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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Listing specific things in a sentence

    There are items on my desk which also exists on another desk on my office. In my to-do list, I put down:
    Go to the office, and the collect trackball, the external hard disk, the mouse and the cooler fan.
    However, it sounded strange as the sentence is barraged with 'the's. I tried replacing 'the's with 'my's:
    Go to the office, and my collect trackball, my external hard disk, my mouse and my cooler fan.
    It still sounded strange. I realised that I cannot replace those 'the's with 'a's, otherwise I would change the whole meaning. I wanted to get a specific item in the office, not any item. What is the correct way of putting it all together?

    -Thanks.
    Last edited by ikel; 13-Dec-2013 at 00:25. Reason: clarification

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Listing specific things in a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by ikel View Post
    There are items on my desk which also exists on another desk on my office. In my to-do list, I put down:


    However, it sounded strange as the sentence is barraged with 'the's. I tried replacing 'the's with 'my's:


    It still sounded strange. I realised that I cannot replace those 'the's with 'a's, otherwise I would change the whole meaning. I wanted to get a specific item in the office, not any item. What is the correct way of putting it all together?

    -Thanks.
    First, "collect" has to come after "and". After that, you can use one "the" or "my" before the first item and that will also apply to the other items on the list.

  3. Junior Member
    English Teacher
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    #3

    Re: Listing specific things in a sentence

    Lists often take this form: A,B,C and D

    You can add articles or pronouns for the first and last item, or even every item e.g. if you wish to create emphasis.

    I lost my wallet, keys and phone.... or ....I lost my wallet, my keys and my phone - emphasizes personal nature of "loss"
    I saw the Grand Canyon, Empire State building and Statue of Liberty.
    I found a spoon, fork and a knife.

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