Should you use a comma before and/or after “etc.”? There’s no definitive answer, because different style guides recommend different usage. Nevertheless, the style that seems to be recommended the most is to always include a comma before “etc.”; it is recommended even by those who discourage the use of the Oxford comma (the comma before the last item in a list). (Note: This article is based on my book about the most common mistakes in English.) For example:
If “etc.” is not the last part of the sentence, it is to be followed by a comma:
Some sources recommend not using any comma at all, but these are much less numerous than for the previous use:
Note, however, that the period after “etc” should always be included. Writing just “etc” is almost universally considered bad style.