Commas in English

Commas with Enumerations

Use a comma to separate items in an enumeration.

Example: Old McDonald had a pig, a dog, a cow, a horse.

The comma before and is optional. (Choose the option you like best and stick to it.)

Example:
 Old McDonald had a pig, a dog, a cow and a horse.
 Old McDonald had a pig, a dog, a cow, and a horse.

Dont use a comma before and if two items are a unit (Ham and eggs as a dish is a unit and should therefore not be separated by a comma.)

Example:
 Old McDonald had soup, ham and eggs and apple pie for dinner.
 Old McDonald had soup, ham and eggs, and apple pie for dinner.

Dont use a comma if all items in an enumeration are separated by and, or, nor etc.

Example:
 Old McDonald had a pig and a dog and a cow and a horse.
 Old McDonald had a pig or a dog or a cow or a horse.
 Old McDonald neither had a pig nor a dog nor a cow nor a horse.

Exercise

see also: → Semi Colon in Enumerations

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