Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Talking Semi-Colons in a List, Where Some of The Listed Items Contain Commas.

    Hello Guys,

    I'm a native English speaker, and in fact write semi-regularly with my job (some would say rather well). But there is one question I have reguarding using semi-colons in lists when the individual items in the list contain commas.

    The sentence I am writing (for my narrative resume) is this:

    "In this capacity I was responsible for: writing a generic grant proposal for the organization, which brought in more than $50,000 for [organization name removed]; securing construction materials for our volunteer construction teams, managed through a partnership with [removed]; solicited construction volunteers, liaised with the media on the behalf of [removed[, created a..."

    My question is, when writing a list (normally separated by commas) where one of the list items contains a comma ("securing construction materials for our volunteer construction teams, managed through a partnership with [removed];) do you then separate the other items in the list with a semi-colon, regardless of whether or not there are commas in the items?

    In the example above, there are two items in the list that contain commas. The others do not but are separated by commas. If I don't use semi-colons on all of them, it looks looks as though the remaining items are part of a single complex item in the list, as well.

    Any advice?

    This is one thing I cannot recall from English 101 in college...

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,346
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Semi-Colons in a List, Where Some of The Listed Items Contain Commas.

    Yes, once you need to use a semi-colon because one item in the list has an internal comma, you continue to use the semi-colon to separate all of the items in the list.

    You may find that if you did have only one item that needed the comma (not true in your example), you might prefer to re-order the elements, separating them with commas and then putting the complex one after an "as well as."

    So: a, which included b; c, which involved d; e, although not f; g; h; and i.
    or
    a, b, c, and d, as well as e, which involved f.

    Edit: Oh, and welcome to Using English!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] 10 items or less/10 items and fewer
    By jiaruchan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 28-Jun-2009, 17:38
  2. Semicolons/Colons
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Apr-2008, 04:00
  3. commas to separate items in series
    By sharanbr in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-Dec-2007, 14:53
  4. formally listed items
    By flemingb in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-Jun-2005, 03:33
  5. Punctuation dilemma- colons, semi-colons, commas or full-stops!
    By chrislovespugs in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 30-May-2005, 10:20

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •