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Sometimes called the serial comma. We recommend using the Oxford comma in a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction. Use a comma after the first item and in front of the conjunction:

To avoid confusion, use a comma if an item in the series requires a conjunction. If at least one item in the series already includes a comma (or if you have a series of pairs), use a semicolon as you’d use the comma, but it’d be preferable to restructure the sentence or use a list.

Examples

  • Breakfast includes tea, coffee, and orange juice.
  • Breakfast includes tea, coffee, and bacon and eggs.
  • Breakfast includes tea and cakes; coffee and cream; and bacon and eggs.
  • Breakfast includes:
    • bacon and eggs
    • coffee and cream
    • tea and cakes