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How to Introduce a List Correctly

A common part of writing is using bullet lists to present information, but it can be difficult to know how to introduce a bullet list. There are several ways to introduce a list correctly, such as:

  • Using “such as” (like I did for this list)

  • Using “including”

  • Using “the following (noun)”

  • Using “the following”

  • Using “the (noun) below”

Such as

The expression “such as” is a way of giving examples of something. If you are a school that offers language classes and you want to give examples of some of the languages that your school offers, you can say: “our school offers many language programs, such as English, French, and Spanish”.

In this case, the words “such as” start the list. If you want to present this information in a bullet list, you can do it the same way.

Our school offers many language programs, such as:

  • English

  • French

  • Spanish

Including

You can also use “including” to express details. You could use “including” instead of “such as” in the previous example and say: “our school offers many language programs, including English, French, and Spanish.”

Our school offers many language programs, including:

  • English

  • French

  • Spanish

It’s important to note that when you use “such as” or “including”, it means that there are more details that the ones that you provide, so you are only giving some of the details. In the two examples above, there are more languages than English, French, and Spanish – these are just three examples of many. On the other hand, if you are giving the complete contents of something, you can use the expressions below.

The (Noun) Below

The word “below” is an adverb, so it’s included after the noun in a clause. If you want to introduce a list, you need to mention the topic of the list first and then use the word “below” after it. This expression was used in the previous paragraph of this lesson to introduce this section (you can see it’s underlined above).

Our school offers programs for the languages below:

  • English

  • French

  • Spanish

The Following (Noun)

The word “following” is an adjective and it describes the topic of the points on the list. This is useful when all of the points fit a certain topic. For example, if the topic is “language programs” and the points are different kinds of languages, you can say “the following languages”, or if the points are countries, you can say “the following countries”.

Our school offers programs for the following languages:

  • English

  • French

  • Spanish

Canada has a trade agreement with the following countries:

  • United States

  • Mexico

  • Japan

The Following

The word “following” is also a noun, so you can just say “the following” without a noun when you introduce a list. This is more suitable when the points on the list do not fit one overall topic. For example, if you wanted to mention every program at your school (not just the language ones), you can say:

You can learn the following:

  • English

  • French

  • Spanish

  • Computer coding

  • Online marketing

  • Basic accounting

You could also introduce the list above with the common topic of “program” by saying: “you can learn the following programs:”

Practice

Use the following points to create a bullet list. Introduce the list appropriately using the language from this lesson.

1. You are hiring a person and they need to have communication skills, problem-solving skills, and time management skills.

Ex. We are hiring someone who has the following skills:

Ex. We are hiring someone who has the following:

Ex. We are hiring someone who has the skills below:

  • Communication skills

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Time management skills

2. You work at a fitness club, and your club has yoga classes, cycling classes, and dance classes (and others)

3. The recipe that you are preparing requires (only) chicken, salt, pepper, onion, and garlic.

4. The English test at your school is based on (only) writing, reading, speaking, and listening.

5. Your business can accept payment by the methods of (only) cash, credit card, bank transfer, and cheque.

Answers

2. At our fitness club, you can take many classes, such as:

At our fitness club, you can take many classes, including:

  • yoga classes

  • cycling classes

  • dance classes

3. The recipe requires the ingredients below:

The recipe requires the following ingredients:

The recipe requires the following:

  • chicken

  • salt

  • pepper

  • onion

  • garlic

4. The English test is based on the skills below:

The English test is based on the following skills:

The English test is based on the following:

  • writing

  • reading

  • speaking

  • listening

5. Our business can accept the payment methods below:

Our business can accept the following payment methods:

Our business can accept the following:

  • cash

  • credit card

  • bank transfer

  • cheque


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