Comma or not comma? That is the question!

Notice they each tout features like, "Vitamins A, C, and E," "Olive Leaf Extract," and "Sustainable Orange Stem Cells."


Notice they each tout features like "Vitamins A, C, and E," "Olive leaf extract," and "sustainable Orange Stem Cells."

Also, should there be a comma after "notice"?

Thank you

  • Assuming this is what you're asking, the generally accepted way to separate list items where at least one those items already uses commas is to use semicolons between the list items. – Jason Bassford Nov 9 '18 at 18:19

Your second sentence (no comma) is correct. The list of 'features' is essential to the meaning of the sentence, and should not be set off from the introductory part.

To answer your second question, there should not be a comma after "Notice." Notice in the verb form is transitive (source: American Heritage Dictionary), which means it requires a direct object to complete its meaning. You couldn't, for instance, ask a friend, "Do you notice?" without specifying an object, or in other words, the what of the sentence. A correct version of the query would be "Do you notice my scar?"

Also, as Jason Bafford points out in his comment, lists with commas in any of the items themselves are typically set off with semicolons. In some cases, you can get away with keeping the commas by shifting the items around to avoid any comma confusion. For example, you can shift "Vitamins A, C, and E" to the end of your list and avoid the comma after E:

Notice they each tout features like "Olive Leaf Extract," "Sustainable Orange Stem Cells," and "Vitamins A, C, and E."

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