English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Consider the following example — I want to write down several sequential actions in future. Should I write:

I will go home, will have dinner, will play tennis, etc.


I will go home, have dinner, play tennis, etc.

And the same for would, have, and other auxiliaries. Is there a common rule?

P.S.: There is another question on a similar topic, but I don't know if separating verbs by comma and by and is equivalent.

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Your example sentence treats the three activities as a sequential list, so the timing of them is given by the order they happen in.

The introductory phrase for the list is "I will", so that is applied to all items in the list -- and that also goes for lists introduced with modal auxiliaries:

"If I had the money, I would a, b, and c" means "~~ I would a, I would b, and I would c".

You can, of course, repeat the subject + modal for emphasis (particularly with "will", which is used for making promises):

"I will do a, I will do b, and I will do c, even if it kills... er... someone!"

But, given that you clearly state that the actions are a sequence, it is plain that all of the actions will occur in the future, because the first action has the "will", and the other actions follow it in sequence.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.