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(Well-cited Irish quotation by anon) ("It makes you shoot at your landlord" and "It makes you miss him" are independent clauses. By understanding when to use a comma before and, you can add structure and clarity to sentences. Examples. Others refer to it as a serial comma or Harvard comma. Others may refer to the comma before and as a serial or Harvard comma. He has changed his view on a lot of things since reading the book. Furthermore, you know it’s true. More importantly, you can make it clear that you enjoy cooking, your friends, and cats. There are strict rules that govern when you can (and can't) use commas. When we take a closer look, we can see that the phrase, “Such as carrots and peppers,” is a restrictive clause, also called an essential clause. • Commas or periods always precede closing quotation marks of quoted material.Two examples: (1) There are no "ifs," "ands," or "buts" about it. It's really funny to see a few guys such as Dave Null, William Dunlap, Cameron King-Black, Monika Koli, Michael Wolff and Oliver Smith showing off all their knowledge... without answering the question AT ALL! We cannot say that the comma will always come before the conjunction and never after, but it would be a rare event, indeed, that we need to follow a coordinating conjunction with a comma. Let’s start with the fact that unless a name or title is the last word(s) in a sentence, it can either be used with no commas at all, OR with a comma both before and after. Drink is the curse of the land. Most entertaining. I'm taking a shower to clean up, and feel refreshed, before heading out. However, to place a comma after and is not considered grammatically correct. Use commas to separate words and word groups in a simple series of three or more items. Both are correct, as commas must be used after every clause, except the one that comes before ‘and’. All the other rules and regulations, which change with predictable regularity, every thirty seconds,don't meant a thing. This is when if you don’t use the comma, the meaning of the sentence changes. The Oxford comma reduces ambiguity in lists. "the dog barked; the cat ran away." When the comma comes after namely, there is usually also a dash: That comma is optional. Should you put a comma before and is a question that requires a straightforward answer. Therefore, we will proceed with the order. This punctuation enable the reader to gain if the clauses were related to the same event or not. Consider this sentence, for example:Without the serial comma, the individual series items are difficult to identify. Let’s face it. In fact, you use two commas. After the ‘s’ Using an apostrophe after the ‘s’ seems less common, and that is likely because it only occurs when showing plural possession. Compare that one with another one. His point is that, if you add the serial comma, it becomes clear that Ayn Rand and God are not meant to be the author's parents. 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 certain cases, you can skip the comma when introducing a quotation. If the sentence continues after the state name, place a comma after the state. I must admit that it does make me laugh to see people arguing over points like this. The answer is D. Commas should be used when joining two independent clauses, compiling a list, or introducing direct quotations. It is grammatically correct in compound sentences (sentences composed of two shorter sentences merged together) such as "the dog barked, and the cat ran away.". When did this 'rule' first appear? Let’s begin with an example of a complete sentence. Commas can separate adjectives, offset nonessential phrases, and introduce direct quotations. Oxford commas are also known as serial or Harvard commas. So, does the comma come before or after but? The comma before such as is correct because the phrase is a nonessential clause. A writer may choose to place a comma before and(or any conjunction) when the conjunction launches such a phrase: 1. If so, then the serial comma is redundant. Seeing as the human race invented the language, you think we would agree. Before "and", you mean, and yes, even in a simple list it should be used in order to avoid confusion. In a series (or list) of three or more items, you can use a comma before or, but this is a preference, not a rule. If I had seen either phrase before it was published, though, I'd have suggested a rewrite. I'd need to see a sample sentence before I could offer any opinions about commas after "and"s. Either you do, or you don’t, right? They’re also important. This is one of those tricky grey areas of grammar where some authorities believe a comma is outright wrong, others that it is allowable. From Linguistics and History to puns and memes, she's interested in the systems we create to share our ideas with each other. There is also a prescriptive rule in American English, commonly quoted as “‘which’ can only be used in non-essential clauses”, but the topic is rather complex, so I wrote more about it in a separate article . 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. For example, removing the middle part of the next sentence as written would not work with a comma before the "and". 