I'm trying to form a list like the following:

I'm interested in new technologies such as web development using various javascript packages including: node.js;meteor.js;backbone.js, contributing to open source projects on github, and getting my hands deep into code.

Is the way I list the three javascript packages correct? Or would you suggest something different?

  • Where is the "list within a list"?
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 17, 2013 at 15:30
  • Does that make it more concise ?
    – Ravenous
    Oct 17, 2013 at 15:32
  • I would suggest putting the sublist in parenthesis, like so - , javascript packages (including node.js, meteor.js, backbone.js and more),
    – Zibbobz
    Oct 17, 2013 at 15:44
  • You may find English Language Learners useful.
    – TrevorD
    Oct 17, 2013 at 16:11
  • 2
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is more suitable for English Language Learners (and is also most likely a duplicate!)
    – TrevorD
    Oct 17, 2013 at 16:46

2 Answers 2


Because of your use of commas and semi-colons, it's not exactly clear how the lists are organised, but assuming this:

  • new technologies
  • web development using varying javascript packages including:
    • node.js;
    • meteor.js;
    • backbone.js,
  • contributing to open source projects on github,
  • and getting my hands deep into code.

...then — if you can't actually use bullet points like that — I would use the commas and semi-colons exactly the other way round. A semi-colon is a bigger break/divider than a comma.

I'm interested in: new technologies; web development using varying javascript packages including node.js, meteor.js and backbone.js; contributing to open source projects on github; and getting my hands deep into code.

Note that as well as using semi-colons, the colon introduces the whole list rather than the sub-list. And the sub-list includes an and and is entirely self-contained.

  • Thank you for untangling the lists in the original question! I had a hard time understanding it. I agree that colon, semicolon, comma is the right hierarchy here, from broadest to most specific. Oct 17, 2013 at 20:46
  • It should be stressed that semicolons, just like commas and colons, are always followed by a whitespace. OP's original question did get this right, actually. But his edit did not.
    – RegDwigнt
    Oct 17, 2013 at 20:57

I normally like to do this for a list within a list.

I have the following computer parts: monitor, hdds (SDD/Flash Drive/ USB), keyboards (US/UK/JP/IND/ES). If you are interested please contact me on 555-555-555.

As you can see keyboards and hdds are plural, thus your list within a list would start after these words.

This for me works very well if you are trying to put everything in a few lines. However the best by far is to use a list function (bullet points) within MS Word.

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