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# The semicolon

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### The semicolon

1. 1. Live Free / Speak Free
2. 2. Semicolon How to When to Vs Why Use Use Use colon Don’t Other Use Exercise
3. 3. Semicolon Vs ColonPeople often ask me what the difference is between a semicolon anda colon, and there are a couple of differences. First, the purpose of acolon is to introduce or define something. For example, you could write, “Squiggly checked the temperature: it was -20 degrees.” Ill admit that these differences can be subtle, but I would use a colon in that sentence instead of a semicolon because the second clause (the temperature) strongly relates back to the first clause (Squiggly checking the temperature).
4. 4. The second difference between a colon and a semicolon is that when youare joining things, you use a semicolon to join things of equalweight, whereas you can use a colon to join things of equal or unequalweight. For example, you can use either a semicolon or a colon to join two main clauses, but you can only use a colon to join a main clause with a noun.Heres an example: "Squiggly missed only one friend: aardvark." You couldnt use a semicolon in that sentence because the two parts are unequal. Semicolons separate things. Most commonly, they separate two main clauses that are closely related to each other but that could stand on their own as sentences if you wanted them to.
5. 5. Why?What is the main point of a semicolon? The most common way to use a semicolon is to connect two independent clauses. For example: ”The ice cream truck man drove by my house today. He had big hairy knuckles.” The two statements are separated by a period. If you read aloud, it would go something like this: ”The ice cream truck man drove by my house today. *take a breath* He had big hairy knuckles.”
6. 6. With a semicolon it would sound like this: ”The ice cream truck man drove by my house today; he had big hairy knuckles.”Basically what we did was eliminate the pausebetween the two statements without using words suchas and, but, nor, or yet.
7. 7. How How do I use a semicolon?If you have two independent clauses, meaning theycould stand alone as their own sentences, it’s ok touse a semicolon.“My aunt also had hairy knuckles; she loved to wash and comb them” This independent clause, This is also an independent meaning it could stand alone clause; it could exist without as a complete sentence. being attached to its predecessor.
8. 8. We sometimes use a semi-colon instead of a full stop or period.This is to separate sentences that are grammaticallyindependent but that have closely connected meaning. Josef likes coffee; Mary likes tea. Tara is a good speaker; she speaks very clearly. You did your best; now lets hope you pass the exam. Ram wants to go out; Anthony wants to stay home. In the above examples it is not correct to use a comma instead of the semi-colon.
9. 9. Use a semi-colon as a kind of "super comma". When we have a list of items, we usually separate the items with commas. If the list is complicated, we may prefer to use semi-colons in some cases.ABC Investments has offices in five locations: Kensington,London; Brighton & Hove; and Oxford, Cambridge andManchester.Rental cars must be returned on time; with a full tank ofpetrol; in undamaged condition; and at the same locationas they were collected from.
10. 10. When When should I use a semicolon?“I gnaw on old car tires; it strengthens my jaw so I’ll be better conditionfor bear combat.”Use a semicolon when you want to form abond between two statements, typicallywhen they are related to or contrast withone another. In the example above, therelationship between gnawing on tiresand combating bears is strengthened byusing a semicolon.
11. 11. “I fought the bear and won. Also I kiss plague rats on the mouth.” In this sentence, your victory against the bear does not need to be connected to the plague rat, so a period is used.
12. 12. To join independent clauses in compound sentences that do nothave coordinating conjunctions (and, or, but, nor, for, so, yet)and commas as connectors. Words like "however," "moreover,""thus," and "therefore," are often used as connectors in thesesentences. Comparisons are often used to emphasize a basic idea; however, they are more often used to explain something complex or unfamiliar by showing how something we dont understand relates to something we do. There was no running and no shouting; all the children behaved very well; therefore, they will all get a treat. Working mothers nationally pay an average of \$53 a week for child care; this means that many women pay nearly half of their weekly salary to day care centers or babysitters.
