Here's a sentence that's quite confusing to me:

You should provide a strategy that is based on the criteria specified in the document,and a formula calculating the return.

What are the two parts that are connected by the word 'and'? Are they

  1. 'strategy' and 'formula'


  1. 'criteria' and 'formula'?
  • You should provide a strategy and a formula. By the way there are a lot of related question check this one for instance.
    – haha
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 11:23

2 Answers 2


You need to understand that commas and hyphens are there for clarity.

There is no sin in placing or omitting commas or hyphens, for emphasis or clarity, if they do not change the meaning of the phrase or sentence.

I came, and I saw, and there he was standing on the ledge of the parapet à la I'm flying in The Titanic, looking down below was 500 feet of cliff, on which the edge of the ancient castle stood, and persisted for the last thousand years.

There has been a movement within the last two decades, to omit as many commas as possible from sentences - a movement which you need not subscribe to. Write with commas in a manner that makes sense and clarity to you.

Compare with: When to use a hyphen to coin a new word and when to omit a hyphen?


Change the sentence to "... and a forumla for..." and problem solved.

You should provide a strategy that is based on the criteria specified in the document, and a formula for calculating the return.

  • Sorry it's still unclear to me.Could you point out the right version of understanding? Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 8:49
  • Think of the comma as a period marking a new sentence. That links the "formula" to "strategy". Without the comma it would be linked to "criteria".
    – Luc S
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 8:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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