In the following sentences, do we need " , and " to clarify that both verbs are for one subject?

1- " Alice went to the restaurant, and ate lunch".

2- "Alice went to the restaurant, ate lunch, and got back home"

  • 1
    Yes, you do. You first example has two coordinated verb phrases linked by the coordinator "and", each 'sharing' the same subject "Alice". Your second example has an additional VP coordinate which does not require the coordinator "and" since "and" is introducing the third coordinate.
    – BillJ
    Oct 25, 2016 at 14:18
  • It would be better to use "have lunch" - Alice went to the restaurant and had her lunch. Nov 4, 2016 at 13:43

2 Answers 2


In English, two verbs that refer to the same grammatical subject are normally connected with "and", and the two example sentences in your question are correct.

(I consider these sentences as examples of American English. In British English, there is usually no comma before "and", but see also Commas, subject and verb on English Language & Usage SE.)

There are languages that use "and" less frequently (e.g. 和 in Standard Chinese), but if you left out "and" in the first sentence, a native speaker of English would normally feel that the sentence is incomplete until you add "and [x]".

  1. The first example is wrong. You don't use a comma with a compound predicate (one subject and two verbs). Ate lunch is not an independent clause. "Alice went to the restaurant and ate lunch."
  2. The second example is correct. This is a list, and use of the comma clarifies the separate actions.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .