Consider the sentence:

Einerseits, weil es halt einfach so ist , und andererseits, weil es auf Wikipedia steht.

Should one put the second comma?

On one hand I often hear that there shouldn't be a comma in front of "und". On the other hand, it would be plausible to break the quoted sentence into two separate sentences ("Einerseits, weil [...]. Und andererseits, weil [...]."), so why shouldn't it be possible to put the even looser separation (the comma) instead of the strong separation mark (the dot)?

  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Comma or no comma before "und" – πάντα ῥεῖ Aug 13 '20 at 19:20
  • Commas seem to be more optional in English than in German, but even the English version of the sentence should probably have three commas. – RDBury Aug 14 '20 at 8:26

Yes, the comma is obligatory here – because of the preceding subclause.

Not because of und, however. It's about the subclause weil es halt einfach so ist. The comma rules for subclauses apply: if a sentence begins or ends with a subclause, a comma is set in between to separate them from each other. If the subclause is interposed, however, it begins and ends with a comma.

A comma because of und can only be placed if und connects two main clauses (but doesn't need to). However, in those cases other punctuation devices are often better suited (e.g. a semicolon, a dash or even a full stop).


Yes, the second comma is needed, because the part

weil es halt einfach so ist

is a subordinate clause. You need to start and end a subordinate clause with commas if they appear in the middle of a sentence.

In this case, the actual main sentence is incomplete, this is probably an epiphrase to a complete sentence that stands before this one.


Einerseits [...] und andererseits [...]

is the part of the main sentence that is still there.


With the comma it looks like the following:


SIMPLE LISTINGS (einfache Aufzählungen)

"Facebook, Twitter und Instagram."

DISPOSED SUB-CLAUSES (unselbstständige Teilsätze)

"Ich bin schon lange auf Facebook aktiv und nutze Instagram erst seit Kurzem."

SEQUELED SUBSIDIARIES (gleichgeordnete Nebensätze)

"Ich bin gerne auf Facebook, weil es wichtig für mein Marketing ist und weil ich Spaß dran habe."


If two separate sentences are connected by an "und", you can freely decide for or against the comma. This is true even if the subject is the same:

  • "Ich erstelle das Grobkonzept**[,] und** mein Kollege übernimmt später die Ausarbeitung."

The only important thing is that the second sub-sentence after the comma can stand alone as a sentence.


INSERTED ACCESSORIES (eingeschobene Nebensätze)

"Ich hoffe, dass ich Ihre Frage damit beantworten konnte**, und** wünsche Ihnen ein schönes Wochenende."

INSERTS (Einschübe)

"Gerne helfen Tanja, meine Mitarbeiterin**, und** ich Ihnen weiter."


"Ich muss darauf unbedingt reagieren**, und** zwar schnell."

In your example, I would leave a comma and not a dot before the "und". Then with "Einerseits" and "Andererseits" you refers to something that is better dealt in one sentence. But because it is a subordinate clause, one could also put a point:

"Einerseits, weil es halt einfach so ist. Andererseits, weil es auf Wikipedia steht."

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