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Semi-Colon (;) Rules


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Did you know that the semi-colon has been gaining attention internationally? It's quite fascinating, and rings very true, but I though I would clear up the punctuation rules of the semi-colon with this post.

1. The semi-colon is a long pause that balances two equally important ideas.     For example: She went by train; she would rather have flown.

2. It can show opposites in one sentence.   For example: In summer she swims; in winter she skates.

The two points below are related:

3. It joins two main clauses (main idea sentences) where there is no conjunction.  For example: She studied diligently for the tests; she had nothing to fear.

4. A semi-colon may often be replaced by a full stop, or by the conjunctions and, but, so, for and although. [This is why we see semi-colons so seldom, because people mostly replace semi-colons with full stops or conjunctions]

I encourage you to try using a semi-colon in your writing, I love the long pause that you get by using it.

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A semicolon can replace a period if the writer wishes to narrow the gap between two closely linked sentences.

Example:

Call me tomorrow; you can give me an answer then.
We have paid our dues; we expect all the privileges listed in the contract.

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Some good examples guys! I really wanted to include the semi-colon in my writing but have struggled to find a way how. I think it's because I always found an argument for a colon or a period to be put in instead. Do you have any examples where it's best possible option to use a semi-colon? 

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On 12/23/2015, 5:07:27, majateaches said:

Did you know that the semi-colon has been gaining attention internationally? It's quite fascinating, and rings very true, but I though I would clear up the punctuation rules of the semi-colon with this post.

1. The semi-colon is a long pause that balances two equally important ideas.     For example: She went by train; she would rather have flown.

2. It can show opposites in one sentence.   For example: In summer she swims; in winter she skates.

The two points below are related:

3. It joins two main clauses (main idea sentences) where there is no conjunction.  For example: She studied diligently for the tests; she had nothing to fear.

4. A semi-colon may often be replaced by a full stop, or by the conjunctions and, but, so, for and although. [This is why we see semi-colons so seldom, because people mostly replace semi-colons with full stops or conjunctions]

I encourage you to try using a semi-colon in your writing, I love the long pause that you get by using it.

In that case it has no conjunction, but it's also grammatically sound to add a conjunctive adverb (or conjunctive adverbial phrase). For example: "She studied diligently for the tests; therefore, she had nothing to fear" or "She studied diligently for the tests; because of that, she had nothing to fear." It couldn't go there without the semicolon; therefore, I contend that semicolons can be followed by conjunctions. :wink:

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