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How to use semi colons

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How to use semi colons

  1. 1. How to use semi colons The semi colon looks like this ;It can be used in a number of ways– all of which can help improve yoursentence structure and raise yourmark
  2. 2. This is the easier way of using semi colons - to separate long items in a list – in other words: items made up of several words When the police searched Paula’s room they were surprised by what they found: a pristine collection of Superman comics from 1955; a flick-knife once owned by James Dean; a detailed map of the Moscow underground system.
  3. 3. • Of course, shorter items in a list are separated by commas.• However, semi colons are used to separate longer items for the sake of clarity – so you can differentiate between the individual items.• Sometimes, those items have commas in them.• For example: The drawers held many secrets: her grandmothers diary, still holding faded pressed flowers; an album of photographs dating back to the childhood holidays that she had spent in Paris with her mother, father and brother; a collection of theatre programmes dating from November 1963 to June 1968.
  4. 4. This is the trickier use of the semi colon - to separate two related parts of a sentence• The dark house seemed to beckon them in; it was as if they were being hypnotised and couldn’t resist.If you think about it, the sentence almost takes adifferent direction when the semi colon is used. You’dnot be wrong to use a full stop (or in certain cases, aconnective), but the semi colon allows you to vary yoursentence structure and impress the examiners.
  5. 5. Here are another couple of examples• Lewis stood up and praised the virtues of the humble pasty; however, he was also fond of Gregg’s sausage rolls, known to his friends as Sunderland dummies.• Anna sat on her bed and thought over what had happened; after a day like this, she wished she had someone sympathetic to talk to instead of her bitch of a sister.
  6. 6. Place semi colons correctly in the following sentences• She stood up and addressed the jury: “If you recall, Ms Thompson said it was dark when she looked out of the window however, she seems to have forgotten that the clocks changed on Saturday…”• Edging my way into the cave, I was struck by the powerful odour of pickled almonds smothering the stench of the rotting seaweed still clinging onto the rocks it reminded me of the hospital ward in which I had spent hours of my childhood while my father was recovering from his motorbike accident.• When I grow up, I want to be the man with the plan the guy who wears the white hat the enigmatic stranger the one who steals your heart the hero respected by everyone I meet. Of course, I also want to be rich!
  7. 7. Answers…• She stood up and addressed the jury: “If you recall, Ms Thompson said it was dark when she looked out of the window; however, she seems to have forgotten that the clocks changed on Saturday…”• Edging my way into the cave, I was struck by the powerful odour of pickled almonds smothering the stench of the rotting seaweed still clinging onto the rocks; it reminded me of the hospital ward in which I had spent hours of my childhood while my father was recovering from his motorbike accident.• When I grow up, I want to be the man with the plan; the guy who wears the white hat; the enigmatic stranger; the one who steals your heart; the hero respected by everyone he meets. Of course, I also want to be rich!

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