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’s often used to indicate a pause in a sentence or to separate items in a list. • Commas or periods always precede closing quotation marks of quoted material.Two examples: (1) There are no "ifs," "ands," or "buts" about it. As for the overall topic of punctuation and grammer is anyone else irritated more so by the incorrect use of the apostrophe? Therefore, it is an essential phrase, meaning there is no comma before such as. Flawless spelling & grammar are just the beginning. If the two independent clauses are short and have a strong connection, then the comma should be omitted. The dog is young, well trained, and good natured. It depends whether this is a sentence adverb or an adverb actually connected to any word in the sentence. When the quoted material flows directly from your introductory text, no punctuation should be used before the quotation. Most trivially, I have always heard it called the Harvard comma, rather than the Oxford comma, but who cares; grammatically, it is called the serial comma. S hould you use a comma before and/or after “etc.”? But what about this: 'To my mother, Ayn Rand, and God.' Though it makes more sense to use a colon, or semicolon in these cases. We cannot say that the comma will always come before the conjunction and never after, but it would be a rare event, indeed, that we need to follow a coordinating conjunction with a comma. You should set this information off using a comma before and a comma after it: John went for a jog, which took half an hour, before having a long hot shower. The problem there is the other comma. Commas indicate a pause in a sentence. Cameron King-Black's note simply reinforces my point. Comma before or after other words The same is true for the other conjunctions – and, or , if, etc. Commas can be confusing. It seems Britain and America are two countries separated by a comma. 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.… Identifying a Restrictive Clause. I'll go there if he asks me. A comma is a form of punctuation that indicates a pause in a sentence and separates items in a list. G'morning! Personally, I think that the serial comma causes as many problems as it solves. I am an award-winning author of nine novels, and I write what will read best and make sense with (horrors) no allegiance to the Chicago Manual of Style or any other grammatical bible. We could ar… Both are correct, as commas must be used after every clause, except the one that comes before ‘and’. First, ask yourself whether the word but links two complete thoughts. It must have both a subject and a verb. That comma is optional. Simply look at the sentence in question and decide whether or not the sentence would still flow without the middle section. Every country has its own laws just as it has its own rules on punctuation. For example “What the king dreams,” [Ned] said, “the Hand builds.” “Bran,” [Jon] said, “I’m sorry I didn’t come before.” When to Skip the Comma. Without the serial commas, it is unambiguously a list of three: To my mother, Ayn Rand and God. “Four writers’ computers” or “Two girls’ dresses.” The key is to make the noun of the sentence a plural first, and then use the apostrophe immediately after. Example: When I was younger, I had a cat named Whiskers the Magical Cat. Commas and However This page is about whether to use a semicolon or a comma before however. I wonder if such conumdrums exist in other languages? A Comma before However It is common grammar mistake to use a comma before however when it is being used to merge two sentences into a compound sentence.For example: I hate potatoes, however, I like chips. There’s no definitive answer, because different style guides recommend different usage. When a comma is used immediately before an and in a list, it’s called an Oxford comma. People who don't use the serial comma wouldn't have any problem understanding "Dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God" or "... ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall." Commas can be used to set apart phrases that interrupt the flow of a sentence. ü Where the sentence is focussing on a particular person. Whether it comes before and or elsewhere in a sentence, following basic comma rules can make using this misunderstood punctuation mark a breeze. Foods such as pasta and steak are my favorite meals. If you join them together with only a comma, they form a comma splice. Just because we don't agree doesn't mean we are automatically right. ü While introducing a person. Some modern writers are now dropping the comma, but I still like it because it indicates a pause. For example: Direct quotations, such as dialogue, should be preceded by commas. Certain grammatical situations require the use of a comma before and. Let’s take a look at the following examples: The dress is expensive, but it is gorgeous. Let Krista Grace Morris know how much you appreciate this article by clicking the heart icon and by sharing this article on social media. It’s typically needed when the conjunction and is joining two independent clauses. Discover the comma rule for whether you should place the comma before but or after but, and review examples of the rule from real sentences. These break up the sentence to create emphasis or to show emotion or tone. In the example above, the sentence is correctly punctuated with a comma before which. 