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  1. We can play football or watch a movie.
  2. We can watch football, or watch a movie.

Does there need to be a comma after football?

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  • 1
    No there doesn't Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 10:11

2 Answers 2

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No comma is needed here.

Commas separate clauses, items in lists, parenthetical phrases, etc. Wikipedia describes it well enough.

You only have two items in your “list”, so none of these cases apply here. No comma is needed.

✔️Yes: We can watch football or watch a movie.

If you have three items...

You need the comma, and you might want an Oxford comma.

✔️Yes: We can watch football, take a hike or watch a movie.

✔️🤩 Yes: We can watch football, take a hike, or watch a movie.

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With only 2 items the rule is clear: without the comma.

With 3 or more items the situation about the comma before the final “or” (or “and”) is more complicated:

  • British English allows constructions with or without the comma.
  • In American English the comma is almost mandatory.
  • In Canadian English the comma is almost forbidden.
  • Australian English allows constructions with or without the comma, but without it is a more typical one.

(The word "almost" means here that there are still debates about this subject.)

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  • A comma isn't needed, but it isn't prohibited, either. Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 18:51

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