Here is an example:

I have developed my ability to identify the factors that impact my physical, mental, and emotional health[,] and am beginning to apply this understanding to make informed decisions.

Do you agree with the comma I would use (shown in brackets)? Why or why not?

  • 1
    It works to end the series and break up the two 'ands'. Though you could structure the wording to skip the 'and' that connects the two halves. For example, "Since I have X, I began to apply this to Y." Jun 4, 2023 at 23:42
  • A pause after health would be natural when speaking, IMO.
    – Stuart F
    Jun 5, 2023 at 8:59

1 Answer 1


The list is irrelevant to this issue. The more important consideration is the fact that you have two conjuncts (the predicates "have developed . . . emotional health" and "am beginning . . . informed decisions") connected with "and". A comma is therefore not needed.

In such cases, the second conjunct is sometimes considered parenthetical (nonessential, etc.) and surrounded by paired commas. You could therefore justify the comma on those grounds (the second paired comma being absorbed by the sentence's terminal period, of course).

I don't like to use punctuation when it serves little purpose, so I wouldn't include it myself. However, people have widely varying opinions on commas, so I'm sure that some others would prefer to include it.

  • ' ...and emotional health and ...' is more garden-pathy. Jun 5, 2023 at 14:12
  • @EdwinAshworth Writing "physical, mental, and emotional health" makes pretty clear that "emotional health" terminates the list. Yes, there's a chance that the two "ands" could confuse someone, but the likelihood is small enough that it doesn't concern me much. (I don't think that any meaning besides the intended one would be grammatically valid.) Jun 6, 2023 at 1:27

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