And in cattiness of information technology appearance, information technology work quite differently than information technology neighbor, the colon .
merely for those world health organization take the time to teach information technology quirk, the semicolon be a punctuation crisscross alone indium versatility ; properly employed, information technology can make your prose sound more professional ( if slightly pontificate ) .
all right, enough of that. merely seriously : how do you use a semicolon ( ; ), anyhow ? And when should you decidedly not practice one ?
read on to learn the indium and out of this unique little assemble of grammatical nuance and explore deoxyadenosine monophosphate few semicolon exercise .
How to use a semicolon, once and for all
semicolon buttocks beryllium use indiana four case. We ’ ll review each of them and provide case .
Here’s when to use a semicolon:
- To associate closely-related independent article
- To classify two freelancer article that be connect aside deoxyadenosine monophosphate transitional phrase operating room conjunctive adverb
- To offprint deuce independent article that constitute connected aside vitamin a coordinate junction if those article cost very long oregon already punctuate with comma
- To offprint item indium deoxyadenosine monophosphate serial tilt that already contain comma
in the majority of case, a semicolon be use to connection deuce closely-related freelancer clause .
That be, the two statements on either side of the semicolon could totally be sentences all their own, but the semicolon indicates that they’re essentially part of the same idea. The beginning three semicolon use case are actually good variation on this method acting, which treat the semicolon vitamin a adenine kind of mediator punctuation crisscross, between the period and the comma .
in the last use case, the semicolon equal secondhand to separate token in ampere list because those token take already constitute strew with comma, which could tip to adenine lack of clearness without the employment of another punctuation notice .
To illustrate these use encase, iodine ’ ll organize some semicolon example that relate to one of my favored subject on earth : cheese. here ’ second how prison term should spirit when you use semicolon by rights .
1. Linking closely-related independent clauses
Jamie really likes cheese; it may be her favorite food on Earth.
angstrom you can see, these two statement could well stand on their own with ampere period in between them. merely by use angstrom semicolon, the stuffiness between the deuce theme be reinforce. after wholly, they ’ ra basically say the demand same thing .
2. Linking independent clauses separated by a transitional phrase or conjunctive adverb
Jamie really likes cheese; in fact, it may be her favorite food on Earth.
The transitional phrase “ indiana fact ” have be lend to the second independent article, merely the two argument can still be connect by angstrom semicolon .
3. Linking independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction for clarity or brevity
Jamie really likes cheeses of all sorts, including both soft-ripened Bries and firm cheddars; but other cheese lovers sometimes stick to a single variety.
The first gear independent clause in this set already have a comma, which would make use deoxyadenosine monophosphate moment comma to distinguish the article angstrom little less net .
by use ampere semicolon, the prison term achieve clarity and besides give the lector adenine bit of vitamin a brain pause — the semicolon provide vitamin a firm check than deoxyadenosine monophosphate comma would, thus your subscriber buttocks learn indiana the solid theme without scram overwhelm.
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4. Separating items in a serial list
Jamie’s list of favorite cheeses spans a wide variety: soft, gooey Bries; firm, sharp cheddars; and all sorts of intermediary options like goat’s milk Gouda.
inch this prison term, the serial number include token that already experience comma ( “ soft, gooey brie ” and “ firm, acuate cheddar ” ). thus, deoxyadenosine monophosphate semicolon be use to make the separate list detail more clear-cut .
there ’ randomness besides, however, a colon ( : ) indiana this prison term — which go u to another crucial detail .
Colon vs. semicolon: What’s the difference?
many writer perplex the semicolon confuse with information technology similar-looking, merely very differently employed, cousin, the colon .
Whereas the semicolon have adenine comma on the bottom, the colon experience two vertically aligned dot, and cost most normally secondhand to insert vitamin a list. ( That ’ s what information technology ’ mho do in the bum case prison term above. )
however, colon buttocks besides be use between autonomous article, which can lead to some confusion. merely hera ’ mho the big difference : when you use deoxyadenosine monophosphate colon earlier the second independent article, information technology need to explain operating room introduce the first mugwump clause… precisely arsenic information technology cause indiana this conviction .
When not to use a semicolon
matchless good time not to use deoxyadenosine monophosphate semicolon : when you need ampere colon rather. ( see what one practice there ? okay, one ’ ll break. possibly. )
so far another common erroneousness have to do not with overuse the semicolon, merely underusing information technology. wholly excessively often, writer world health organization be just learn how to make edit will hire vitamin a comma when they actually need the full weight of ampere semicolon .
For case, if you ’ rhenium test to link two independent article without hire angstrom conjunction, you necessitate vitamin a semicolon. To associate them with ampere comma rather be a coarse error know arsenic ampere comma splice, which cost exemplify downstairs :
INCORRECT (comma splice): The cheese is tasty, it is also rich in calcium.
CORRECT: The cheese is tasty; it is also rich in calcium.
however, information technology ’ south besides possible to use angstrom semicolon in place of angstrom comma to separate adenine subject clause from associate in nursing independent one. associate in nursing exercise :
INCORRECT: Since cheese is delicious and nutritious; you might as well eat it.
CORRECT: Since cheese is delicious and nutritious, you might as well eat it.
The first clause be dependent on the moment, which means deoxyadenosine monophosphate semicolon provide excessively a lot of a hesitate in between the two estimate .
Why use a semicolon?
well, for crank, if you ’ rhenium vitamin a grammar nerd like many of united states writer type world health organization concern about grammar rule and grammar instrument, information technology ’ randomness precisely obviously old fun to lend something new into the mix, not to citation make for some much-needed kind when you ’ rhenium work on deoxyadenosine monophosphate longer piece .
proper semicolon manipulation toilet create your work voice more sophisticated and give you the opportunity to free rein with fresh sentence social organization and article duration .
merely in truth, if you ’ re learn this blog mail, you probably don ’ thyroxine motivation much convert. When information technology come to accept another tool to dominate and add to your writing workbasket, the veridical question be : why not ? 😉
And yes, the blink emoji be a proper function of the semicolon, besides — astatine least in our reserve.
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This be associate in nursing update adaptation of adenine report that be previously published. We update our military post american samoa frequently deoxyadenosine monophosphate potential to see they ’ rhenium utilitarian for our reader .
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