Important Punctuation Marks for combining sentences . . . The comma The semicolon
The Comma See how important commas are? Without the comma in this sentence, Grandpa would be a goner.
When to use commas . . . 1. To join two complete sentences together when there is a conjunction*between them. * (Conjunctions: and, but, or, for, so, nor, yet) Example: Christmas is tomorrow. I hope I get a new ipod. Christmas is tomorrow, and I hope I get a new ipod.
To separate items in a series. Example: Her cat is crazy. He scratches everyone who walks by. He hisses at his food bowl. He eats his own hair balls. Her crazy cat scratches everyone who walks by, hisses at his food bowl, and eats his own hair balls.
To set off a dependent clause Example: My paycheck was huge last week. I told my boss that I needed to work any extra hours I could get. Since I told my boss that I needed to work any extra hours I could get, my paycheck was huge last week.
Items in a series Original Sentences: We woke up late. We rushed around the house. We were late for practice. Combined sentence: We woke up late,rushed around the house, andwere late for practice. (Notice how we used commas to separate each thing we listed and used the conjunction “and” before the final thing we listed.)
THE SUPER SEMICOLON Semicolons are commas on steroids. A semicolon can do the same thing that a comma + a conjunction do. Remember: Semicolon = Comma + Conjunction
Join 2 complete sentences without a period or a comma. Original Sentences: The girls went to the mall. They bought lots of clothes. Combining sentences using a comma: The girls went to the mall, and they bought lots of clothes. Combining sentences using the SUPER SEMICOLON: The girls went to the mall;they bought lots of clothes.
Combining sentences using a conjunctive adverb Original sentences: The band didn’t play my favorite song. It was still a great concert. Combining sentences using the SUPER SEMICOLON: The band didn’t play my favorite song; however,it was still a great concert. (Words like however, furthermore, therefore, meanwhile, nonetheless are called conjunctive adverbs and need BOTH a semicolonand a comma to hold the sentence together.) Notice how the semicolon goes BEFORE the conjunctive adverb “however” and the comma goes AFTER it.
Items in a series that already contain commas Original Sentence: We traveled to Atlanta, Georgia. Then we went to Charlotte, North Carolina. Finally, we went to Miami, Florida. Combined sentence using the SUPER SEMICOLON: We traveled to Atlanta, Georgia;Charlotte, North Carolina; and Miami, Florida. (We used semicolons to separate the list of cities and states since we already had commas between each city and state . . . Too many commas would have been a grammatical nightmare!)