Wed 25 Jan, 2017 03:00 am
I would like to ask you a question if I should put a comma before "etc.", as in:
"Using songs, we can teach vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, etc."
I am writing British English and always use a comma before "etc." (I also note that many British authors use it in their books), but recently I have read that it is againts BrE convention.
Could you comment on this, please?
A comma is usual in that position, but it may be omitted.
I have read that whether you use a comma before "etc." depends on whether yiu use the Oxford comma or not.
If I do not use the Oxford comma, but I do use the comma before "etc.", is it fine?
In my opinion, as :etc' is the abbreviation for et cetera which is Latin for 'and so forth' it is subject to the Oxford comma rule.
So what are you suggesting?
I assume that it is not a mistake to use the comma before "etc." (which, as you said, is usual in English) even if you are not supporter of the Oxford comna. But based on what you said in the latest post, I suppose that you do not put the comma before "etc." Am I right?
My rule is: if using the Oxford comma convention in a piece of writing, then use it before 'etc'. If not using the Oxford comma convention in a piece of writing, then do not use it before 'etc'.
An old fashioned equivalent of 'etc' is '& c' which is not often seen these days. That would need an Oxford comma if that rule were being used.