My ENG 101 COMP 1 class is working on sentence combining. The problem was:
1a) Bird lovers have four beliefs.
2a) "Nothing vultured, nothing gained."
3a) "Ostrich in time, saves nine."
4a) "One good tern deserves another."
5a) "Toucan live as cheaply as one."
I combined it as: Bird lovers have four beliefs: "Nothing vultured, nothing gained." , "Ostrich in time, saves nine." , "One good tern deserves another." and "Toucan live as cheaply as one." My instructor pondered on my sentence. He feels it should be semicolons in the list between quotes. He also said my sentence was correct. We w
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Would it be more grammatically correct to use a comma or a semicolon in the list, between the quotes?
Generally, you employ semicolons in a series when one or more of the items in the series has internal punctuation. Here, two of the phrases have commas in them. However, because the quotation marks delimit the phrases (making the boundaries of each very clear, so that readability is not impaired), you can get away with the commas. But either way, lose the periods at the end of each quote, since you're using them within another sentence. Note too that the commas of your governing sentence would go *inside* the quotation marks. Semicolons, outside.
So with commas, you'd have this --
Bird lovers have four beliefs: "Nothing vultured, nothing gained," "Ostrich in time, saves nine," "One good tern deserves another," and "Toucan live as cheaply as one."
And with semicolons, this --
Bird lovers have four beliefs: "Nothing vultured, nothing gained"; "Ostrich in time, saves nine"; "One good tern deserves another"; and "Toucan live as cheaply as one."
Agreed. This rule counts even for lists that are not full sentences and even if not all items have internal punctuation. For example, the following list:
Lake Tahoe and Carson City, Nevada
Roseburg, Winston, and Tenmile, Oregon
Orange, Anaheim, and Fresno, California
All over the West Coast
Even though 'all over the West Coast' does not contain a comma, you still need to use semicolons in this list:
I have live in many places: Lake Tahoe and Carson City, Nevada; Roseburg, Winston, and Tenmile, Oregon, Orange, Anaheim, and Fresno, California; and all over the West Coast.
So even if only one item in the list contains a comma, use semicolons to avoid confusion within the list.