Which sentence is more correct?

Sam, Jack, and Ella, were confused.


Sam, Jack, and Ella were confused.

I've seen both used in professional writing, but the latter form seems to be used more often.

Is it considered acceptable to put a comma before the verb? I've searched everywhere for an answer, but I couldn't seem to find anything that addressed this specific topic.

  • 1
    How often do you see the first form? I don't recall seeing that in most contexts, and in my opinion if that is the whole sentence then it is incorrect.
    – nnnnnn
    Mar 22, 2021 at 2:26
  • It those are the full sentences, the first one is stylistically incorrect by any standards. That writing could not be considered "professional." Mar 22, 2021 at 2:28

1 Answer 1


For that exact context the comma after "Ella" should be omitted.

But note that in "The three of them, Sam, Jack, and Ella, were confused" the comma after "Ella" is correct, since "Sam, Jack, and Ella" is a "parenthetical" in that context.

  • 1
    +1; however, for the second case one had better use dashes instead to avoid the comma hodgepodge. :)
    – user126190
    Mar 22, 2021 at 6:04

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