Nanase fetched her bento, her chair(,) and sat across from Masao.

Do I need the second comma or not?

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Use of Punctuation Mark:The Comma
    – user22427
    Feb 8 '18 at 14:41
  • 1
    Is bento another word for chair, or is it a box lunch?
    – The Photon
    Feb 8 '18 at 16:11
  • @ThePhoton Means lunch box.
    – alex
    Feb 9 '18 at 1:08

Yes, that sentence would normally need a comma there.

The sentence would more conventionally be written something like:

Nanase fetched her bento and (her) chair, and sat across from Masao.


Those are parenthetical commas marking a non-restrictive appositive.  Yes, those commas are paired. 

As you might guess from the name, there are other marks of punctuation that serve this same purpose, with varying levels of emphasis:

Nanase fetched her bento, her chair, and sat across from Masao. 
Nanase fetched her bento -- her chair -- and sat across from Masao. 
Nanase fetched her bento (her chair) and sat across from Masao. 

Parentheses are always paired.  Parenthetical commas or dashes are not paired when one of the pair would be placed at the beginning or end of a sentence: 

Nanase went to fetch her bento, or chair.  She wanted to sit across from Masao.

  • OP has clarified that the word bento is not a foreign word for a chair, but a lunch box.
    – The Photon
    Feb 9 '18 at 1:44
  • No one expects the asyndetic coordination. Given OP's clarification, and given that the asyndeton is followed by a more conventional but separate coordination, I'd have to say that the first comma causes problems -- regardless of whether the second, optional comma is included. Obviously, my answer as posted is wrong. I'm not going to delete it because it shows how OP's original construction can easily confuse and mislead a native reader. Feb 9 '18 at 14:50

You must log in to answer this question.

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