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SEMI-COLON RULES #1 Replaces the word AND in between two independent clauses The boy went to the circus; it was the longest night of his life. Instead of… The boy went to the circus and it was the longest night of his life.
SEMI-COLON RULES #2 Used I a list of items when the list already has commas in it. He drove to Erie, Pennsylvania; Lansing, Michigan; and Honolulu, Hawaii.
COLON Used to present something: a statement, a series, a quotation or instructions. Meant to bring your sentence to a halt.
COLON RULES #1 Use a colon instead of a comma if you want to introduce a quotation. I said to him: “Smitty, please pick up a case of Pepsi on your way over.” A famous man once said: “Four score and seven years ago.”
COLON RULES #2 To introduce a list when what comes before the colon is a complete sentence (subject + predicate) Henry bought three kinds of pop: Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and Slice. I gave her three choices: do your homework, clean your room, or mow the lawn.
COLON RULES #3 Do not use a colon to separate the verb from the rest of the sentence. In Henry’s bag were: three carrots, two pineapples, and once squash. WRONG! – What is before the colon MUST be a complete sentence.