comma before 'and' vs. no comma before 'and'

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by coolwater, Jul 2, 2009.

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comma before 'and' vs. no comma before 'and'

Poll closed Jul 12, 2009.
  1. I bought bread, milk, and egg.

    27 vote(s)
    37.0%
  2. I bought bread, milk and egg.

    28 vote(s)
    38.4%
  3. BOTH

    18 vote(s)
    24.7%
  1. macrumors 6502a

    coolwater

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #1
    1 space or 2 spaces after a period poll was surprisingly interesting.

    Then, do you put comma before 'and' or not?

    Example #1> I bought bread, milk, and eggs.

    Example #2> I bought bread, milk and eggs.


    I was told to do #1 in high school. But, my college English professor (actually a very hot TA) said both are okay. She said she does #1 because that's how she was taught, but #2 is okay as well.
     
  2. macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #2
    def. no comma. used to get counted off 3 points in English if we even tried that stuff...oh I loved eigth grade, but then again this is Texas we talk about.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    #3
    [
     
  4. macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #4
    I've always heard that either was is acceptable, but I never put that comma, it just looks weird.
     
  5. macrumors 603

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #5
    I'm glad I missed that. (I left Texas in 7th grade, cane back in 9th. :p)

    But I also don't use the comma. It just looks weird to me.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #6
    I always used a comma, since I think that is what the Chicago Manual uses.

    BTW, when did this turn into grammar rumors? :)
     
  7. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #7
    Both are correct.

    Generally, you use no comma in a simple series, such as the one you provided. You always use a comma in more complex series, such as: I got up this morning, took a shower, ate breakfast, and went to work.

    You can also use a semi-colon in some cases: I got up this morning, it was too early; took a shower, the water was cold; ate breakfast, cereal again; and went to work.
     
  8. macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #8
    Long before you joined...
     
  9. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #9
    BTW, your poll should read:

    I bought bread, milk and eggs.

    or

    I bought bread, milk and an egg.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    colourfastt

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    #10
    Always use a comma.
     
  11. macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #11
    That last one is a tad bit different though, considering that you are modifying each of the things being listed, the commas would become rather confusing. I do believe both is correct, but I def. don't use the ", and" method.
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    techfreak85

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Places
    #12
    i change it up depending how i feel.;)
     
  13. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #13
    Yes, it is different. I thought I would share, since we are on the subject of commas in a series.
     
  14. macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #14
    i use a comma
     
  15. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #15
    From the AP Stylebook:

     
  16. macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #16
    english is too hard. i only use the punctuation thats needed to convey my point lol
     
  17. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #17
    Here, I'm more relaxed ... but at work, English is my job.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    coolwater

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #18
    Makes more sense. Recommended or a must?

    Second question: Can I put comma in a simple series to emphasize? i.e. we only have red, white, and blue.
     
  19. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #19
    It all depends on which manual of style you choose to follow. I don't remember what S&W, MLA or Chicago say.
     
  20. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #20
    Damn. I always use the comma.

    I'm gonna make the switcheroo over to the non-comma side.
     
  21. macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #21
    No comma, at least for me

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  22. macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #22
    The comma before the conjunction is often referred to as the "Oxford comma," where the additional comma is traditionally preferred, although the school's own style guide officially recommends against it.

    In general, conventional wisdom is to avoid the Oxford comma as unnecessary, but this is a flexible rule. Any writer will encounter situations where clarity of a sentence can be increased or decreased by inclusion or exclusion of the comma, and of course one should always err on the side of greater clarity.
     
  23. macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    #23
    The Oxford Comma, I think it's called. (EDIT: Er, yeah, as Gelfin says).

    It's something I use and - having checked up on it - it's fine to do so. I think the key thing if you're going to use it is to use it in a consistant manner.
     
  24. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #24
    I prefer, use, and recommend the comma.

    My reason? You pause when you say the sentence out loud, and the comma represents the pause.
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    zephead

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    in your pants
    #25
    I always thought things in a list were always listed with commas, unless the two things you don't put a comma between are somehow connected.

    For example, unrelated items get commas between all of them:
    "I went to the store and bought milk, eggs, and cheese."

    Items which go together as a pair get commas:
    "For breakfast, we are having bacon and eggs, sausage, and toast." Bacon and eggs are a pair, while sausage and toast aren't necessarily tied together.
     

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