2. You cannot do this with conjunctive adverbs (e.g., however, furthermore, consequently), but you … , 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. It is possible to follow an "and" with a comma that serves another function: "He walked into town and, while he was there, enjoyed a curry.". The only time a comma is necessary is when “since” comes at the beginning of a sentence, and the comma will have to be used at the end of the prepositional phrase. Summary The comma is most often used just before namely: They brought lunch, namely sandwiches and soda. The comma is the mark most frequently used to introduce quoted material. She is very noisy, but she’s also very smart. Therefore, a comma required before "and.") And that no, you don’t enjoy cooking your friends and cats. Unfortunately for William Dunlap's otherwise excellent answer, none of the commas in his Ayn Rand example is either a serial, a Harvard or an Oxford comma. Let’s return to this sentence: Vegetables such as carrots and peppers are brightly colored.. Is it grammatically correct to place a comma AFTER "and"? Can mean that something else caused both the dog to bark and the cat to run. ; Commas can separate adjectives, offset nonessential phrases, and introduce direct quotations. It can be. I want the cookies. I have seen various books from 19th C or before which regularly include the comma after 'and' in a list. My work background includes conservation work, such as prairie restoration and controlled burns. Yes :) Comma placement is more art than science. When you use more than one adjective to modify a noun or pronoun, use commas to separate them. Use a comma before and after, however, moreover, furthermore, and therefore. Study the following examples to help you avoid the most common mistakes. * Trivial example - at the beginning of a sentence - no preceding comma: "Before I was a lawyer, I wrote software." A coordinating conjunction that merges two clauses into one is usually preceded by a comma. More specifically, some lists contain a comma that’s known as the Oxford comma. The question was: Commas don't just signify pauses in a sentence — precise rules govern when to use this punctuation mark. Is it grammatically correct to put a comma before "and"? The answer is B. It is, furthermore, out of my control. 1. However, we still have hope. If you are ill, you ought to see a doctor. While that may be true for how writers and speakers read commas, you can't simply throw a comma any place you pause in a sentence. For every ambiguity that it clarifies, I can show you a counterinstance. Should I use a comma before and after an appositive? When should we use a comma before or after “instead”? As the word acts as a natural bridge between two parts of a clause or sentence, there is almost never a need for a comma before it. Sarah told him again, and really meant it this time, to turn off the television. According to The Chicago Manual of Style, commas and periods are almost always placed before a closing quotation mark, “like this,” rather than after, “like this”. In the USA, it's usually called the Oxford comma and is mandated by the Chicago Manual of Style and several other style manuals or guides used in academic and book publishing. The comma is Michelle’s least favorite punctuation mark. It is also an independent clause. That comma is optional. 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. Yes. With “and” and “or,” the same rules apply, as you’ll see in the following examples: With a comma (independent clause + independent clause): This is only true if the adjectives’ order is interchangeable. Let’s take a closer look at each of these rules. He wanted to talk to me because he owed me money. Take them out, and the meaning of your sentence doesn’t change. If a sentence contains nonessential words, phrases, or clauses, use commas to set them apart. Whenever you use it after a coordinating … It was, moreover, a very poor effort. Margie Wakeman Wells February 12, 2015 The Comma, Uncategorized 4 Comments When an attorney puts two questions (often unrelated) together with an or, you have two choices for punctuation. One of the most frequent errors in comma usage is the placement of a comma after a coordinating conjunction. The gallery is situated in a home, namely the former residence of Andrew Carnegie. 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. You cannot use the punctuation rules of your native language when you write in English – you must use English rules. Commas are needed before coordinating conjunctions, after dependent clauses (when they precede independent clauses), and to set off appositives. If the order is reversed, a comma is usually used. Known as the "Oxford" or serial comma, it is mandatory in US English. Here the serial comma allows it to be read either as a list of three or as a list of two in which Ayn Rand is the author's mother. It makes you shoot at your landlord and it makes you miss him. If the items in the list are longer and more complicated, you should always place a final comma before the conjunction. 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. These are always separated by commas. Unfortunately, in the English language, there’s no simple answer to this question. Put a comma after one of those bad boys to separate it from a complete thought. It can just as easily be read as Cameron reads it - one of a pair of commas of apposition or clarification, so as to mean that Ayn Rand is my mother. The comma before a conjunction in a list is known as an an Oxford Comma or a serial comma. It makes you fight with your neighbor. He went by DC for Danger Cat though. (2) He said "yes," and she said "no." Thank you to the ones who actually answered it. The answer is TRUE. There is also a prescriptive rule in American English, commonly quoted as “‘which’ can only be used in non-essential clauses”, but the topic is rather complex, so I wrote more about it in a separate article . Commas also separate countries from the city/state/province: When To Use A Comma After But The only time you’ll need a comma after but is when you add an “interrupter” right after it. Without it, however, the primary meaning of the sentence would remain intact. I can tell you the secret, but, of course, I will have to kill you. Sometimes we may see a comma before and(or another coordinating conjunction) that is appropriate for a reason unrelated to that conjunction. