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Lists in a sentence

Say you’re writing an e-mail to someone to tell them all the things that need to be bought at the shops. You might write (assuming you write e-mails with correct grammar) something like this:

We need to buy milk, bread, eggs, and soft drink.

Notice how each item in the list except for the last one has a comma after it. This sort of list arrangement in a sentence is known as a serial list. The most important thing to notice is the comma before the coordinating conjunction ‘and’. When you have three or more items in a serial list like this, you need to use a comma before the ‘and’. The comma in this case is known as a serial comma.