This week: The Semicolon Edited by: Lilli ☕️ 🧿
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|The first in a short series about punctuation!|
a punctuation mark (;) indicating a pause, typically between two main clauses, that is more pronounced than that indicated by a comma.
|The semicolon or semi-colon (;), is a symbol commonly used as orthographic punctuation. In the English language, a semicolon is most commonly used to link (in a single sentence) two independent clauses that are closely related in thought. When a semicolon joins two or more ideas in one sentence, those ideas are then given equal rank. Semicolons can also be used in place of commas to separate the items in a list, particularly when the elements of that list contain commas.|
The semicolon is one of the least understood of the standard marks, and so it is not as frequently used by many English speakers.
This week we will cover some tips for how and when to use a semicolon.
Use a semicolon between independent clauses when the clauses are closely related in meaning and when there is no coordinating conjunction between them.
Often two independent clauses which are closely related in meaning can be connected by a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, not, for, so, yet). However, if the relationship between the clauses is clear without the conjunction, the writer can choose to omit the coordinating conjunction and use a semicolon instead. The semicolon tends to emphasize the close connection between the two thoughts.
When you come to Ft. Lauderdale, you will stay with me; I wouldn't have it otherwise.
Be careful and drive defensively; you'll be glad you did.
Use a semicolon between independent clauses linked with a transitional expression.
include conjunctive adverbs and transitional phrases.
|Conjunctive adverbs: accordingly, finally, likewise, similarly, also, furthermore, meanwhile, specifically, anyway, hence, moreover, still, besides, however, nevertheless, subsequently, certainly, incidentally, next ,the, consequently, indeed,, nonetheless therefore, conversely, instead, otherwise.|
Transitional Phrases: after all, even so, in fact, as a matter of fact, for example, in other words, as a result, for instance, in the first place, at any rate, in addition, on the contrary, at the same time in conclusion, on the other hand
When a transitional expression appears between independent clauses, the transition is preceded by a semicolon and usually followed by a comma.
The chef's specialty is broiled salmon; however, tonight it's not available.
That's a difficult question; in other words, I'm not going to answer it.
When the transitional expression appears in the middle or at the end of the second independent clause, the semicolon goes between the clauses.
The man pleaded innocent; his face, however, looked as guilty as sin.
Transitional expressions should not be confused with the coordinating conjunctions and, but, or, not, for, so, and yet. When coordinating conjunctions connect independent clauses, they are preceded by a comma.
Exception: Sometimes when independent clauses contain internal punctuation which might cause confusion, a semicolon may be used in addition to a coordinating conjunction.
The hike will be difficult to complete, dangerous to attempt, frightening for most of us, and long; and in spite of her reassurances, I don't even think we should go.
Use a semicolon between items in a series containing internal punctuation.
When the division of items becomes confusing due to multiple punctuation marks, use semicolons to distinguish between major groupings of ideas.
We visited Washington D.C. in the spring; Ft. Lauderdale, FL, in the winter; and Phoenix, Arizona, in the middle of a very hot summer.
The population of my hometown in 1762 was 4,123; in 1790, 7,921; and in 1998, 42,380.
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