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In 1980, the west of the coastal village had a woodland, marsh, hotel, and holiday cottages, in addition to two road branches, although in 2010, there was a golf course occupying the site of the woodland, and permanent houses had replaced the marsh and holiday cottages by that time.

Should a comma be put before 'and' when it is in a subordinate clause? I have research this but haven't gotten any important information.

In simpler terms, should it be 'sentence 1, although sentence 2, and sentence 3' or 'sentence 1, although sentence 2 and sentence 3' ?

A similar sentence is this: "if governments make rent free for those who are living in rural areas, for instance, a lot of people from an agricultural background will not relocate,(SHOULD I PUT THIS COMMA) and they will be more motivated to farm and produce crops.

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  • The word "and" occurs 3 times in that quote: are you referring to the bolded and: "In 1980, the west of the coastal village had a woodland, marsh, hotel, and holiday cottages, in addition to two road branches, although in 2010, there was a golf course occupying the site of the woodland, and permanent houses had replaced the marsh and holiday cottages by that time."
    – Stuart F
    Sep 27, 2022 at 14:30
  • @StuartF yes, I was referring to that one. Sep 27, 2022 at 14:41
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    "And" introduces a main clause here, not a subordinate one. The comma is optional.
    – BillJ
    Sep 27, 2022 at 14:43
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    It's grammatically fine. Main clause, subordinate clause etc. are grammatical terms not semantic ones.
    – BillJ
    Sep 27, 2022 at 15:08
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    @onoseshaibu Are you asking whether it's correct to have a comma in a subordinate clause, like one headed with "although" or "if"?
    – gotube
    Sep 27, 2022 at 17:33

2 Answers 2

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This is the serial comma also known as the Oxford comma.

This is one of those style issues that will not have a universally accepted answer. Some people will defend each choice. Some will be indifferent.

How do they do things where you want to publish. Check several documents or look for a style guide. For example, if it is going to be in an essay you submit for class credit, check with your instructor if there is an accepted style.

The only thing I strongly suggest is to be consistent. That is, pick a style and stick to it for the entire document. If you switch over to the other style then you will potentially confuse your audience. Especially if one or more of the objects in the list is compound.

I like apples, cheese, fish and chips, and streudel. I like apples, cheese, fish and chips and streudel.

If your entire document used the same style then your audience has a hope of getting the right meaning. But if you switch between styles then you are likely to be served a heaping plate full of fish and chips on top of streudel.

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There's no rule against having a comma in the middle of a subordinate clause.

Subordinate clauses often have commas before and after, so having a comma in the middle might be confusing, but there's no rule against it. In the case of a long sentence like the one in your example, commas are necessary.

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