Semicolons!● ”With educated people, I suppose,punctuation is a matter of rule; with me it isa matter of feeling. But I must say I have agreat respect for the semicolon; it’s auseful little chap.” <--Abraham Lincoln● Semicolons are a secondary divider. Theygive you options.● Semicolons are used between two items ofequal grammatical rank not already joinedwith a coordinating conjunction. They willbe joined by a transitional expression.
Semicolons!!● Two independent clauses, two phrases,etc. Test your usage by placing a periodbetween them.● The train ride is three days; by flight it takeseight hours.● Many baseball players make it to the majorsvia hard work; however, he found othermeans.
Independent Clauses!● Use a semicolon between relatedindependent clauses that offer contrastingor parellel information that do not have acoordinating conjunction.● Paul Reveres The Boston Massacre istraditional American protest art; EdwardHicks paintings are socially conscious artwith a religious strain.
Run On Sentences (An Intro)● We will talk about this later in the month, butusing only a comma or no punctuationbetween independent clauses will create arun on sentence (specifically a commasplice).● The sun is high, put on some sunblock.(comma splice)
Independent Clauses WithTransitional Words● Use a semicolon before a transitionalword or phrase to join two independentclauses.● The transition will normally be followed bya comma.● Thomas Jefferson brought two hundredvanilla beans and a recipe for vanilla icecream back from France; thus, he gaveAmerica its all-time favorite ice cream flavor.● (thats true)
Items In A Series!● As youll recall from our discussion ofcommas, if there are already commas inthe list of elements you will addsemicolons.● Laramie, Wyoming; Wyoming, Deleware;and Delaware, Ohio, were three of theplaces they visited.
Dont Misuse Semicolons!● Semicolons should be used for our good.Here are some common misuses:● Between a dependent clause and the restof the sentence (use a comma!)● Introducing a list [use a colon! (stay tuned!)]● Between two independent clauses joinedby coordinating conjunctions (use acomma!)● Do not use a semicolon to introduce aquote.
Colons!● Colons are used to introduce a series ofelements. According to Strunk & White, theyhave ”more effect than the comma, lesspower to separate than the semicolon” (7-8)● It will be precedded by a complete sentence● Waiting tables requires three skills: Memory,speed, and balance.● Colons will also be used to introduceexplanatory material.● She had one dream: To play professionalbasketball.
Supplemental Material● Grammar Girl on semicolons.