comma before 'and' [compound predicate]: sat on the grass and read a

Discussion in 'English Only' started by wordreferee, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. wordreferee Junior Member

    Let's consider the following sentence:

    "I sat on the grass in the park and read a book."

    Should there be a comma before 'and' or not? I found this sentence in a British book but I was told by a native English speaker from the States that this is a mistake. Is this simply a question of difference between BrE and AmE, or is there something more to it?

    Oh, and an additional question: would providing the subject in the second part of the sentence make a difference? Say, if the sentence were: "I sat on the grass in the park and I read a book", would it require a comma before 'and'?
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    As another "native English speaker from the States," I will tell you that this is exactly the way to write it -- without a comma.
  3. LaPetiteAbeille Junior Member

    You need a comma before and if there is a second subject in the second clause.

    I sat in the grass in the park and read a book (same subject - I).
    I sat in the grass in the park and I read a book (same subject).
    I sat in the grass in the park, and John read a book nearby.
  4. Harry Batt

    Harry Batt Senior Member

    USA English
    The current thinking on commas is to eliminate them unless the sentence meaning would be unclear. As written, your sentence rings clear to my ear. After many years with comma rules there is agreement that to many of them clutter up sentences and are traffic pause or stop signals which slow up the reading pace.

    Oh yes welcome to the Forum
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011

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