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# Semicolon Game

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A Semiclon

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• What is the point of a semicolon?The most common way to use a semicolon is to connect two independent clauses. These two statements are separated by a period. If read aloud, it would go something like this:“The ice cream truck man drove by my house today. *take a breath* He had big hairy knuckles.”With a semicolon, however, it would sound like this:“The ice cream truck man drove by my house today; he had big hairy knuckles.” Basically, what we did was eliminate the pause between the two statements without using words such as “and,” “but,” “nor,” “or,” or “yet.”
• How do I use a semicolon?If you have two independent clauses, meaning they could stand alone as their own sentences, it’s ok to use a semicolon.For example: “My aunt also had hairy knuckles; she loved to wash and comb them.”
• What words are conjunctions? Conjunctions are words like “and,” “but,” “or,” “not,” “for,” “so,” and “yet.” Why is a comma used? A comma is used because there’s a “but” separating the two clauses.
• Use a semicolon when you want to form a bond between two sentences, typically when they are related to or contrasted with one another. In this example, the relationship between gnawing on tires and combatting bears is strengthened by using a semicolon.Read bear/rat sentence.In this sentence, your victory against the bear does not need to be connected to the plague rat, so a period is used.
• One other time to use a semicolon – as a super-comma.What could a super-comma mean?Use a semicolon if you need to make a list of items that are separated with a comma. This often occurs when listing locations, names, dates, and descriptions.
• Ask students to name these before showing them (2 reasons to use, 1 reason not to).
• ### Semicolon Game

1. 1. LessonGameExtras!
2. 2. Graphics andExamplescourtesy of“The Oatmeal”
3. 3. CONNECT SENTENCES
4. 4. CONNECT SENTENCES
5. 5. CONNECT SENTENCES
6. 6. CONNECT SENTENCES
7. 7. SUPER-COMMA
8. 8. SUMMARYUSE A SEMICOLON:• Join two related sentences• Use to separate a list of items already separated by commasDON’T USE A SEMICOLON• When two sentences are joined by a conjunctionBack to Start
9. 9. PRACTICE GAMEExample | Let’s Play!
10. 10. SAMPLE 11.) Stephanie adopted a cat.2.) Sven went to the store.3.) Megan rode her bike down a hill.A.) Mark moved to Massachusetts.B.) The water bottle was empty.C.) It had ten kittens.Column One Column TwoCheck AnswerWhich sentences can be connected by a semicolon?¿Qué penas se puede conectar por un punto y coma?
11. 11. ANSWER TO SAMPLE 1One More Example1.) Stephanie adopted a cat.2.) Sven went to the store.3.) Megan rode her bike down a hill.A.) Mark moved to Massachusetts.B.) The water bottle was empty.C.) It had ten kittens.Column One Column TwoWHY: Both sentences are related because they talk about the cat.None of the other sentences relate to each other.POR QUÉ: Ambas frases están relacionadas porque hablan sobreel gato. Ninguna de las otras frases se relacionan entre sí.Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?¿Qué penas se puede conectar por un punto y coma?
12. 12. SAMPLE 2Kristen got all dressed up for the partyhowever, her best friend wore jeans.Check AnswerWhere should the semicolon go?¿Dónde poner el punto y coma ir?
13. 13. Let’s Play!ANSWER TO SAMPLE 2Kristen got all dressed up for the party;however, her best friend wore jeans.WHY: “Kristen got all dressed up for the party” and “however, herbest friend wore jeans” are both complete sentences that relate toone another.POR QUÉ: "Kristen se vistió todo para la fiesta" y "sin embargo, sumejor amiga llevaba pantalones vaqueros" son frases completasque se relacionan entre sí.Where should the semicolon go?¿Dónde poner el punto y coma ir?
14. 14. 1.) Jelly beans are delicious.2.) Megan wants to play inside.3.) The dog peed twice in the snow.A.) Haley wants to play outside.B.) The water bottle was empty.C.) Wow, those knuckles are hairy!Column One Column TwoQUESTION 1Check AnswerWhich sentences can be connected by a semicolon?
15. 15. Next QuestionWHY: The sentences have the same format and contrast oneanother, so they can be connected with a semicolon.1.) Jelly beans are delicious.2.) Megan wants to play inside.3.) The dog peed twice in the snow.A.) Haley wants to play outside.B.) The water bottle was empty.C.) Wow, those knuckles are hairy!Column One Column TwoANSWER TO QUESTION 1Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?
16. 16. QUESTION 2Check AnswerWhere should the semicolon go?The roof leaked, and the walls saggedtherefore, Brooke hired a contractor torepair the house.
17. 17. The roof leaked, and the walls sagged;therefore, Brooke hired a contractor torepair the house.WHY: “The roof leaked, and the walls sagged” and “therefore,Brooke hired a contractor to repair the house” are both completesentences. The first sentence gives the reason why Brooke called acontractor.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 2Where should the semicolon go?
18. 18. 1.) The feline is very elegant.2.) Lemonade is Melissa’s favoritedrink.3.) My hair is very wet.A.) I just washed it.B.) The purple peacock jumpedover the tall, maroon fence.C.) My life is all about dancebecause it makes me feel alive.Column One Column TwoCheck AnswerQUESTION 3Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?
19. 19. Column TwoWHY: Both sentences are related because they talk about theperson’s hair. The second sentence explains why the first sentenceis true.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 3Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?1.) The feline is very elegant.2.) Lemonade is Melissa’s favoritedrink.3.) My hair is very wet.A.) I just washed it.B.) The purple peacock jumpedover the tall, maroon fence.C.) My life is all about dancebecause it makes me feel alive.Column One
20. 20. My father is an accountant my motheris a lawyer.Check AnswerQUESTION 4Where should the semicolon go?
21. 21. My father is an accountant; my motheris a lawyer.WHY: “My father is an accountant” and “my mother is a lawyer” areboth complete sentences. They relate to one another because theyboth list the speaker’s parent’s jobs and are formatted the same,showing parallel structure (we will talk about this next week).Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 4Where should the semicolon go?
22. 22. 1.) Llamas are aliens from outerspace.2.) I saw Tangled five times at themovie theater.3.) I have a lot of homework.A.) My Mom wants me to buy milkat the grocery store.B.) Cara washed the dishes for thepast five nights.C.) I will stay up late to finish it.Column One Column TwoCheck AnswerQUESTION 5Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?
23. 23. Column One Column TwoWHY: Both sentences are related because they talk about thehomework. The second sentence explains the effect of the first.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 5Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?1.) Llamas are aliens from outerspace.2.) I saw Tangled five times at themovie theater.3.) I have a lot of homework.A.) My Mom wants me to buy milkat the grocery store.B.) Cara washed the dishes for thepast five nights.C.) I will stay up late to finish it.
24. 24. This case bears investigation Ill putsomeone on it.Check AnswerQUESTION 6Where should the semicolon go?
25. 25. This case bears investigation; Ill putsomeone on it.WHY: “This case bears investigation” and “I’ll put someone on it”are both complete sentences. The second sentence is the result ofthe decision made in the first sentnece.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 6Where should the semicolon go?
26. 26. 1.) Do you like to go to the zoo?2.) The 105 degree weather made itexcruciatingly hot outside.3.) Sherlock Holmes spends hisdays in London solving crimes.A.) Sarah has pajamas withmonkeys on them.B.) My favorite television show isOnce Upon a Time.C.) I had to use a fan to keep cool.Column One Column TwoCheck AnswerQUESTION 7Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?
27. 27. Column One Column TwoWHY: Both sentences talk about the heat; the second explainswhat the speaker did to combat it.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 7Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?1.) Do you like to go to the zoo?2.) The 105 degree weather made itexcruciatingly hot outside.3.) Sherlock Holmes spends hisdays in London solving crimes.A.) Sarah has pajamas withmonkeys on them.B.) My favorite television show isOnce Upon a Time.C.) I had to use a fan to keep cool.
28. 28. Apples are usually sold by the poundoranges are sold by the dozen.Check AnswerQUESTION 8Where should the semicolon go?
29. 29. Apples are usually sold by the pound;oranges are sold by the dozen.WHY: “Apples are usually sold by the pound” and “oranges aresold by the dozen” are both complete sentences. While they bothhave different topics (apples and oranges), the two topics arerelated (they are both fruit) and the sentences have the samestructure, allowing them to be combined by a semicolon.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 8Where should the semicolon go?
30. 30. 1.) Kim and Lisa had a fight aboutLisa’s new boyfriend.2.) Rebecca has two little sistersand one older brother.3.) Maxine takes dance classes onTuesdays and Thursdays.A.) The dog loves to eat homework.B.) They are not talking to eachother today.C.) Every Monday and Thursday, Iwatch the Lizzie Bennet Diaries onYouTube.Column One Column TwoCheck AnswerQUESTION 9Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?
