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Example:

Her eyes were puffy, her lips were cracked, and her hair was a mess.

It is grammatically correct to put full sentences (independent clauses) in a list separated by commas? (Maybe they are not considered comma splices because they are in a list?)

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    On the first phrase, I thin you meant ‘and her hair was a mess’?
    – Buzzyy
    Mar 30 at 14:08
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    Also, I think you meant "considered NOT comma splices because they are in a list"?
    – stangdon
    Mar 30 at 14:17
  • @Buzzyy Thanks, I made the corrections.
    – alexchenco
    Mar 31 at 13:37
  • @stangdon Thansk, I corrected that.
    – alexchenco
    Mar 31 at 13:38
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    Yes, this: Her eyes were puffy, her lips were cracked, and her hair was a mess. is fine. Also: Her eyes were puffy, her lips cracked, and her hair, a mess. But that is not a list.
    – Lambie
    Mar 31 at 13:40

2 Answers 2

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It is absolutely OK in English grammar to write what could be complete sentences as clauses joined with conjunctions. You might get into a debate about punctuation (comma always between each clause?), but I don't think anyone would insist that words need to be formed into the shortest possible sentences.

I am an American and I am over 50 years old.

Those are two complete clauses that could be separate sentences. They do not have to be separate sentences.

Here is just one academic site that discusses this with examples: https://www.kent.edu/writingcommons/using-commas-combine-sentences

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Her eyes were puffy, her lips were cracked, and her [hair] was a mess.

I have inserted hair which I think you have missed out.

Edit

Your example is fine. We could also consider using semicolons to separate the items.

According to this site, the punctuation rule for series made of independent clauses is as follows:

Punctuate the in-sentence list items with commas if they are not complete sentences; with semicolons, if they are complete sentences.

We could hence say

Her eyes were puffy; her lips were cracked; and her [hair] was a mess.

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    I see no reason for you punctuation.
    – Lambie
    Mar 31 at 13:39
  • That document seems to be a style guide for a particular instituition, not a grammar of written English.
    – Colin Fine
    Mar 31 at 17:05
  • Thanks, @Lambie. I have edited my answer. Apr 1 at 20:42
  • Thanks, @Colin Fine. I have edited my answer. Apr 1 at 20:43

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