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Which of these sentences is easier to read and understand for the native speaker? I guess it should also be the most correct of these options. Please note that the question is directed at the punctuations here.

Option A

Looking into recent trends in engineering literature, advances in mechatronics; commerce and trade; agric and chemical engineering are expected to present new challenges thereby opening further opportunities.


Option B

Looking into recent trends in engineering literature, advances in mechatronics, commerce and trade, agric and chemical engineering are expected to present new challenges thereby opening further opportunities.


Option C

Looking into recent trends in engineering literature; advances in mechatronics, commerce and trade, agric and chemical engineering are expected to present new challenges thereby opening further opportunities.

Note: I would like to refer to commerce and trade as a single entity

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Your sentence is very difficult to understand. I may have misunderstood it. But that's your fault, not mine. I would start over.

C is wrong. The clause that begins with Looking... is not a finite clause that can stand on its own as an independent clause, which is required when using the semi-colon to separate clauses.

A is wrong for the same reason.

B is best but not perfect.

The main clause is

public health and chemical engineering are expected to present new challenges

The preposition into has a list of items as its objects:

... recent trends in engineering literature, advances in mechatronics, commerce and trade

That last item should have an and before it:

... trends in engineering literature, advances in mechatronics, and commerce and trade

P.S. You could make it clearer by repeating the governing prepositions:

When we look at recent trends in engineering literature and at advances in mechatronics and in commerce and trade, it is clear that public health and chemical engineering will present new challenges, thereby opening further opportunities.

But I'm still not quite sure of the logic of the sentence: public health seems to come out of nowhere.

  • Thanks for this detailed response, the main point is to say that advances in ... would present challenges and open opportunities. – Abdulhameed Aug 4 '18 at 10:23
  • @Abdulhameed: Please see the P.S. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 4 '18 at 10:25
  • Yes those areas were included for illustrative purposes. As regards the logic, something closely related to engineering would be a better alternative. – Abdulhameed Aug 4 '18 at 10:33
  • Best to have things make sense, not just be mere placeholders for a pattern. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 4 '18 at 10:33
  • Then I will edit the question, you may edit the answer also – Abdulhameed Aug 4 '18 at 10:39
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First choice is Option B

Looking into recent trends in engineering literature, advances in mechatronics, commerce and trade, public health and chemical engineering are expected to present new challenges thereby opening further opportunities.

However, because the sentence is complicated and lengthy, you may consider replacing "commerce and trade" with any of the following:

"commerce"
"commerce, trade,"
"commerce/trade"
"commerce & trade"

Of course, if the goal is really to say "commerce and trade" then the replacements are suboptimal. It's a trade-off, a compromise. The sentence will become easier to parse for the reader, at the expense of modifying the intended wording.

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