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# Tips for Using Semi-Colons

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### Tips for Using Semi-Colons

1. 1. The semicolon<br />Rules to make your writing more effective<br />
2. 2. ;<br /> Semicolons are often mistakenly used in place of commas or periods. They are much like a period, but whereas a period keeps two independent clauses apart and turns them into separate sentences, a semicolon joins them to show a close connection. <br />
3. 3. Compare:<br />I helped the committee all I could. I even searched the back issues of the paper to find evidence. <br />I helped the committee all I could; I even searched the back issues of the paper to find evidence. <br />I helped the committee all I could,and I even searched the back issues of the paper to find evidence. <br /> All three examples are correct. <br /> The semicolon emphasizes a close relationship between the two independent clauses.<br />
4. 4. Rule 1<br />Place a semicolon between two sentences when a conjunction has been omitted. (Conjunctions are words like for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. The acronym FANBOYS makes it easy to remember them.) <br />For example, "I have paid the bill, so my cable will be reconnected tomorrow" can be changed to "I have paid the bill; my cable will be reconnected tomorrow." <br />
5. 5. Rule 2<br />Link two independent clauses or two sentences joined by a conjunction with a semicolon. <br />The following sentence is an example of this usage: "That night the timber wolf appeared to revive; but when we woke in the morning, full of hope that we had saved it, we were saddened to find its body at the edge of the clearing."<br />It would be perfectly correct to use a comma before but in this<br />example; the semicolon, however, creates a stronger pause. <br />Also, because there are already two commas in the second<br />clause, a semicolon in desirable, since it indicates the main<br />break in the sentence. <br />
6. 6. Rule 3<br />Use a semicolon before introductory or transition words such as however, for example, in addition, otherwise, therefore, etc. when they come before a complete sentence. <br />You could write, "I would go with you; however, I have a doctor's appointment at that time." <br />
7. 7. Rule 4<br />Separate items in a series with a semicolon when the items are lengthy or contain commas. <br />For example, "I have lived in Memphis, Tennessee; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Canton, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania." <br />
8. 8. Rule 5<br />When dealing with quotations, always place semicolons outside the quotation mark. <br />He asked me to be quiet and mind my “atrocious manners”; I told him I'd say what I pleased. <br />
9. 9. Add semicolons to the following sentences:<br />It is raining outside I will bring my umbrella with me.<br />Hopefully, the weather will change soon otherwise, the whole summer will go by without the sun shining.<br />Marx did not believe that "a single nation should have a single leader" nevertheless, he became a leader singled out.<br />
10. 10. Practice<br />We visited Pago Pago, Western Samoa Curitiba, Brazil and St. George, Utah.<br />When I eat alone, I leave a mess but that's not the worst of it.<br />