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    #1

    Now in exile I was starting to understand

    These two sentences are from a text I am currently writing. I am wondering if they sound natural. I have used only once "my." Do I need to repeat it before every noun?

    Now in exile I was starting to understand the terrible tragedy which had struck me.
    One day I had everything I needed: my family, friends, house, beautiful orchard, books, car and other gadgets, and the next I had only a canvas bag with a few toiletries and a change of clothes.

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    #2

    Re: Now in exile I was starting to understand

    Say:

    One day I had everything I needed: my family, my friends, my house, my beautiful orchard, , my books, my car, and other gadgets, and the next day I had only a canvas bag with a few toiletries and a change of clothes.

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    #3

    Re: Now in exile I was starting to understand

    I wouldn't bother with "my" at all. By saying "I had", it's clear that the list of things was yours.

    One day, I had everything I needed: family, friends, a house, a beautiful orchard, books, a car, and other gadgets, and the next day I had only ...
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 29-Dec-2016 at 23:07. Reason: Added missing comma
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #4

    Re: Now in exile I was starting to understand

    I think it needs either a semicolon or a period after gadgets.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: Now in exile I was starting to understand

    GoesStation,

    I have read the above sentence a few times, and I think, at least to my ears, it sounds all right as it is. The second part is the continuation of the first part of the sentence, and I think that a comma is enough. But I as a non-native speaker can be wrong.

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    #6

    Re: Now in exile I was starting to understand

    A few thoughts.

    First, "gadgets" are SO minor compared to losing your family and your home that I would omit it. Unless you were a scholar, you might omit the books as well.

    The use of the colon (which I think is proper) makes the punctuation for the second independent clause trickier. You could set off the list of the things you needed with em-dashes and then continue on with the "and." You can make the next sentence a more stark contrast, however, if you make it a shorter, stand-alone sentence.

    The next day I had nothing more than some toiletries and a change of clothing.
    The next day I had nothing but what I could fit in my small canvas bag.

    As a general principle, write for structure and narrative first. Come back and play with your sentences after you've gotten the flow of the entire story down. You may want an editor. From the few things you've posted here, it is probably a very good story you have to tell, but most people (regardless of what language you are writing in) can benefit from the assistance of someone trained in telling a narrative.
    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.

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