Colons and semicolons are types of punctuation marks; they help speakers and writers format clauses. Semi-colons, in particular, are often incorrectly used because they are pretty similar to colons.
Semicolons are the forgotten cousin; they are often overlooked because people don’t know how to use them. However, we hope you won’t forget to use this poor punctuation mark after this semicolon list guide of rules and examples!
Semicolons ( ; ) are types of punctuation. It's a period on top of a comma, but it doesn't mean you can use a period or comma instead of a semicolon, so hold on tight for semicolon rules and examples!
Want to know how to use them correctly in your writing? Carry on reading, as semicolons are pretty important.
( ; ) Semicolon
There are a few grammar rules to remember when using semicolons.
1) Only capitalize the word after a semicolon if the word is a proper noun, acronym, or for style purposes in a title.
2) Semicolons are strong. Stronger than a comma but a little less powerful than a colon. They act as a conjunction in two independent sentences and connect ideas or statements.
3) Think of a semicolon as a short pause; they show the equal balance between clauses, whereas colons emphasize.
Are you fed up with using colons and periods? Let’s look into how you can use semicolons instead.
You can use semicolons in a list of words with lengthy explanations and lots of information. Think of a semicolon in this way as a pause for the reader to breathe and comprehend the information.
When listing, semicolons work instead of conjunctions; the small words "ors, buts, ands." You might be thinking, but why can't I use a comma? Well, you can, but a semicolon is more appropriate when you're reading or writing a long phrase or sentence. Plus, correctly using semicolons in your writing will show your teacher how much you know about punctuation.
Like most punctuation marks, semicolons help us construct sentences related to independent clauses. Each independent sentence should be a complete clause that makes sense without the other one, but they must be closely related. The semicolon helps the reader to see how the two sentences are connected.
Note: If you used a comma in these sentences, you would get a comma splice. A comma splice is when two independent clauses are punctuated with a comma. In literature, comma splices are sometimes used to dramatize or bring a specific mood.
Though it’s not necessary to use semicolons with conjunctions such as "or, and, or but,’" adverb conjunctions and semicolons in writing could make it more interesting and help the reader follow your train of thought. If you use a semicolon with an adverb of conjunction, you must always use a comma after the adverb of conjunction!
You can use semicolons in quotes, but unlike commas and periods, semi-colons, dashes, and colons almost always go outside a quote.
Now you've processed all of that, see if these FAQs answer your questions.
How do I use semicolons in a list?
How to use semicolons with adverbs?
Can I use semicolons in quotes?
Since colons ( : ) and semicolons ( ; ) look pretty similar, let’s delve into their differences!
Colons are used to add a pause; they are made up of two periods, so think of them as a full pause.
They are used in the following situations and have some specific rules.
To wrap up, semicolons are used in the following situations and have some specific rules.
And that’s the end of our love letter to the semi-colon; they are amazing, aren’t they?