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  1. minnie.me

    minnie.me New Member

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    Semi-colons in lists with brackets

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by minnie.me, Oct 15, 2009.

    Hi all,

    One thing I've often wondered about is whether to use semicolon in lists if the internal commas are enclosed within brackets (parentheses).

    E.g.

    The items included fruit, flour, butter, bread (rye, white and wholemeal) and milk.

    Also, are semicolons necessary if the list's internal commas are in the very last item?

    E.g.

    They included cooking pots, sauces, bread, and knives, forks and spoons.

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. arron89

    arron89 Banned

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    Why would it be any different?
    You only use semicolons in lists when the list begins with a colon. Like if you wrote:
    The items included: fruit; flour butter; bread (rye, white and wholemeal); and milk.
     
  3. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm sorry, but this is incorrect. You can use semicolons to separate complex list items irrespectie of whether you introduce te list with a semicolon. Typically, semicolons are only used as a separator when one or more of the list items itself contains commas:
    There is no requirement that a colon be used when semicolons separate the list items, nor does the use of a colon require that the list items be separated by semicolons.
     
  4. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!
     

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