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Often I find people framing English sentences wherein the conjunction "and" is preceded by a comma (,). For e.g. something like 'My parents, my brother, and my nephew reside with me'. Is this right or in other words, does this adhere to the basic conventions of English language? Or is this just a new concoction to further distort the English language? I have always known that a comma must not precede the conjunction "and"!

Thanks,

Regards,

Arpan
Comments  
I will tell what I've learned so far. Beware : I'm a student and hence take my words with a pinch of salt.

1) 'and' is used to connect two related sentences. Here comma is used before the 'and' to seperate the two sentences.

2) Comma is not used before very small sentences like words,etc.
For eg., I like bread and butter.

This topic has been previously discusses.
Here is the link: [url="http://www.EnglishForward.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=852 "]Usage of Comma before 'and'[/url]
a comma must not precede the conjunction "and"!


Arpan,
I regret to tell you, but this "rule" is incorrect. Commas very frequently precede "and"!
Jim
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There has been a discussion on this subject:

Commas and Conjunctions
I beg to disagree with all of you. A comma before an 'and' is a perfectly acceptable practice and is, at times, needed to make things clearer.

1. Example: My parents, my brother, and my nephew reside with me. In this case, the comma before the 'and' is not needed, as it is clear that the persons residing with me are my parents, my brother and my nephew.

2. Example: I was taking a walk in the park with my friend, a photographer and a painter. In this case, two meanings can emerge:
a. I was taking a walk with three persons: 1. my friend 2. a photographer 3. a painter.
b. I was taking a walk with only one person: my friend who is a photographer and a painter.

Now add the comma before the 'and' and let the sentence read as 'I was taking a walk in the park with my friend, a photographer, and a painter. Does it not become immediately clear that I was taking a walk with three persons: 1. my friend 2. a photographer 3. a painter.

I hope, I have been of help.
I beg to disagree with all of you


I don't think you are disagreeing, Sunil-- just expanding on an instance. We disagree here often enough as it is, without fabricating a disagreement! Thanks for your input; it is much appreciated.
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I have read so many articles about using and with comma. Apparently it depends on the situation; there is not a certain rule. (And i am talkign about the "comma" and "and" in case of series of words. Sometimes, when the meaning is clear it is not needed, but it is not wrong if used. Sometimes, it is really required to have the comma for the clarity.

I have an example sentence, which causes problem at my office. One employee keeps telling that a comma is needed, but i don't agree and i don't like the look of it when a comma is used (We use it for our ads). However if a comma is a must, then of course the look of it is not important compared to the grammar. Anyway, here is the sentence:

Large selections of Decking, Tile and Interior Surfaces.

Please note that it is actually decking surfaces, tile surfaces, and interior surfaces. When I write them down as i just did, i actually used the comma unconciously because it makes sense to me to seperate them. But in the original sentence, when i put a comma it sounds like i have "tile" and "interior surfaces".

Any thoughts, suggestions?
Commas are a pain! Here are some possible interpretations:

"I was walking in the park with my brother, an artist and a carpenter."

(My brother is an artist and a carpenter. I was walking with him).

"I was walking in the park with my brother, with an artist, and a carpenter."

(I was walking with all three).

"I was walking in the park with my brother, an artist, and a carpenter."

(My brother is an artist. I was walking with him and with a carpenter. Explanation: The description "artist" is in aposition to the noun "brother").

OR (I was walking with all three). It's unclear.

Another questionable use of the comma:

"I was very angry, and if I had my way, I would have sacked him straight away."

"I was very angry and, if I had my way, I would have sacked him straight away."

"I was very angry, and, if I had my way, I would have sacked him straight away."

The first example is incorrect. The second and third are acceptable. I prefer the second but others may disagree!

Here's why I like the second example. replace commas with parentheses:

"I was very angry and (if I had my way) I would have sacked him straight away."

Remove the clause in parentheses (brackets):

"I was very angry and I would have sacked him straight away."

It still makes sense. I think that's a reasonable test.
SORRY - correction (I had an extra comma).

"I was walking in the park with my brother, with an artist and a carpenter."

(I was walking with all three).

Can we please get the edit function fixed?
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