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A native English user suggested me to use the run-in list format to put across this information. While the numbering makes it easier to read than without, I have some questions.

The UI program provides temporary income support to (1) eligible unemployed workers while they actively seek new employment or obtain vocational training; and to (2) those who take time off from work due to sickness, pregnancy, childbirth, or to provide care to a critically ill child or a sick family member with a significant risk of death.

Can a list have two items? I looked for examples everywhere, but I could not find a sentence similar to mine that has two items(the minimum seems to be 3). Here are some examples from Chicago Manual Style.

Chicago says: The items are separated by commas unless any of the items requires internal commas, in which case all the items will usually need to be separated by semicolons.

My questions is, in the case where there are two items (but those items have internal commas) is it still the rule to put in a semicolon before "and"?

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Rules about style vary and there is no right style. The way you used the semicolon doesn't seem wrong.

That said, it may be preferable to use a conjugate sentence instead of a run-in list with just two items. To emphasize the separation between the two items, I would suggest the following:

The UI program provides temporary income support to eligible unemployed workers while they actively seek new employment or obtain vocational training, as well as to those who take time off from work due to sickness, pregnancy, childbirth, or to provide care to a critically ill child or a sick family member with a significant risk of death.

Alternatively you can use "and also" instead of "as well as".

  • I had a similar version to what you suggested with "training and to". Can you explain why you would use a comma after training? They are not independent clauses. As such "and" joining two items usually don't take a comma, right? – AIQ Mar 8 at 11:46
  • The comma is not mandatory but isn't wrong either. It helps separate the clauses in a long sentence. Wikipedia says "Some style guides prescribe that two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) must be separated by a comma placed before the conjunction" and includes this article as a reference. – laugh Mar 8 at 13:53
  • Thanks for clarifying. Can you tell me why you would use "and also" and not "and"? – AIQ Mar 8 at 20:31
  • There is a subtle difference in meaning. See more details here – laugh Mar 9 at 8:24

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