls for Brexit coin 'boycott' over lack of Oxford comma", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Serial_comma&oldid=991305493, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia introduction cleanup from June 2020, Articles covered by WikiProject Wikify from June 2020, All articles covered by WikiProject Wikify, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Want to learn about other ways to use a comma? HLC 104-1, § 351 at 58 (1995), "Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects. Oxford comma; Vocative comma; Inverted commas; Comma splice; Commas before or after; The Comma Guide. We traveled to China, Thailand, and Japan. 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. Even though the Oxford Comma is named after the Oxford University Press (who still use it), most Brits do not use an Oxford Comma. It is easy to learn the punctuation rules for coordinating conjunctions. Putting a comma before “that” is a very common mistake: WRONG The claimant’s attorney stated, that his client was unable to attend the hearing. Find out: Tip: Bookmark that page. Lynne Truss writes: "There are people who embrace the Oxford comma, and people who don't, and I'll just say this: never get between these people when drink has been taken."[6]. Serial Comma. A lot of people have strong feelings about putting a comma before and in a list. 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. Adding a serial comma removes this ambiguity: In some circumstances using the serial comma can create ambiguity. As the U.S. appeals judge David J. Barron wrote, "For want of a comma, we have this case. 4th Ed. When you have a series ending with a conjunction, you need to use the serial or Oxford comma. The Oxford, or serial, comma is included before the final "and" in lists. The dog is well trained, and good natured. The Oxford Comma (or the Serial Comma) is the comma before “and” in a list of three or more items. Commas are important, including the Oxford Comma. The sentence is correct with or without the comma before and. Consider this apocryphal book dedication:[23]. Before a coordinating conjunction when it separates an independent and dependent clause as an Oxford comma. For these, you don’t put a comma before the last item in a list, but you still need one for all the other items. The Oxford comma reduces ambiguity in lists. Here’s a sample sentence without the Oxford comma:. After an initial/introductory adverb that modifies a whole sentence or independent clause. Commas are needed before coordinating conjunctions, after dependent clauses (when they precede independent clauses), and to set off appositives. Burger, fries, and a shake () Those following "UK convention" should not use a comma. The Oxford comma reduces ambiguity in lists. Most British style guides do not mandate its use. Commas can separate items in a list. S hould you use a comma before and/or after “etc.”? If the sentence is combining two independent clauses together then the comma should appear. If the book dedication above is changed to, the serial comma after Ayn Rand creates ambiguity about the writer's mother because it uses punctuation identical to that used for an appositive phrase, leaving it unclear whether this is a list of three entities (1, my mother; 2, Ayn Rand; and 3, God) or of only two entities (1, my mother, who is Ayn Rand; and 2, God). Do you call it the serial comma or the Oxford comma? Call it the serial comma often use one when it ’ s oxford comma before or after and... Defense and held that `` distribution '' was an exempt activity do you call it serial. Written in AP style would look like this: Please bring me a pencil, eraser notebook! Comma replacement depends on whether such as prairie restoration and controlled burns comma replacement depends on whether such prairie. Bulk to the Grammarly blog or without the comma adds unnecessary bulk the... Is appropriate for the comma Guide placed between the last list item in a list.. comma before and,! 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