If you use a comma before "and" in a list, is that a punctuation or a grammar error?
for example:- vanilla, strawberry, and pistachio ice cream.
Punctuation errors are grammar errors. Also, sometime you need to use a comma before the and in long lists, grouped lists and other special circumstances.
I hope that helped.
It depends. Both are technically correct. It is acceptable, and these days preferred, not to use the comma unless it is required for clarity. In your example, if you left out the final comma, I could interpret that as meaning you had "strawberry and pistachio" as a single (very odd) flavor of ice cream. In that case, the comma serves to clarify that you are listing three separate flavors. Or, if you are listing teams, (Tom and Jerry, Laurel and Hardy, and Romeo and Juliet) it is best to section off that last pair. If not, you wind up with what looks like an odd quartet. (Laurel and Hardy and Romeo and Juliet) In most cases, you are better off leaving the last serial comma out. "Tom, Dick and Harry." "A rag, a bone and a hank of hair." Editors these days seem to prefer it that way.
I say, grammar error specifically punctuation. Punctuation is under the rules of grammar. For instance, we do not just say that your grammar is incorrect but instead we can say, your tenses or your punctuation is incorrect. Grammar, in other words is the general overview of your write-ups when it comes to errors.
Well it's not an error at all it's a serial or Oxford comma:
I always had the same wrong interpretation of a , before an and. But now as I've written plenty for many clients I've noticed many occasions wherein i had to type:
......., and .....
It's not a mistake at all just that it's use is less common.
I always prefer to use the serial comma (before the 'and').
I've always done this because the 'and' can serve as an operator compounding two items / terms.
With the serial comma:
I invited Jon, Sally, and Fred.
COMMENT: It is clear that these are all three separate invites.
Without the serial comma:
I invited Jon, Sally and Fred.
COMMENT: It is ambiguous whether Sally and Fred are considered one list item or not. Are they a couple? Are they married? Were they invited together or separately?
Sometimes lists can be complicated and compound several terms within each item instance. In cases like that the serial comma helps eliminate ambiguity.
I recommend it in most cases of casual American English writing.
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