Semicolons are most often used to separate two equal independent clauses within one complete sentence.. Semicolon Example: I have to wake-up early; I hate sleeping in late. The other most common use of semicolons is to separate lists when commas are present within the list itself which is part of a single independent clause. It can’t stand on its own without the first part of the sentence in front of it. A comma is completely inappropriate here because that would lead to a comma splice, and as we have previously discussed, comma splices are evil. Bill was going bald; his hair was falling out. To illustrate these use cases, I’ll devise some semicolon examples that relate to one of my favorite topics on earth: cheese. Consider using a grammar checking tool like ProWritingAid to tell you when you should and shouldn’t use semicolons. Unlike a full stop, you don’t need a capital letter after a semicolon. Martin squinted as he read over his news brief, wishing he had glasses. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Semicolon example: He didn’t want to go to school; he wanted to go to the zoo to see the polar bear. Independent of each other, they’re both complete sentences in their own right. Here are some examples of semicolons used in lengthy lists: To play the piano well you need: a strong pair of hands; the ability to read music; and a certain passion to perform. That’s how to use a semicolon correctly. If you want to get technical about the grammar of this situation (and let’s face it, I always want to get technical about the grammar of a situation), “wishing he had glasses” is a dependent clause. They can also separate two main clauses or grouped items in a list. We need a semicolon here because the first half and the second half of the sentence can both stand on their own. When she's not diagramming sentences and reading blogs about how terribly written the Twilight series is, she edits for the Write Practice, causes trouble in Denver, and plays guitar very slowly and poorly. A semi-colon is used to separate sentences where the conjunction has been left out. A semicolon is often used to replace a coordinating conjunction like ‘and’ or ‘but’. The semicolon or semi-colon; is a symbol commonly used as orthographic punctuation.In the English language, a semicolon is most commonly used to link (in a single sentence) two independent clauses that are closely related in thought.When a semicolon joins two or more ideas in one sentence, those ideas are then given equal rank. Let’s look at them both. Practice writing with semicolons. Thanks Kelly, we agree that would be an improvement. Don’t try to tell me you didn’t. In this case, where an independent clause and a dependent clause are connected, use a comma. In lists, we generally use commas to separate the items. I love ice cream; it is my favorite food. You can follow her on, ome have rejected it outright, including Kurt Vonnegut, who said that the only reason to use a semicolon would be “to show you’ve been to college.”. if ( notice ) There it is. var notice = document.getElementById("cptch_time_limit_notice_70"); Don’t be afraid to experiment with semicolons. I read the book in one evening; it was not very helpful. We use a semicolon between items in a list or series when the items themselves contain commas. ); I didn’t see the step; I’ve now got a bandage on my head. Read on for: The semicolon is sometimes called a super comma, and rightly so, because it can act as a kind of upgrade when just one comma isn’t enough or is confusing. By using a semicolon before the conjunction in these sentences, you clarify the sentence and provide a break for the reader. 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