13. 13. I am going home; moreover, I intend to stay there.It rained heavily during the afternoon; however, wemanaged to have our picnic anyway.They couldnt make it to the summit and back beforedark; therefore, they decided to camp for the night.
14. 14. To separate long or complicated items in a series whichalready includes commas. The speakers were Dr. Judith Cornwell, English; Dr. Peter Mortrude, biology; Dr. Shirley Enders, history; and Dr. Charles Viceroy, mathematics. I have recommended this student because she communicates well with other students, faculty, and staff; completes her assignments ably and on time; and demonstrates an ability to organize people, materials, and time.
15. 15. To separate two long or complex independent clausesjoined by a coordinating conjunction if confusion wouldresult from using a comma. Ishmael, the narrator in Moby-Dick goes to sea, he says, "whenever it is a damp, drizzly November" in his heart and soul; but Ahab, the captain of the ship, goes to sea because of his obsession to hunt and kill the great white whale, Moby Dick. By the end of the sessions, the participants will have learned how to handle excessive amounts of paperwork, to work under pressure, and to juggle deadlines; and, if they complete all requirements, they will have a valuable addition to their resumes.
16. 16. Use a semicolon when you link two independent clauses withno connecting words. For example: I am going home; I intend to stay there. It rained heavily during the afternoon; we managed to have our picnic anyway. They couldnt make it to the summit and back before dark; they decided to camp for the night.
17. 17. Recognize a semicolon when you see one. The semicolon [ ; ] is a powerful mark of punctuation with three uses. The first appropriate use of the semicolon is to connect two related sentences. The pattern looks like this:complete sentence + ; + complete sentence.Here is an example:Grandma still rides her Harley motorcycle; her toy poodle balances ina basket between the handlebars.
18. 18. A semicolon can also team up with a transition—often aconjunctive adverb—to connect two sentences close inmeaning. The pattern looks like this: COMPLETE SENTENCE + ; + transition + , + COMPLETE SENTENCE.Check out this example:My father does not approve of his mother cruising aroundtown on a Harley motorcycle; however, Grandma hasnever cared what anyone thinks.
19. 19. Finally, use the semicolon to avoid confusion when you have complicated lists of items. The pattern looks like this:ITEM + , + more information + ; + ITEM + , + more information+ ; + and + ITEM + , + more information. Read the following example: On a Harley motorcycle, my grandmother and her poodle have traveled to Anchorage, Alaska; San Francisco, California; and Tijuana, Mexico.
20. 20. Don’t useDon’t use it with conjunctions. Conjunctions are words like and, but, or, nor, for, so, and yet. “My aunt’s hairy knuckles are magnificent indeed, but I have no desire to stroke them.” A comma is used here because there’s a but separating the two clauses.
21. 21. QuizDirections: Use a semicolon in the appropriate place to combine thefollowing independent clauses. 1) I want to wear the red shirt my favorite color is red. 2) Janie easily got an A on the test she studies very hard. 3) I hope I get a lot of presents today is my birthday. 4) The war is imminent the armies are ready.
22. 22. Directions: Use a semicolon in the appropriate place to separateitems in a list in the following sentences. 1) The store will be closed on the following days: Thursday, Dec. 24th Friday, Dec. 25th Saturday, Dec. 26th and Sunday Dec. 27th. 2) The company hired three new employees: Robert, who was 42 years old Juan, who was 28 years old and Dana, who was 24 years old
23. 23. Answers 1) I want to wear the red shirt; my favorite color is red. 2) Janie easily got an A on the test; she studies very hard. 3) I hope I get a lot of presents; today is my birthday. 4) The war is imminent; the armies are ready.1) The store will be closed on the following days: Thursday, Dec. 24th ;Friday, Dec. 25th ; Saturday, Dec. 26th ; and Sunday Dec. 27th.2) The company hired three new employees: Robert, who was 42 yearsold; Juan, who was 28 years old; and Dana, who was 24 years old..