The wide range of problems this plan has —- from problem x, to problem y, to problem z —- shows that it will not be practical.

Should I use ‘to’ with all of those nouns which come after ‘from’ in this structure? What if there are a lot of them? Should I use ‘to’ before all of them? If not for all, then should it be only before the first one after ‘from’? Or only before the last one?

  • 1
    Instead of asking a new question, you may want to edit this one, which asks something very similar: english.stackexchange.com/questions/593992/… Nov 12, 2022 at 20:50
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    I'm trying to remember an old baseball poem -- something like "From Carter to Smith to Cash".
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 12, 2022 at 23:46
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    @MarcInManhattan is correct. That other question, english.stackexchange.com/questions/593992/… is identical, but it doesn't have an answer so I can't close this one. Nov 13, 2022 at 15:24
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    @EllieKesselman I disagree. The linked question relates to a sequence of events with a defined order. Those constraints do not appear to apply here.
    – David
    Nov 17, 2022 at 11:02

2 Answers 2


Q. “Where to put ‘to’ in this sentence?”

A. Nowhere.

“From…to” is suitable in this context to give two extreme examples of the problems, and indicate that there are many others.

It is perhaps worthwhile considering the usage of the “From…to” device. In its most literal form it relates to linear separation, e.g.
“How the good news was brought from Ghent to Aix”
Here we are not concerned with points between these two cities. However, in the following geographical constructs the concern is the area encompassed by two extreme locations, rather than the locations themselves:
“From Land’s End to John o’Groats” / “From sea to shining sea”
In other cases the device is used to indicate a non-geographical or linear set encompassed by two extremes e.g.
“From alpha to omega”
“From the sublime to the ridiculous”
So I think it is worth asking oneself why one would wish to use the “From…to” structure to list examples, rather than to emphasize the range encompassed by extremes. Something after G.K.Chestertons’s Rolling English Road, perhaps:
“The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head”
Although here he does not mention the starting point, as intermediate says it all.

Of course, in the case of the three examples in the question one could, as in the answer from @B.Kaatz, use “through”. However the awkwardness of the original sentence, and the lack of any compelling reason to use the “from…to” construct, suggests that it would be better to abandon it completely.

“The plan has a wide range of problems, including A, B and C…”

solves the problem (if not the problems). It can also accommodate more than three examples. Or for less formal writing several variations are possible, e.g.

“The plan has a wide range of problems: A and B, not to mention C…”

Advice to the apprentice writer

Whenever one has difficulty with a sentence, as in this case, one should ask one’s self whether the cherished structure one is trying to use is the problem, not the solution. People on this site often object when someone writes “Don’t do that”, but in English it is very often the answer.


For your question, I tend to agree with @user405662 (who suggested from X through Y to Z in a deleted comment), but I would format it differently. (I've never been keen on using dashes to offset dependent clauses.)

The wide range of problems this plan has, from problem x through problem y to problem z, shows that it will not be practical.

And, that should work fine for 3 named 'problems'.

If you are going to need to handle more than three, then you might want to use @YosefBaskin's now-deleted comment idea of "From A and B and C, to W and X, and on to Y and Z...creating a machine-gun effect". Keep in mind that using that machine-gun effect will tend to feel "berating" to the reader (e.g. angrily scolding, beating down).

I hope that helps.

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