I have the following sentence and I am wondering if there is a rule or heuristic how to formulate enumerations with the same adjective and different prepositions correctly.

Recently, I managed to succeed in different disciplines, at different times, and in different places.

How would you improve on this sentence? I wonder whether the repetition of "different" isn't something that sounds too literarily.

Is it correct to say:

Recently, I managed to succeed in different disciplines, times, and places.

This sounds wrong to me:

Recently, I managed to succeed in different disciplines, at times, and in places.


There is no simple answer to this.

You certainly need to repeat "different": at times and at different times mean different things.

Your first form is more precise, and has a certain rhetorical appeal; but people say things like your second one all the time. In writing, it depends on your audience. Some people will object to the short form, complaining that in doesn't fit for all; but others will not be bothered.

  • Certainly people say things like the second sentence, because they are making it up on the go, and would only realise that the ellipsis was inconsistent when it was too late. For writing, you have a chance to review and modify what you have written, and I think many people would aim for better than the second sentence – JavaLatte Jan 26 '20 at 10:30

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