H3: Comma with Items in a Series

H3: Comma with Items in a Series: Use commas to separate three or more words, phrases, or clauses written in a series.  See Writing for Success Section 3.1 pp. 102-103 or the RULE 3 of following: https://www.iue.edu/hss/writingcenter/documents/Commas.pdf


Series of words and phrases:

Bertha loves when Edgar gives her flowers, candy, movie tickets, cars, and love.


Series of long phrases:

The activities include a seven-mile hike down into the canyon, a four-mile bike ride over the mountain, a three-mile swim across the lake, and a long nap.


H3-Ox:  The Oxford Comma:  You have a stylistic choice whether to put a comma before the “and” connecting the last item in the series.  However, it can be recommended to prevent confusion or odd misinterpretation, i.e.

“For my eventual success in understanding comma use, I’d like to thank my parents, Emily Dickinson and a mythical grammar bunny.”

An Oxford comma after Dickinson would ensure understanding that this was list and not an apposite phrase modifying “parents.”



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