Angela’s ABCs: Using a comma before ‘and’ by Angela Caldin

It’s possible that some of us have a vague idea at the back of our brains that you shouldn’t use a comma before and. I know that sometimes this was taught as a punctuation rule in UK schools. But punctuation is intended to make things clear and to be an aid to reading, not a set of hard and fast rules, and should is a word I dislike intensely and try to avoid if I can. There are certainly some situations where a comma before and is preferable and helpful.