Other vegetarian animals, giraffes and rhinoceroses for example, help as well.

Do I have to put a comma before "for example" like this:

Other vegetarian animals, giraffes and rhinoceroses, for example, help as well.

or is putting comma just optional?


You can put a comma there, but it may be better if you don't. The phrase is already within a comma-separated parenthetical clause ("giraffes and rhinoceroses for example"), so it's just qualifying what it mentions as examples; the lack of an extra comma ties it more closely and reduces possible confusion about where the parenthetical ends.

If you do put a comma there, consider changing the outer comma pair to something different, like dashes or parentheses:

  1. Other vegetarian animals (giraffes and rhinoceroses, for example) help as well.

  2. Other vegetarian animals — giraffes and rhinoceroses, for example — help as well.

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