# Members of a set that will probably have a quality

Consider these statements. What I want to convey is that most Alphas will die, that Tom, Dick, and Harry as Alphas are very likely to die, but it's not certain; and some Betas will die. (We already know by this point that Tom, Dick, and Harry are Alphas.)

Almost every Alpha, Tom, Dick, and Harry, and some Betas, will die.

Does this mean that almost all Alphas and some Betas will die, and Tom, Dick, and Harry will die for sure? What about the next?

Almost every Alpha, including Tom, Dick, and Harry, and some Betas, will die.

Almost every Alpha, including Tom, Dick, and Harry, and some Betas, will likely die.

(I think this last one seems to say that it's likely that most Alphas will die, but maybe nobody will, which is not what I intend.)

Let's first get the logic straight. You want to say that the death of many Alphas is certain (God knows how you can be 100%) , but you don't know which ones. So taking any individual Alpha or subset of Alphas you can only make an educated guess about whether they'll die. The Betas are no problem: some will die.

We might state the facts by using a causal conjunction to link the inclusion of T,D & H in the A's and their probable death. Let's see what it gives.

T, D and H will likely die because they're Alphas and most Alphas will die, as will some Betas.

You haven't actually said that anyone in particular will die for sure, just that some Betas and most Alphas will die. To keep the Betas from being grammatically part of the Alphas, mention the Betas first:

Although some Betas will die, almost every Alpha, including Tom, Dick, and Harry, will die.

This says that that the mortality rate of the Alphas will exceed that of the Betas, and that among the Alpha fatalities will be Tom, Dick, and Harry.

Is that what you intended?

• Or avoid the ambiguity by replacing the parenthesising commas with parentheses: It is highly probable that almost every Alpha (including Tom, Dick, and Harry), and some Betas, will die. Jul 22, 2015 at 6:10