Using Commas in a Series: Rules & Examples

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  • 0:04 Commas in a Series
  • 0:54 Oxford Comma
  • 2:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: T.J. Hoogsteen

T.J. is currently a grade 5 teacher and Vice-Principal. He has a master's degree in Educational Administration and is working toward an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

Everybody loves a good series. But, how are commas used in a series? What is an Oxford comma? If you're wondering about these questions, continue reading this lesson.

Commas in a Series

Many different things come in the form of a series. Popular television shows, movies, books, even video games frequently come in the form of a series, often with three or more parts.

When it comes to using commas, the word 'series' takes on a different meaning. Commas are used to separate three or more words, phrases, or clauses in a series. This means that when three or more items are being listed in a sentence, a comma goes between each item in the list. For example:

  • John went to the grocery store and bought bread, milk, butter, macaroni and cheese.

You'll notice that between each item in the series there is a comma. You'll also notice that the word 'and' is placed between the last two items in the series. This part of speech is called a conjunction. A conjunction is used to connect clauses, phrases, and words in a sentence.

Oxford Comma

There's also a slightly different way to use commas in a series. Here is an example:

  • John went to the grocery store and bought bread, milk, butter, macaroni, and cheese.

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