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I wrote a sentence using Microsoft Word, and was told that the grammar was wrong.
Can anyone confirm or refute it?

My version: "I have been exposed to works ranging from genetics, biochemistry, cell biology to virology"  

Word recommended version "I have been exposed to works ranging from genetics, biochemistry, AND cell biology to virology"

Do I REALLY need to add the "and" ??

Also, any revision of the sentence per se?

Thank you
Comments  
Hi,

I wrote a sentence using Microsoft Word, and was told that the grammar was wrong.

Can anyone confirm or refute it?

My version: "I have been exposed to works ranging from genetics, biochemistry, cell biology to virology"

Word recommended version "I have been exposed to works ranging from genetics, biochemistry, AND cell biology to virology"

Do I REALLY need to add the "and" ?? Yes, you do. You are making a list of genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, and the last iem in a list like this needs to be preceded by 'and'.

Also, any revision of the sentence per se? The comma before the 'and' is optional. Personally, I wouldn't use one.

I don't know, but I assume from your wording that genetics/biochemistry/cell biology are very different from virology.

I have a feeling that 'works' is not a good word to choose here. Do you perhaps mean 'work' in the singular, or perhaps some other phrase like 'fields of study'?

Best wishes, Clive.
Clive, If each item is very dffierent from the others. Should we use multiple 'to's?

for example

genetics to biochemistry to cell biology to virology.
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Hi,

If each item is very dffierent from the others. Should we use multiple 'to's?

for example

genetics to biochemistry to cell biology to virology.
Yes, definitely.
The way the original was written led me (and MicroSoft Grammar-Checker) to believe that genetics, biochemistry and cell biology were all at one end of a 'range', and virology was at the other end. Perhaps that was not the intended meaning?

Best wishes again, Clive
I agree with Clive that if you choose this structure and they are all different, then each requires its own "to" but as a matter of style I would encourage you to NOT choose this structure.

Recast it as something like "a broad range of study including such diverse fields as w, x, y, and z."
Thanks for the input. 
The best option for me is to rewrite the sentence. 

But I would like to continue the discussion a bit longer on the use of "to range from A to B".

(a) the list I was making is comprised of "genetics, biochemistry, cell biology AND virology". In this case, where should I put

the "and"? I thought that the word "to" (range from A .... to D) was substituting "and", so I did not have it in the sentence.

(b) In the case where I used this verb, the fact that all the fields I mentioned, be it genetics, biochemistry, cell biology or virology, are under the bigger classification, the biology, makes me assume that they are more similar than they are different.

If I choose to use "range from genetics, to biochemistry, to cell biology, and to virology", I feel that I lose the sense of their commonality. So is it correct to say if I should choose to use this expression again in the future (in a different context), I would be better off using it only

(a) to refer to less than three different entities (i.e. to range from A, to B and to C) AND

(b) to refer to entities that ARE very distinct (in another word, for entities that are too similar, I should avoid using this expression)

Thank you
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As I'm sure you have gathered by now, this is an issue of writing style, and not grammar. With that in mind, there is no "correct" or "incorrect."

I would agree that the "from A to B, to C" structure works best with 2 or 3 elements. You can make it work with 4, but it's starting to get awkward, to my ears and eyes, particularly if the elements themselves are long phrases.

I would also agree that if they are similar they belong with an "and" and not a "to."

We offer services from A, to G, to S, to Z -- shows how it covers a broad range.
We offer services from A & B, to Y & Z -- shows related services together (A&B) (Y&Z), with the "to" emphasizing the difference.

An alternative could be to use the "to" for the elements that are the least alike. For example, you could say "from A to Z, including G and S" -- in other words, first, last, and "stops along the way."
Hi,
But I would like to continue the discussion a bit longer on the use of "to range from A to B".

When you say that things 'range from A to B', you are indicating that there is a significant difference between A and B. If not, don't use the idea of 'a range'. Just speak of 'A and B', or of 'A, B and C'.

(a) the list I was making is comprised of "genetics, biochemistry, cell biology AND virology". In this case, where should I put

the "and"? I thought that the word "to" (range from A .. to D) was substituting "and", so I did not have it in the sentence.

(b) In the case where I used this verb, the fact that all the fields I mentioned, be it genetics, biochemistry, cell biology or virology, are under the bigger classification, the biology, makes me assume that they are more similar than they are different.

If I choose to use "range from genetics, to biochemistry, to cell biology, and to virology", I feel that I lose the sense of their commonality. So is it correct to say if I should choose to use this expression again in the future (in a different context), I would be better off using it only

(a) to refer to less than three different entities (i.e. to range from A, to B and to C) I wouldn't say that you have to only use it with 2 entities, but it makes your meaning simpler to understand if you do We most commonly think of a range as having two 'end points'.
AND

(b) to refer to entities that ARE very distinct (in another word, for entities that are too similar, I should avoid using this expression) Yes, definitely.

Clive