I am writing a research and I have to describe a process. To do this I have chosen an enumeration as follows:

  1. To include ...

  2. To add ...

  3. To program ...

  4. To write ...

I am not sure about starting each item of the list with the preposition to. I think best practices say that it is the way to do it, but it sounds a bit repetitive for me. Is there a better way to do it?


You might write your enumeration like this, whereby the preposition will apply equally to each word in your list, without the need for repeating it: -

To: -

  1. Add ...,
  2. Program ...,
  3. Write ...,
  • Thank you! So in my case it could be something like: ... the steps to follow are to: 1. Include ... 2. Add ...
    – bra_racing
    Apr 4 '17 at 7:04
  • Yes exactly. Whether you use a colon, or a colon and a hyphen, is a matter of style, in Britain ':-' is frequently used to introduce lists. See here for example for some more discussion: english.stackexchange.com/questions/31060/… - but yes, that 'lead in' works fine, it's good grammar to end each list item with a comma also
    – Gary
    Apr 4 '17 at 7:15
  • Very interesting discussion thread! I am going to follow your styling advice. Just a final question: the last item must finish with a full stop instead of a comma, isn't it?
    – bra_racing
    Apr 4 '17 at 7:28
  • @bra_racing Yes the last item should end with a full stop. There is a wealth of styling advice here you might find useful, and it discusses how to end a list and much more also, e.g "Use a period after the last item in the list." - getitwriteonline.com/archive/101406VerticalLists.htm
    – Gary
    Apr 4 '17 at 7:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.