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I would like to write a general sentence followed by a colon and three coordinate sentences in detail separated by commas.

For example:

I had a bad day: my phone was stolen, my leg was broken, and my girlfriend broke up with me.

I don't think it is grammatically correct but how should I correct it with similar sentence structure, or how do I correctly express my idea in this way? Thanks.

  • 1
    The sentence is grammatically sound. Which part are you concerned about? – Lawrence Nov 23 '15 at 12:24
  • It clicks on my ears. Besides, past simple can be used to chain actions that happened one after other. – Alejandro Nov 23 '15 at 12:49
  • Thank you @Lawrence . I was unsure about the grammar of the sentence. And since there are three sentences after the colon, I thought they should be connected by conjunctions or semicolon. Anyway, glad that it is correct :) – jwong Nov 23 '15 at 13:02
  • Thank you @Ale . I was unsure about the grammar of the sentence. And since there are three sentences after the colon, I thought they should be connected by conjunctions or semicolon. Anyway, glad that it is correct :) – jwong Nov 23 '15 at 13:03
  • @jwong Punctuation exists to assist the reader in deciphering the intended meaning of the sentence. You could easily have used a period/full stop, dash, or semicolon in place of a colon, as these would all communicate the same meaning, and be equally grammatical. – choster Nov 27 '15 at 18:35
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There's nothing wrong with the sentence.

There are some people who would tell you to remove the comma before "and" but I am not one of them. Keep the comma.

If your list included phrases that required commas, the commas to separate the items would be semi-colons:

What may sound strange is the odd passivitiy to "my leg was broken". I would usually say "I broke my leg" and not worry about forcing the items in the list to be parallel.

  • 1
    Use of the Oxford comma is controversial in the US. Despite the fact that EVERY style manual and grammar book reports it as proper, many (most?) Americans have no clue. Writing a resume is a challenge (I do a little of that on the side) because I've gotten feedback on both sides that the resume grammar was incorrect, and it's not like you want to whip out your CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE in front of some CEO, right? Can I hear from Brits and others what their writing culture is like on the topic? – Stu W Nov 24 '15 at 0:08
  • Thank you very much! Your answer is helpful: it answers my question, and it clears up my confusion. ;-) – jwong Nov 24 '15 at 4:11

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