My teacher says when I have to give examples or list things, I can only give three, which is A, B, and C. But what if I've to list quite a number of things like minerals that is present in...the cauliflower for example? What sentence structure should I use to do it or is it alright to list them accordingly?

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    This is a rule of thumb. If you list six or seven, say, it becomes a lot harder for the reader to follow. Perhaps your teacher is advising you to make a formatted list. I wonder how you could find out what he (or she) means? – Edwin Ashworth Jul 22 '14 at 16:15
  • PS (OD): Is it acceptable to write alright as one word, rather than two separate ones? For example: She calls them whenever she is travelling to assure them she is alright. Similar ‘merged’ words such as altogether and already have been accepted in standard English for a very long time, so there is no logical reason to object to the one-word form alright. Nevertheless, many people dislike it and regard it as incorrect, so it’s best to avoid using alright in formal writing. Write it as two separate words instead: She calls them whenever she is travelling to assure them she is all right. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 22 '14 at 17:09
  • There's certainly no hard-and-fast rule. Beyond about 3 the reader can get confused, if the items being listed are not all of the same type. But even there, most memory experts will tell you that 5 is a better cutoff point. – Hot Licks Feb 13 '16 at 18:03

There is no limit to the number of things you can list in a single sentence in English, or in French, or in Belorussian, or in Japanese, or in Arabic, or in Nahuatl, or in Malayalam, or indeed in any language, dialect, idiolect, slang or jargon, natural or constructed, living or dead.

  • Right. So maybe (OP) ask your teacher whether s?he is prescribing a rule for correct English usage (e.g. a grammar rule) or a rule of style for better communication, or something else. IOW, ask what this rule amounts to, what it is intended to accomplish. – Drew Jul 22 '14 at 19:37

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