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Semicolons

on May 14, 2009

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SemicolonsPresentation Transcript

• Our Friend, the Semicolon
• Our Friend, the Semicolon Let’s begin with a simple sentence: Grandma stays up too late.
• Our Friend, the Semicolon Now let’s expand on that a bit: Grandma stays up too late. She’s afraid she’s going to miss something. This is OK. Two independent ideas, separated by a period.
• Our Friend, the Semicolon What if we try to combine the two ideas? Grandma stays up too late, she’s afraid she’s going to miss something . Something’s wrong. We connected two independent clauses with only a comma. The dreaded COMMA SPLICE!
• Our Friend, the Semicolon We could insert a coordinating conjunction : This is better! Note the comma that accompanies the coordinating conjunction. Grandma is afraid she’ll miss something, so she stays up too late.
• Our Friend, the Semicolon We could also try subordinating one of these ideas: Grandma stays up too late because she’s afraid she’s going to miss something . Notice that the comma disappeared. One idea (the second one) now depends on the other; it has become a dependent clause .
• Our Friend, the Semicolon But let’s try something else. ENTER THE SEMICOLON !
• Our Friend, the Semicolon Let’s try using a semicolon in this sentence. Grandma stays up too late ; she’s afraid she’s going to miss something. Notice there is no conjunction used with this semicolon – either subordinating or coordinating. Just the semicolon, all by itself.
• Our Friend, the Semicolon Sometimes semicolons are accompanied by conjunctive adverbs – words such as however, moreover, therefore, nevertheless, consequently, as a result. Grandma is afraid she’s going to miss something ; as a result, she stays up too late.
• Our Friend, the Semicolon Notice the pattern: ; as a result, semicolon + conjunctive adverb + comma This is a typical construction with semicolons .
• Our Friend, the Semicolon There is one other use of the semicolon: to help us sort out monster lists , like this one: The committee included Peter Wursthorn, Professor of Mathematics, from Marlborough, Connecticut, Virginia Villa, Professor of English, from Hartford, Connecticut, Paul Creech, Director of Rad-Tech, from Essex, Connecticut, and Joan Leach, Professor of Nursing, from Farmington, Connecticut.
• Our Friend, the Semicolon Be careful where you insert semicolons in this sentence. The committee included Peter Wursthorn, Professor of Mathematics, from Marlborough, Connecticut ; Virginia Villa, Professor of English, from Hartford, Connecticut ; Paul Creech, Director of Rad-Tech, from Essex, Connecticut ; and Joan Leach, Professor of Nursing, from Farmington, Connecticut.
• Our Friend, the Semicolon Now you know everything you’ll ever need to know about using semicolons! CONGRATULATIONS
• This PowerPoint presentation was created by Charles Darling, PhD Professor of English and Webmaster Capital Community College Hartford, Connecticut copyright November 1999