punctuating a list of items with parenthetical dashes


I am attempting to write a sentence listing three things each with a qualifying parenthetical statement, but am not sure how to punctuate it. 


Would it be correct to punctuate the sentence thusly: "We were A-filler text, B-filler text, and C-filler text"? What are the rules regarding such a sentence? 

asked Jan 20 '14 at 23:10 chris l New member

1 answer


If I follow what you are trying to say, you are providing additional information on each of the three items on your list.  When you have a simple list, use commas as you have done.


Primary colors are red, blue, and yellow.


When each item is long or includes commas, start with a colon and then separate them with semicolons instead.


Secondary colors are: purple, a mixture of red and blue; orange, a cross between red and yellow; and green, a combination of blue and yellow.  


You could possibly use parenthesis, but I would only do that if the parenthetical info was brief.


Primary colors are red (fire engine), blue (sky), and yellow (sun).

link answered Jan 20 '14 at 23:24 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

That's a great help. Thank you!

chris lJan 21 '14 at 03:48

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