Using "Include/including" in sentences.

One of my readers asked recently if I would clarify the proper way to use “include” in a sentence. The simple, direct answer is WITHOUT A COLON. Just go right on with what is included. Here are some examples:

The Grammar Glitches that annoy me most include subject/verb agreement and apostrophe goofs.

The newly appointed board members include Sam Jones, Polly Troxell, and Jim Henry.

Notice that neither of these sentences requires a colon after INCLUDE.

If you use the word “including,” it may help clarify to put a comma BEFORE it, but you still do not need a colon after it. More examples:

Everyone survived, including the family dog.

The price for the ticket is $15.75 including sales tax.

The band has five members, including a drummer, two guitars, a violin, and a flute.

The only time you would place a colon after “include” is when you are setting up a bullet list rather than a sentence, as in these examples:

Your choices for the banquet menu include:

  • roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans
  • chicken quesadillas with cheesy nachos
  • moo goo gai pan

Optional side trips for this cruise include:

  • visiting a glacier
  • photographing seals at play
  • dining in an old-time saloon

My thanks to Rachel for suggesting this topic.


3 Responses to “Using "Include/including" in sentences.”

  1. admin says:

    To "Anonymous"–

    In answer to your question about using "to include" in a sentence, I would say that "to include" is an old-fashioned usage.  Here is how I would write the sentence example you gave:

    Listen for noises, including rattles, squeaks, and whistles.

    Hope that helps.

  2. David says:

    You're wrong; one cannot use a colon after include in the above examples. The fact that there is a bulleted list afterward is irrelevant; while such usage is common on websites, it is wrong and should not be validated by a website about grammar.

  3. admin says:

    I am sorry, David, but I (and The Chicago Manual of Style) disagree with you. If you will check page 345 (entry 6.124 and following) in that excellent publication, you will see that each of its examples shows a colon at the end of the introduction to a bulleted list. In my workshops on business writing skills, I point out that, when you set up a vertical list, you are suspending normal sentence structure. You are welcome to reply and cite anywhere you can find that questions this, but I will stick with The Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition). You might also check page 350 in The Business Writer’s Handbook (5th Edition), which shows the same type of examples I gave.

    NOTE TO OTHER READERS: I welcome your comments on this as well.

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