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Comma after "and so forth"?

He brought potato chips, pudding, and so forth, to the picnic.

Comma after "etc."?

He brought potato chips, pudding, etc., to the picnic.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1

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No. You should use comma to separate items in a list, rather than using it to separate the list and the last part of the sentence.

You may find this paper useful.

Commas in the wrong places can break a sentence into illogical pieces, or confuse readers with unnecessary and unexpected pauses.

According to a Wikipedia article, commas are normally used

  1. in lists (A, B and C)

  2. to separate clauses (I was drunk, but I still managed to walk home.)

  3. after certain adverbs (Therefore, a comma would be appropriate in this sentence.)

  4. to enclose parenthetical words and phrases (Archy, a teenager, is developing an iPhone application that can change the world.)

  5. between adjectives (He is a tall, distinguished man.)

  6. before quotes (Mr. Kershner says, "That's what I'm talking about.")

  7. to separate parts of geographical references (The plane landed in Kampala, Uganda.)

  8. in dates (December 19, 1941)

  9. in names (John Smith, Ph.D.)

  10. to indicate that a word has been omitted (The cat was white; the dog, brown. [Here the comma replaces was])

  11. before, after, or around a noun or pronoun used independently in speaking to some person, place or thing (I hope, Kenny, that you will read this.)

A comma can also be used as an Oxford Comma (the second comma in "A, B, and C")

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  • What about "If A, then B." ?
    – Simd
    Feb 12, 2014 at 22:08
  • @felix That is an example of its 2nd usage: to separate clauses (I was drunk, but I still managed to walk home). Feb 13, 2014 at 7:10
  • @whippoorwill You're welcome. Feb 13, 2014 at 7:12
  • But when is it ""If A then B."?
    – Simd
    Feb 13, 2014 at 8:38
  • @felix You may find this link useful. Feb 13, 2014 at 11:24

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