• I love apples, oranges, bananas and papayas.
  • I love Aman, Akshay, Money, and Harry.

What is the difference between the two statements? I have changed the position of comma used. What difference it creates?


No difference. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma

(some call the last comma an "oxford comma" rather than a "serial comma") This is a common stylistic difference in comma usage among those who write in English, and there is no agreement. For my opinion on which is the better way to write, you may consult the song "Oxford Comma" by Vampire Weekend (warning - bad language).

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  • I have edited my question. Now, what would you say? – hellodear Jan 12 '14 at 9:40
  • There is no difference; just two different stylistic conventions about how to use commas in lists. See the Wikipedia article. – hunter Jan 12 '14 at 9:41
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    +1 But it would be helpful to future readers if you modified the answer to reflect the new form of the question, and to incorporate the excellent statement in your comment. – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 12 '14 at 12:09
  • done, you are right. – hunter Jan 12 '14 at 13:16

The Oxford comma is preferred in legal writing, since it helps avoid the following problem:

I leave all my assets in equal parts to Jim, Ted and Emily.

Does Jim get one third or half the assets? When large amounts of money are at stake, it's worth being 100% clear that there are three parties, and the assets are to be divided equally among all three of them:

I leave all my assets in equal parts to Jim, Ted, and Emily.

Any other time, it's usually best to follow whichever style guide governs the publication where your writing will appear.

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