https://www.duolingo.com/scorbett

Does the German language not use Oxford commas?

I've noticed several examples along the lines of "Montag, Dienstag und Mittwoch" in Duolingo and I'm wondering if that's a "duo-ism" or if the German language genuinely never puts a comma after the second last item in a list. As a fan of the Oxford comma, I find this mildly annoying.

May 9, 2018

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/TeutonicLion

A comma is not put before any item of a list if that item is preceded by a conjunction like

  • und,
  • oder,
  • sowie,
  • beziehungsweise, etc.

Without conjunction, a comma is always required:

  • Montag, Dienstag, Mittwoch
  • Montag, Dienstag und Mittwoch
  • Montag und Dienstag oder Mittwoch
  • Montag oder Dienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag sowie Freitag

As for your question, the Oxford Comma is not allowed in the German language. I somewhat simplified the actual punctuation rules here, but I guess that's what you were asking for.

May 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Osnakezz

Dutch doesn't use the Oxford comma either.

May 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MetroWestJP

The Oxford comma is a quirk of the English language that popped up in the late 19th century. A serial comma before a conjunction is grammatically incorrect in most if not all of the other European and Asian languages taught on DuoLingo.

[Sources: http://www.businessinsider.com/history-of-the-oxford-comma-2016-1 | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma#Other_languages | https://linguistics.stackexchange.com/questions/6737/what-languages-use-the-serial-comma | https://www.quora.com/What-languages-use-the-Oxford-comma-besides-English]

May 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145

German punctuation differs from English punctuation.

May 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/7hAu0bvY

why would the rules for commas in german be the same as in english? honestly i think even the idea is ridiculous. that different languages have different rules is a logical thing, isn't it?

May 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/alessandra79681

Oxford commas are a matter of style. They are not required though. You can't use them in German as far as I know.

May 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ally.x
  • 1101

I don't see any reason why German should use commas the same way like English :-)

May 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/pilouuuu

I really dislike the Oxford comma and I'm unaware of any other language using it.

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Saxophon3

you'll find the germans do not put nearly as many commas as we do in english. they find it strange we constantly pause in our sentences. they don't use commas after adverbs starting phrase letzes jahr bin ich im deutschland gefahren however they will use it for something like ich denke, dass du sehr klein bist

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeff_Mag

I, love, Oxford, commas!

May 15, 2018
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