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semi-colon issue. help please.

(4 Posts)
thumbsucker Thu 24-Jul-08 11:33:20

I have proofread something for a friend and I think I may have come unstuck. In a sentence where you have created a list using semi-colons, do you need one after the last 'and'? I have changed the wording for fear of being found out:

As primary housekeeper, mothers have three main aims: to make sure their children are properly fed and watered; to give love and support to children and spouse and, to make sure they get enough sleep and time out so as not to become a walking zombie.

She's waiting for my response and I really don't want to have to admit that i've made a mistake (I'm supposed to be charging). Have I?

fembear Thu 24-Jul-08 19:01:05

Why use semicolons? What's wrong with commas?

Would it make it clearer to replace some of the 'and' with ampersands?

pofaced Thu 24-Jul-08 19:14:45

George Orwell wrote an entire novel witout semi-colon (I think either Road to Wigan pier or Homage to catalonia).

In above sentence I wouldn't use and at at all ie list each of three duties with ; after each one.... but I'd add forth responsibility/ duty: know correct use of apostrophe!

Heated Thu 24-Jul-08 19:23:47

You are right to separate a complicated list with semi-colons. I'd punctuate as follows:

As primary housekeeper, mothers have three main aims: to make sure their children are properly fed and watered; to give love and support to children and spouse; and to make sure they get enough sleep and time out, so as not to become a walking zombie.

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