1

I have heard this about the comma before and.

Generally speaking, you want to use a comma in sentences made of two independent clauses connected by one of the following seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet.

S: It included individual and group studies, and reports under investigation.

Shouldn't there be no comma before "and reports" as "and... investigation" is not an independent clause?

Style cite?

Edit: I added this as a comment in response to another.

And that would mean a comma is not needed: "It includes X and Y." – Yoav Kallus yesterday

Exactly. There should not be a comma in "It includes X and Y". So according to the rule cited the comma should be omitted. But do even strong writers use comma in the given example? Yes. So, could someone knowledgeable please explain what rule should one follow and how should one handle the given example?

  • 1
    Another comma usage question? Can't people simply accept the idea of putting as many or as few commas as necessary or unnecessary to allow comprehensive reading? – Blessed Geek Nov 21 '14 at 17:44
  • 1
    @BlessedGeek: Everybody who posts here gets exposed to the miscellany of our answers and gets even more confused. This means that anybody asking about commas here is automatically clueless. Otherwise they wouldn't post. So no point complaining unless you can point to the definitive answer. Which has nothing to do with clauses or conjunctions, so it's not being asked about. The usual situation. – John Lawler Nov 21 '14 at 17:52
  • @BlessedGeek, If one is to follow a consistent style usage then these sort of questions are just part of the process to get there. It seems the example cited raises a relevant question with regards to the accepted rules of the comma usage. – Joe Black Nov 23 '14 at 19:50
1

I wouldn't think so because individual and group studies is one thing - studies.

So I would kind of look at this like X, and Y where x = "individual and group studies" and y = "reports under investigation"

  • 1
    And that would mean a comma is not needed: "It includes X and Y." – Yoav Kallus Nov 22 '14 at 7:20
  • Exactly. There should not be a comma in "It includes X and Y". So according to the rule cited the comma should be omitted. But do even strong writers use comma in the given example? Yes. So, could someone knowledgeable please explain what rule should one follow and how should one handle the given example? – Joe Black Nov 23 '14 at 19:47
0

You are correct in saying that there should not be a comma before the second and because "reports under investigation" is not an independent clause; however, the comma is used in this sentenced is not wrong. The comma is used here because it is not clear what belong together if the comma is omitted.

  • You appear to have contradicted yourself. First you've said "there should not be a comma"; then you've said "The comma is used here because it is not clear what belong together if the comma is omitted." Your second sentence clearly indicates that there should be a comma, else the sentence would be ambiguous. – TrevorD Jul 12 '16 at 13:38
  • Yes, you are right. The sentence is a bit confusing. What I was trying to convey is that there is a rule that says there should not be a comma, but that this rule can be (or should be broken) for the sake of clarity. – hidde vuijk Jul 12 '16 at 13:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.