31. 31. Column One Column TwoWHY: Both sentences talk about Kim and Lisa’s fight.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 9Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?1.) Kim and Lisa had a fight aboutLisa’s new boyfriend.2.) Rebecca has two little sistersand one older brother.3.) Maxine takes dance classes onTuesdays and Thursdays.A.) The dog loves to eat homework.B.) They are not talking to eachother today.C.) Every Monday and Thursday, Iwatch the Lizzie Bennet Diaries onYouTube.
32. 32. People came from Berkley, CaliforniaEugene, Oregon Houston, Texas andSan Diego, California.Check AnswerQUESTION 10Where should the semicolon go?
33. 33. People came from Berkley, California;Eugene, Oregon; Houston, Texas; andSan Diego, California.WHY: This is an example of the semicolon acting as a super-comma. If each location was separated by just a comma, the readerwould not know whether Berkley and California referred to twoplaces or the city inside the state.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 10Where should the semicolon go?
34. 34. 1.) The next book we will readtogether is The Great Gatsby.2.) Stephanie plans to teachanthropology to high schoolstudents one day.3.) The big dog barked ferociously,scaring the little boy.A.) He screamed before running asfast as he could the other way.B.) Lauren works for the radiostation.C.) Playing basketball is a fun andhealthy pastime.Column One Column TwoCheck AnswerQUESTION 11Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?
35. 35. Column One Column TwoWHY: Both sentences talk about the boy’s reaction to the dog.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 11Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?1.) The next book we will readtogether is The Great Gatsby.2.) Stephanie plans to teachanthropology to high schoolstudents one day.3.) The big dog barked ferociously,scaring the little boy.A.) He screamed before running asfast as he could the other way.B.) Lauren works for the radiostation.C.) Playing basketball is a fun andhealthy pastime.
36. 36. Tropical islands are great places to livethey have beautiful beaches, and theweather is great all year.Check AnswerQUESTION 12Where should the semicolon go?
37. 37. Tropical islands are great places tolive; they have beautiful beaches,and the weather is great all year.WHY: The text before and after the semicolon is a completesentence. The second sentence explains the first.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 12Where should the semicolon go?
38. 38. 1.) He cannot decide whether to buy ahouse in Miami or on Cocoa Beach.2.) Popsicles are on sale for fiftypercent off at the store.3.) My friend was feeling extremelysick before she threw up in class.A.) I took a picture of a giraffe on myAfrican safari.B.) I stayed with her in the nurse’soffice that afternoon.C.) He is reading his favorite book,The Phantom Tollbooth, now.Column One Column TwoCheck AnswerQUESTION 13Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?
39. 39. Column One Column TwoWHY: These sentences are related because they talk about thespeaker’s friend’s illness.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 13Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?1.) He cannot decide whether to buy ahouse in Miami or on Cocoa Beach.2.) Popsicles are on sale for fiftypercent off at the store.3.) My friend was feeling extremelysick before she threw up in class.A.) I took a picture of a giraffe on myAfrican safari.B.) I stayed with her in the nurse’soffice that afternoon.C.) He is reading his favorite book,The Phantom Tollbooth now.
40. 40. I can’t eat strawberries they give me arash.Check AnswerQUESTION 14Where should the semicolon go?
41. 41. I can’t eat strawberries; they give me arash.WHY: These two sentences relate to one another because thesecond explains why the speaker cannot complete the action in thefirst sentence (eating strawberries).Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 14Where should the semicolon go?
42. 42. 1.) We adopted my little brother lastmonth from Guatemala.2.) My family went to Walt DisneyWorld over Thanksgiving Break forthe first time.3.) Margaret loves to chase the icecream truck down the road.A.) He is wearing a tuxedo for thewedding.B.) We had a great time riding all ofthe rides and watching all of theshows.C.) My dog got pregnant thissummer.Column One Column TwoCheck AnswerQUESTION 15Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?
43. 43. Column One Column TwoWHY: Both sentences talk about the trip to Walt Disney World.None of the other sentences are related.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 15Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?1.) We adopted my little brother lastmonth from Guatemala.2.) My family went to Walt DisneyWorld over Thanksgiving Break forthe first time.3.) Margaret loves to chase the icecream truck down the road.A.) He is wearing a tuxedo for thewedding.B.) We had a great time riding all ofthe rides and watching all of theshows.C.) My dog got pregnant thissummer.
