How to punctuate English lists
Für englische Listen gibt es keine Norm. Sie können mal mit, mal ohne Kommata arbeiten.Wichtig ist nur, dass Ihre Liste leserfreundlich ist. So schreiben Sie leserfreundliche Listen.
Regular readers of Secretary Today know two important things about punctuation in English. These are,
1. there are no set rules, and
2. there is less of it than there is in German.
This applies in particular to lists. The only rule here is that your list is reader friendly.
There are two main types of lists
A. lists with or without an introductory statement followed by full sentences
B. lists with or without an introductory statement followed by short points
Example of list type A
When you write lists that will be read on a computer screen, look out for the following points.
- Use a font that is easy to read, such as Tahoma or Arial.
- Make your list reader friendly by using bullet points.
In the list above, each point is fairly long. In fact, they are both complete sentences. So they each start with a capital letter and end with a full stop. Note that there is no colon (:) after the introductory sentence when you write an English list.
This is different in most German lists.
Example of list type B
If you have a list with short points, it is better to set it out like this. When you proofread a document make sure
- you are not disturbed
- you are in a quiet environment
- you take regular breaks
We have used bullet points in each list. These are better than numbers or letters as they draw your attention to each point without giving you extra information to absorb.