1

They always complained about the school's brooms: some of them started to vibrate if you flew too high, some always flew to the left, some just didn't fly.

I think there is a problem in this sentence. there should be "and" before "some just didn't fly ". The sentence will be :

They always complained about the school's brooms: some of them started to vibrate if you flew too high, some always flew to the left, and some just didn't fly.

Am I correct or both are correct?

closed as primarily opinion-based by FumbleFingers, David, NVZ, Cascabel, Rand al'Thor Jul 16 '17 at 11:16

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    It's entirely a stylistic choice. I expect lots of writers would simply change all the punctuation marks (colon and commas) to periods. But you can write it however you like, unless you're constrained by some particular style guide that covers such fine points of detail. – FumbleFingers Jul 14 '17 at 16:58
  • 2
    According to your edit, the list shown is the entire list. According to the original, the list shows a representative sample of broom complaints, not the entire list. – Yosef Baskin Jul 14 '17 at 17:03
  • @FumbleFingers "I've heard he's sort of a savage, lives in a house on the school grounds, gets drunk, and ends up setting fire to his bed." - You are saying this sentence will be grammatically correct too without last "and"? – rzd85 Jul 14 '17 at 17:08
  • No, because in that case each of your three additional elements is just a clause. The verbs have no explicit subject (he is implicitly carried over from the initial occurrence, but obviously most people wouldn't say Gets drunk is really a "sentence"). – FumbleFingers Jul 14 '17 at 17:27
  • Have a look at some of these written instances of such usages to get a feel for how different writers deal with punctuation issues. – FumbleFingers Jul 14 '17 at 17:32
0

Both are correct. This is a list of clauses coming after a colon. You are right that 'and' before the last item in a list is the 'technically correct' form, generally recommended to properly 'round off' the sentence, but when grammar is interpreted as style, it is not compulsory in such constructions as your sample sentence. In other words, dropping the 'and' will not make the sentence ungrammatical (although a very strictly rule-based teacher of English may hold a different opinion.)

Sometimes it even reads better without 'and':

It was an absolute disaster: he pressed the accelerator instead of the brake, the instructor said a silent prayer, the car rolled into the ditch.

The advice given by the senior member FumbleFingers in comments is notable: it's a matter of style!

Related question previously asked at this website: A stand-alone list of independent clauses as a sentence

  • Is it a matter of style just because of the fact that the list came after the semicolon? or else, why can't we write " The candidate promised to lower taxes, protect the environment, reduce crime, end unemployment. "? – rzd85 Jul 15 '17 at 8:40
  • edited comment : sorry it's colon, not semicolon. – rzd85 Jul 15 '17 at 8:49
  • You can actually write _ The candidate promised to lower taxes, protect the environment, reduce crime, end unemployment. _ This is a complete sentence @rzd85, stylistically speaking, not grammatically incorrect (this sentence of mine being another example). The only person who might object is your English teacher, if they happen to be very strict with rule-based grammar; and your editor, if you are a journalist following a style manual that insists on the use of 'and' to round off these sentences. – English Student Jul 15 '17 at 9:09
-2

The correct answer is: "They always complained about the school's brooms: some of them started to vibrate if you flew too high, some always flew to the left and some just didn't fly."

  • Use or disuse of the Oxford comma is highly debated and largely a stylistic choice. – vpn Jul 14 '17 at 22:41
  • 1
    I suppose OP is not concerned about the (Oxford) comma as such, but whether the 'and' can be grammatically omitted. – English Student Jul 15 '17 at 2:24
  • 1
    @English Student You are right. Can you help me out? – rzd85 Jul 15 '17 at 5:44
  • 1
    You are right @rzd85 that 'and' before the last item in a list is the 'technically correct' form, but it is not compulsory in such constructions as your sample sentence. Sometimes it reads better without 'and': He pressed the accelerator instead of the brake, the instructor said a silent prayer, the car rolled into the ditch. The advice given by the senior member FumbleFingers in comments is notable. It's a matter of style! – English Student Jul 15 '17 at 5:52

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