When to use a ‘COMMA’ before ‘AND’

In this Advanced English lesson, you will learn when to use a comma before ‘and’. When we write emails, official documents or reports, we get confused as we do not know when to use a comma before the word ‘and’.

In two situations we should use a comma before ‘and’.

When “and” is being used to coordinate two independent clauses. An independent clause—also known as a main clause—is a group of words that has a subject and a verb and can stand alone as a sentence.’

In the following example, the independent clauses are in brackets.

Example: [John took piano lessons for sixteen years], and [today he is an accomplished performer].

Example: John took piano lessons for sixteen years and today is an accomplished perform. (no comma is used before ‘and’ as these are not independent clauses)

Example: [The storm damaged the city], and [many people were left without electricity]. Both the sentences in the brackets are independent clauses and can stand alone. In such a case, use a comma before ‘and’ when joining these two sentences.

Example: The storm damaged the city and left people without electricity. (there are no independent clauses and so no comma is used before ‘and’)

Use a comma before ‘and’ when we have three or more items in a series.

Example: The song was composed by Hary, Lara, and Sarah.

Example: The meal consisted of soup, salad, and macroni and cheese. (use a comma before ‘and’ even if the last item on the list is complementing another one by using and)

1 comment

  • I have watched over 100 videos so far of yours.It has been a great learning experience to be a part of let’s talk
    Having said that, i would request you to take a class on “only,just,barely,merely,scarcely,hardly” because it is quite confusing while speaking these words.
    I hope you take my request into account while making the next video.Looking forward to!!

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