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If A1 is selected, then C1 will be reported and not C2.

Could you please tell me if it's necessary to put a comma before "and not"?

  • 1
    Could you fill in the ...? It would make the question more clear. Or if it's something sensitive, could you fill in something equivalent? – DJMcMayhem Apr 9 '16 at 23:46
  • @DJMcMayhem Actually we can omit it.. Question edited. – din Apr 10 '16 at 8:43
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Could you please tell me if it's necessary to put a comma before "and not"?

No comma is needed in this case. The phrase not C2 is a shorter way of saying C2 will not [be reported]. If you think of it that way, the and connects a list of two things:

If A1 is selected, then C1 will be reported and C2 will not.

If you had more than two things in that list of results, then you'd need serial commas:

If A1 is selected, then C1 will be reported, C3 will be reported, and C2 will not.

Or, as @KittyConsultant points out, you could use a comma to connect the phrases instead of the and:

If A1 is selected, then C1 will be reported, not C2.

That's just a different way to connect the two phrases, and it's fine to use that, but don't use both a comma and and together in this case.

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A better way to write the sentence would be to remove the "and." You would need a comma before "not."

If A1 is selected, then C1 will be reported, not C2.

  • That's not an unreasonable change, but it's not clear that it's better and it's tangential to the OP's question. – Caleb May 10 '16 at 15:20
  • The "better" part would be that it avoids the confusion. When, you have sentences like this, you have the strict traditional application of rules (which I follow). Then you have the newer view of-"do what you need to make your sentence flow and be easily readable." When I come across a sentence where the traditional application of rules may make the sentence difficult for the reader, instead of breaking the traditional rules, I rewrite the sentence so it is easier to read AND the traditional rules can still be used.The other option would be to go with the newer view. This is only one option. – KittyConsultant May 10 '16 at 15:48
  • I'm not sure which rule you're thinking of, but use of and as a conjunction seems pretty traditional to me. Are you trying to avoid confusion on the OP's part, or on the part of someone reading the sentence in question? – Caleb May 10 '16 at 16:02
  • Sorry -- re-reading, you clearly said "for the reader," so I'll assume that you're clarifying for the reader here. Maybe it's just a POV thing, but I don't see how C1 will be reported and not C2 creates any confusion that C1 will be reported, not C2 avoids. – Caleb May 10 '16 at 16:12

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