44. 44. He ate six hotdogs he got astomachache.Check AnswerQUESTION 16Where should the semicolon go?
45. 45. He ate six hotdogs; he got astomachache.WHY: The second sentence shows the result of the original action(eating six hotdogs).Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 16Where should the semicolon go?
46. 46. 1.) The chalking event was cancelledwhen it started to rain.2.) Class was cancelled today.3.) Christopher ate all his vegetablesso he could have desert.A.) Mr. Jones was at home sick.B.) The alphabet soup had everyletter except a “Z.”C.) Last weekend we all playedMonopoly for her birthday.Column One Column TwoCheck AnswerQUESTION 17Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?
47. 47. Column One Column TwoWHY: The sentences are related because the second sentenceexplains the reason for the first sentence—class was cancelledtoday because Mr. Jones was at home sick.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 17Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?1.) The chalking event was cancelledwhen it started to rain.2.) Class was cancelled today.3.) Christopher ate all his vegetablesso he could have desert.A.) Mr. Jones was at home sick.B.) The alphabet soup had everyletter except a “Z.”C.) Last weekend we all playedMonopoly for her birthday.
48. 48. Relatives at the family reunionincluded my older brother, Bob mycousin, Mandy and my great aunt,Mary.Check AnswerQUESTION 18Where should the semicolon go?
49. 49. Relatives at the family reunionincluded my older brother, Bob; mycousin, Mandy; and my great aunt,Mary.WHY: This is another example of the semicolon as a super-comma. Each family member in the list has a comma before his orher name. Since commas are part of the items in the list, asemicolon can make the list clear.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 18Where should the semicolon go?
50. 50. 1.) Anthony wandered around themonuments in Washington, D.C.2.) Sarah carried milk and cookiesto class for her students.3.) I really wanted the car, but Iwalked out of the dealership withoutit.A.) It was far too expensive.B.) The truck broke down at theedge of the highway.C.) The girl’s hair was so curly hermother had to cut out her brushwhen it got stuck.Column One Column TwoCheck AnswerQUESTION 19Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?
51. 51. Column One Column TwoWHY: Both sentences discuss the car. The second sentenceprovides the reason the speaker did not buy it.Next QuestionANSWER TO QUESTION 19Which sentences can be connected by a semicolon?1.) Anthony wandered around themonuments in Washington, D.C.2.) Sarah carried milk and cookiesto class for her students.3.) I really wanted the car, but Iwalked out of the dealership withoutit.A.) It was far too expensive.B.) The truck broke down at theedge of the highway.C.) The girl’s hair was so curly hermother had to cut out her brushwhen it got stuck.
52. 52. Andrew plays the harmonica Matthew,the base Adrian, the guitar and Nathan,the drums.Check AnswerQUESTION 20Where should the semicolon go?
53. 53. Andrew plays the harmonica; Matthew,the base; Adrian, the guitar; andNathan, the drums.WHY: This sentence is another example of the semicolon as asuper-comma. In this case, the writer eliminated the word “plays” forstylistic effect in the clauses after “Andrew plays the harmonica.”The writer replaced it with a comma, so a semicolon is needed toclarify the list.Back to StartANSWER TO QUESTION 20Where should the semicolon go?
54. 54. EXTRAS!
55. 55. SEMICOLONS ARE EVERYWHERE!They even make it to theNew York Times.“To use a semicolon properly can be an act offaith. It’s a way of saying to the reader, who isalready holding one bag of groceries, here, Iknow it’s a lot, but can you take another? Andthen (in the case of William James) another?And another? And one more? Which sounds, ofcourse, dreadful, and like just the sort ofdiscourtesy a writer ought strenuously to avoid.But the truth is that there can be somethingwonderful in being festooned in carefullybalanced bags; there’s a kind of exquisitetension, a feeling of delicious responsibility, inbeing so loaded up that you seem to have half agrocery store suspended from your body.”
56. 56. ONLINE RESOURCES• Full Oatmeal Graphic Explanation• Fun and Easy Semicolon Rules• Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips• Once and For All: How to Use a Semicolon
57. 57. ANOTHER EXPLANATION
58. 58. EVEN MORE EXPLANATIONS• Scribendi• Purdue Owl• Using Semicolons in Spanish• Difference between English and SpanishSemicolons
59. 59. ADDITIONAL PRACTICE• The Semicolon Wars• Comma and Semicolon Quiz• Semicolon Jeopardy• Semicolon Quiz• Practice QuizBack to Start
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