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When to use a semi colon

When to use a semi colon

When to use a semi colon

A semi-colon normally indicates that a statement continues without any new information. It’s the opposite of a period. Although the two punctuation marks serve different purposes, like I imagine a semicolon, but often they are combined in text to create typographical expressions such as “; ” and “: ”.Notice that the letter following the semicolon is not capitalized. The examples above are both made up of two complete, grammatically correct sentences glued together. Yes, that means there are six total sentences up there—and thanks to the semicolon, only two capital letters. That’s exactly why you can’t substitute a comma for a semicolon. Using a comma instead of a semicolon in the sentences above would result in a comma splice. And there’s nothing as painful as a comma splice. A semicolon isn’t the only thing that can link two independent clauses. Conjunctions (that’s your ands, buts, and ors) can do that too. But you shouldn’t use a semicolon and a conjunction. That means when you use a semicolon, you use it instead of the ands, buts, and ors; you don’t need both. Here’s a hint: if you used a comma and an “and” to link two related ideas, think of the period (you know, the top part of the semicolon) as a replacement “and.”

USE

Notice that the letter following the semicolon is not capitalized. The examples above are both made up of two complete, grammatically correct sentences glued together. Yes, that means there are six total sentences up there—and thanks to the semicolon, only two capital letters. That’s exactly why you can’t substitute a comma for a semicolon. Using a comma instead of a semicolon in the sentences above would result in a comma splice. And there’s nothing as painful as a comma splice. A group of words containing a subject and a verb and expressing a complete thought is called a sentence or an independent clause. Sometimes, an independent clause stands alone as a sentence, and sometimes two independent clauses are linked together into what is called a compound sentence. Depending on the circumstances, one of two different punctuation marks can be used between the independent clauses in a compound sentence: a comma or a semicolon. The choice is yours.

An independent clause is a group of words that can stand on its own (independently)—it is a complete sentence. Semicolons can be used between two independent clauses. The semicolon keeps the clauses somewhat separate, like a period would do, so we can easily tell which ideas belong to which clause. But it also suggests that there may be a close relationship between the two clauses—closer than you would expect if there were a period between them. Let’s look at a few examples. Here are a few fine independent clauses, standing on their own as complete sentences: For some time, the British have been using a colon where most Americans would use a semicolon. Many grammarians insist on a subtle difference between the two marks, however, no matter which side of the Atlantic you live on. According to this train of thought, semicolons should link independent clauses when there is a need for more separation than a comma would provide but not quite so much as a period would impose. Semicolons should introduce evidence or a reason for the preceding statement; for example, this sentence appropriately uses a semicolon. (Source: crosstalk.cell.com)

 

 

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