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Hi all,

On lists of items or adjectives, should I use a comma before "and"? Because I've already found both forms and I'm confused:

I need to buy apples, bananas, meat and rice.

I need to buy apples, bananas, meat, and rice.

There are three beautiful, and nice children playing at the yard.

She's friendly, outgoing, talented and honest.

She's friendly, outgoing, talented, and honest.

 

Thank you SO much in advance.

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Hi, Jessy—In the future, please number your examples for ease of reference. The only incorrect sentence is the third one, in which there are only two coordinated adjectives. When there are only two coordinated adjectives, you should not use a comma before "and."

In the other sentences, where there are more than two adjectives in each series, it is your choice whether to use the comma before "and." That comma is known as "the serial comma" or "the Oxford comma." Some people use it. I am one of them. Others don't. The most important thing is to be consistent.

If you would like more information about the Oxford comma, please ask. It is a larger topic, relating to other types of series. Adjectives are not required.

Last edited by David, Moderator
@JessyA posted:

Hi David, I truly appreciate your explanation, and I'd be more than happy if you could provide me with some explanation (or tell me where I can get further information) about the Oxford Comma.

Hi, JessyA—At the moment, I don't have time to compose a free dissertation on on the Oxford comma. Please consult this Wikipedia article. If you have any questions after reading the article, I will be happy to discuss them with you.

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