I'm feeling really sick today, and I wanted to text my friend to tell him why I won't make it to our meeting. I wanted to say "I'm feeling pretty sick. Fever, headache, cough, the works.", but I've never used or even seen the expression in print before. What is the correct punctuation for this expression?

  • 1
    Looks and sounds good the way you have it.
    – Rayner
    Apr 27, 2016 at 16:16
  • There's nothing really special about "the works". In the above context it's part of a list and hence is separated by a comma, but you could order a hamburger "with the works" or some such and have no commas near the phrase.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 29, 2016 at 11:40

2 Answers 2


The way you have it: "the works" is fine.


I agree it looks / sounds fine as you have it. Obviously you would only write this in an informal context.

You could also combine it into one sentence, i.e., "I'm feeling pretty sick -- fever, headache, cough, the works."

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