Writing Style – “And” and Commas — Part 2

In a previous blog of BizWritingTip, we looked at placing a comma before “and” when you are using it to join two separate thoughts. Now we will look at how to deal with it when you are using it to separate items in a series.

Use a comma when you are writing about a series of three or more items.

Example

The plane landed in Toronto, Winnipeg, and Edmonton.

I recommend her for the job. She is professional, educated, and knowledgeable.

Do not use a comma, if there are only two items.

Example

I would like you to attend the meeting and the dinner.

Do not use a comma, if the conjunctions “and,” “but,” or “or” are connecting all the items in the series.

Examples

Please send a copy of the letter to the board members and the finance department and the chief of staff.

Do you want me to notify all the department heads or their assistants or only the managers concerned?

Do you have any more comments, questions, or concerns regarding “and”?

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