1

Consider the sentence

We consider how different strategies; (1) running, (2) hiding and (3) fighting affect the mating success of bears.

Is that sentence grammatically correct with the semicolon? I usually only use the semicolon when the list ends a sentence.

3
  • 1
    Personally, I would use a colon :
    – Dale M
    Feb 27, 2014 at 4:53
  • I assume there should also not be a comma after fighting? Is that correct? What if the listed items are two to three words each; would that justify a comma? Feb 27, 2014 at 5:01
  • @MHH I would assume there is a comma after "fighting", alas, not because of any grammatical rules I have memorized, but just because it "feels right".
    – IQAndreas
    Feb 27, 2014 at 5:23

2 Answers 2

2

Nothing wrong with the plain and

We consider how different strategies (1) running, (2) hiding and (3) fighting affect the mating success of bears.

other than that it could do with a 'such as', 'including', or 'of' in front of the list.

We consider how different strategies of (1) running, (2) hiding and (3) fighting affect the mating success of bears.

1

I think use of the semicolon in the sentence is wrong. From http://www.grammarly.com/handbook/punctuation/semicolon/:

A semicolon is a punctuation mark used to connect two thoughts or ideas which are somehow similar. Generally, each thought or idea could be used as its own sentence, but the flow of the work may be interrupted by the short, choppy sentences.

In your case, the main idea is:

We consider how different strategies affect the mating success of bears.

(1) running, (2) hiding and (3) fighting only provide additional context to the main idea. They cannot be used as a sentence.

I think use of a non-restrictive such as makes the sentence better.

We consider how different strategies, such as (1) running, (2) hiding and (3) fighting, affect the mating success of bears.

2
  • "such as," changes the meaning quite a bit, although the explanation about the semicolon is very good. Jul 23, 2014 at 23:56
  • 1
    @MHH, you are right about the use of "such as". Perhaps, a better alternative would be "We consider how different strategies, specifically (1) running, (2) hiding and (3) fighting, affect the mating process of bears."
    – R Sahu
    Jul 24, 2014 at 0:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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