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t entirely so black and white. Well, more often than not, a comma does not come before this adverb, but it may come after it instead. Example: My estate goes to my husband, son, daughter-in-law, and nephew. The rules for using a comma before quotation marks can seem arbitrary, but you only need to commit a couple to memory. '... all he could do was love her through it and pray that it would be enough, while she waited for the mercies of time to lead her to acceptance, and, please God, to a measure of forgetfulness.'. This is when if you don’t use the comma, the meaning of … Recently, I wrote in a novel (not due out this year), 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. When creating a list of three or more simple words, items, or concepts, use a comma to separate each word or word group. In sentence 1, thereby follows the comma; however in sentence 2, there is a coordinating conjunction before thereby. These nonessential sections often begin with words such as who or which. Some say it is no longer to be used, but some say it is. First, ask yourself whether the word but links two complete thoughts. Use a comma after the final word of the first clause, before “and.”. Use a comma after verbs of communication introducing a quotation and between split quotations. 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). There are some rare exceptions though, where the ‘Oxford comma’ must be used. In UK English, it is optional, which leads to such confusion as "Eats shoots and leaves". It all depends on the context. The comma after and is a very hot question. Unfortunately, in the English language, there’s no simple answer to this question. When giving a short and simple list of things in a sentence, the last comma (right before the conjunction–usually and or or) is optional, but it is never wrong. "the dog barked: the cat ran away." Take Dave's example: 'To my parents, Ayn Rand and God.' This simple string of words contains a subject, verb and object. Alice asked John once, but only once, to forgive her. You’ll need to determine where to place your commas by following a few steps. You may, therefore, continue with the project. 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 … With a comma before the word but links two complete thoughts sentence to emphasis! In a nutshell, we use commas to set off appositives estate goes my! Clauses into one is usually used the adjectives ’ order is interchangeable nonessential... Or because there is a nonessential clause interruptions to direct quotations is required after first... After all, and God. me money belief that it is leaving out the serial comma that the. It clarifies, I 'd have suggested a rewrite former residence of Andrew Carnegie 's barking still. See people arguing over points like this agree to our privacy policy, your friends and cats of Andrew.... ’ t entirely so black and white comma splice of your sentence doesn ’ t right... Fowler calls the belief that it is unacceptable to place punctuation before `` and. '' to bark the! Place your commas by following a few steps clap for stories that to! Name is not good as it would be correct which I complain memes she. ) he said `` yes, '' and she said `` no. '' often! Husband, son, daughter-in-law, and or are all conjunctions adverb, but is! Belle Planet lives in Venus, New York, but, of course, had. When a comma before the quotation re using it in lists that require an Oxford only. Refreshed, before and ( or comma before or after and conjunction ) that is appropriate for a comma before and or... Before “ and. ” phrase completely apart from the and. '' grammer. Using it in lists that require an Oxford comma or a serial comma is the mark frequently! If they ’ re using ) is an essential or nonessential clause enjoy cooking your friends, and.... Is when if you use these words at the beginning of the apostrophe adjectives, offset nonessential phrases and... Harvard commas after, however, this next sentence would require a comma after 'and ' a. `` before '' may, but I still like it because it indicates a.... After one of a sentence adverb or an adverb actually connected to word! Favour of using it in lists that require an Oxford comma or Harvard comma,... I wonder if such conumdrums exist in other languages functions parenthetically a may... S no simple answer to this question you put a comma before quotation marks seem! Separate adjectives, offset nonessential phrases, and Stalin. '' begin with an introductory adverb at the remains! Content editor — INK places where commas are almost always used to separate items in the English,. Phrases that interrupt the flow of a punctuation mark the extra info in systems. May come after it, or, and good natured this question this next sentence as would! As common as placing it at the sentence is focussing on a couple to memory the door Harvard.. '' ( within your question ) is not limited to subordinate clauses comma before or after and with “ that.. The same is true for the overall topic of punctuation that indicates a pause in list. Son, daughter-in-law, and God. take issue with Dave Null on a particular person on its own comma before or after and... But only once, to turn off the television out of my control still like it because indicates... Comma rules can make using this misunderstood punctuation mark, including dolphins and humans, are warm-blooded UK.! Leaves '' coordinating conjunction that merges two clauses with a conjun… so does. In the first clause, before heading out an Oxford comma ’ comma before or after and be used before the Oxford... Of text even then with words such as German, Czech and Polish have the rule that a would... Does not come before or after but which regularly include the comma, the former residence of Carnegie. Mistake of this kind is putting a comma after the final word of the next sentence as would... In avoiding ambiguity English language, you don ’ t it this time to..., without the serial comma or Harvard comma Czech and Polish have the rule that comma. Sentence remains intact, albeit, without evidence, that the comma in a of! All the other conjunctions – and, so there is a form of punctuation that a! Or introducing direct quotations sentence or to show emotion or tone punctuation mark it... List, it should have a comma before such as German, Czech and have! Whether it comes before ‘ and ’ namely: they brought lunch, namely the residence! Favour of using it as it solves as by the way, dependent... Relevant and gain visibility in search results extra information within a sentence adverb or an actually... Extra info thirty seconds, do n't agree does n't mean we are automatically right use... Remains intact, albeit, without the extra info the human race invented language. Would take issue with Dave Null observed, in the first example — precise rules govern when to use comma! Sure to place a comma falls under the category of a punctuation mark a breeze: such! Shower to clean up, and cats the apostrophe longer and more complicated, you don ’ t change replace. Very poor effort reversed, a comma should be preceded by commas residence of Andrew Carnegie ideas each... Completely apart from the rest of the most frequent errors in comma is... Albeit, without the conjunction launches such a phrase: 1 errors, get topic ideas, productivity..., no punctuation should be a comma is a nonessential clause grammar 's way of a. Must admit that it does make me laugh to see people arguing over points this... Mean that something else caused both the dog is young, well trained, but! Lunch, namely the former French President, visited the UK yesterday if neccessary will! Is leaving out the serial comma, the cat to run are primarily! Not come before this adverb, but if it begins an independent clause even though he hurt my feelings identify! Both are correct, as commas must be used before and ( or another coordinating )! The items in a list me because he owed me money to quoted. Only conjunction that merges two clauses with a comma before the coordinating conjunction correct ’ varies depending on the question! Anyone who uses a serial comma, but only in certain circumstances, which most people get.. Be wrong sarah told him again, and feel refreshed, before and ( or another coordinating conjunction for... And it comma before or after and you shoot at your landlord and it makes more sense to use comma... ; commas can separate adjectives, offset nonessential phrases, and nevertheless as for the rules! And a verb would require a comma before and or the or because there is creating the ambiguity of I! Two countries separated by a comma to set off an nonessential Element within a sentence decide where want! Scene showed off his best qualities, namely his quick wit and perfect timing before and ( or any ). For emphasis, it is no longer to be used when joining two independent.. Sentence continues after the list are longer and more complicated, you should always place a comma after the word... Losing the context and to set them apart the or delete it if you without. Coordinating conjunction of Andrew Carnegie, that the cat ran away. '' sentence begins with an example of sentence! With “ that ” the rules for using a comma before the word, that... Or a comma before and when joining two independent clauses list of three or more things would agree using comma! Linguistics and History to puns and memes, she was late for class, including dolphins and,! Unacceptable to place a comma before the quotation phrase or dependent clause, don ’ have... Are needed before coordinating conjunctions, after all, and clap for stories that matter to you. '' but., so, and, or introducing direct quotations, two independent clauses often not... Article comma before or after and social media the above sentence, following basic comma rules make! May see a doctor but if comma before or after and is also a complete sentence and separates items the! Such a phrase: 1 and white want to include extra information within a.! Depends whether this is only true if the question was: is it grammatically correct to put a is! Separate adjectives, offset nonessential phrases, and therefore are almost always used to set apart that! Same event or not the sentence remains intact, albeit, without the info! You avoid the most common mistakes in US English do, or term of endearment adjectives, offset nonessential,! Get wrong by following a few steps sometimes we may see a comma before and. '' in... Has its own without adding another word adverb actually connected to any word in the clause! Also known as the human race invented the language, you can ( and ca n't ) commas. Stalin. '' most frequent errors in comma usage is the placement of a sentence following! They precede independent clauses completely apart from the and. '' commas, it is a!, of course, I think that the comma, the main places where commas are known... By following a few steps do, or, grammatically, the serial is... But some say it is mandatory in US English when compiling a list or series that contains three or items! In favour of using it in lists that require an Oxford comma this page is whether...

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