I found this material online but I did not understand the difference between lists and checklists. enter image description here

2 Answers 2


A list is any set of items that are separated between commas, semicolons, or slashes.

"commas, semicolons, or slashes"

This is a list, as it separates the three items (can be more) with commas in this case. Whenever you make a list, you must keep the same styling between the items.

This is a correct list:

"I am going to go skiing, hiking, and swimming."

This list is correct because all items have the same form. verb + -ing

This is an incorrect list:

"I am going to go hiking, invite my friends, and prepare for my test."

This list is incorrect because it has 3 different forms. These are:

  1. verb + ing
  2. infinitive - to
  3. phrasal verb

If you create an incorrect list, there is no parallel structure, which must be maintained when creating a list for it to be a correct sentence.

A checklist on the other hand is a to-do list, usually containing a few short notes to help you remember what to do.

  • Can a list be enumerated?
    – ema
    Jun 21, 2015 at 17:53
  • Yes. I need to: 1. Do my homework. 2. Eat dinner. 3. Brush my teeth.
    – Klyzx
    Jun 21, 2015 at 17:54
  • That's an example of checklist ?
    – ema
    Jun 21, 2015 at 17:59
  • Well, yes, essentially. During the weekend, my friends and I are going to go swim, play tennis, make our homework. That previous sentence is a list. The checklist: GROCERIES Bananas, Apples, Snacks, Drinks
    – Klyzx
    Jun 21, 2015 at 18:02
  • 1
    Fixed the issue.
    – Klyzx
    Jun 21, 2015 at 18:09

In a list, you enumerate or compile things. On the picture in your post, you can see a list.

A checklist is a list of the tasks to do, the things to buy, the people to call, an inventory, etc. You will probably add a check whenever one of the items is done.

You could consult a dictionary to find out the difference.

(My sources: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/checklist#Noun / en.wiktionary.org/wiki/list#Noun [4th definition])

  • Can you support your contentions? If so, edit that support into this answer, and please include source citations.
    – user98990
    Jun 21, 2015 at 17:29
  • As far as I know, this is not Wikipedia here, but I am willing to provide you sources. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/checklist#Noun en.wiktionary.org/wiki/list#Noun (4th definition) Also, any good dictionary should help.
    – Archa
    Jun 21, 2015 at 17:31
  • 1
    FWIW, I think it is a great thing to provide supporting citations, but it really isn't necessary here: the questioner could have readily found the answer to this question by simply looking in a dictionary. Really, this one should be moved to ESL rather than being answered here.
    – Fraser Orr
    Jun 21, 2015 at 17:35
  • Assertions supported by citation to established authority is conventional here at ELU. Take a look at other answers that have garnered positive votes.
    – user98990
    Jun 21, 2015 at 17:35
  • There is no picture in your post. If you mean the image in the above post can you specify that, as I read this as there being a picture missing in your post.
    – Klyzx
    Jun 21, 2015 at 17:42

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.