Have you Wondered? Comma or No Comma…

….before ‘and’


If you have ever been faced with the dilemma of deciding whether to place a comma before the word and this might interest you.

According to the Chicago Manual of Style:

When and joins the last two elements in a series of three or more, a comma — known as the serial or series comma — should appear before the conjunction. If the last element consists of a pair joined by and, the pair should still be preceded by a serial comma and the first and.

For example:

  • She took a photograph of her parents, the president, and the vice president.
  • John was singing, Jean was playing guitar, and Alan was running errands and furnishing food.

When independent clauses are joined by and, but, or, so, yet, or any other conjunction, a comma usually precedes the conjunction. If the clauses are very short and closely connected, the comma may be omitted unless the clauses are part of a series.

For example:

  • [Carol  started writing 15 years ago], and [Today she is a bestselling author].


  • Raise your right hand and repeat after me.

(An independent clause is a group of words that has a subject and a verb and can stand alone as a sentence. Examples set out above in squared brackets.)


  • In a series whose elements are all joined by conjunctions, no commas are needed unless the elements are long and delimiters would be helpful.
  • When an ampersand is used instead of the word and the serial comma is omitted.


Just in case you wondered.


    1. Author

      True. Thanks for dropping by Julian. Looking forward to your new book: Entrepreneur to Ultrapreneur.

    1. Author

      Hi Lucy

      Thank you for dropping by. I am glad that you found the article useful.

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