I was wondering if a list of classifying adjectives of the same type could use the Oxford Comma.

For example: social, political, and economic problems is it a correct expression? I was checking a book and the expression they used is social, political and economic problems.

Another example: The tulips were yellow, orange and red. Can I use The tulips were yellow, orange, and red?

Does the Oxford Comma rule apply in those cases? Are they both valid?

  • Why do you need the comma there?
    – Kris
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 20:15
  • 3
    π•»π–‘π–Šπ–†π–˜π–Š π–“π–Šπ–›π–Šπ–— π–Šπ–›π–Šπ–— π–šπ–˜π–Š π–‡π–†π–ˆπ–π–™π–Žπ–ˆπ–π–˜ 𝖋𝖔𝖗 π–Šπ–’π–•π–π–†π–˜π–Žπ–˜ 𝖔𝖗 π––π–šπ–”π–™π–Žπ–“π–Œ.
    – tchrist
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 22:28
  • 1
    Commas are matters of orthography, not of grammar.
    – tchrist
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 22:29

1 Answer 1


Yeah, it's fine.

The Oxford Comma: Hart’s Rules
Examples of the serial comma are:

  • mad, bad, and dangerous to know


There is some ambiguity in the case of your tulip example because it's not clear whether each tulip had three colours or whether you had a mixture of single-coloured tulips, but I'm guessing that's beside the point.

  • 1
    The idea is that we have three kinds of tulips. What is the best option to express that?
    – omar
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 19:30

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