How To Use A Semicolon

How To Use A Semicolon

However, if the two associated clauses comply with a sequence of thought, use a colon. Both components of the sentence are independent clauses, and commas shouldn’t be used to attach unbiased clauses if there isn’t any coordinating conjunction. Use a semicolon between independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction if the clauses are already punctuated with commas or if the clauses are lengthy. A semicolon is most commonly used to hyperlink two independent clauses that are intently associated in thought. When a semicolon is used to join two or extra ideas in a sentence, these ideas are then given equal position or rank. The sprint (or, extra particularly, the “em dash”) is maybe the most versatile of the punctuation marks.

If it is the latter, return the dashes to your punctuation device bag and use a comma, colon, or semicolon as a substitute, or revise the sentence so as to omit the dreaded dash. The em dash is an extremely versatile punctuation mark that can be used as a substitute of parentheses, commas, colons, or quotation marks in a sentence. The em sprint is perhaps the most versatile punctuation mark. Depending on the context, the em dash can take the place of commas, parentheses, or colons⁠—in every case to slightly totally different effect.

To Assist Separate Gadgets In A Listing, When Some Of These Gadgets Already Include Commas

As the final example demonstrates, conjunctive adverbs and transitional expressions are movable parts. Although they generally seem in front of thesubject, they may additionally present up later within the sentence. But regardless of the place the transitional term makes its look, the semicolon belongs on the end of the primary main clause.

  • They can also be used as a kind of “meta” parentheses when the content between the dashes already contains parentheses.
  • For occasion, researchers seeking to publish in journals should learn articles from the journals they’re concentrating on to see which punctuation marks are used by most authors in that journal.
  • A colon, however, should be used for a stronger, extra direct relationship.
  • If you wish to embody the parenthetical content material more subtly, use parentheses.
  • Both parts of the sentence are independent clauses, and commas shouldn’t be used to connect independent clauses if there is no coordinating conjunction.

They may also be used when itemizing complicated ideas or phrases that use commas within them. Essentially, a semicolon is like a comma with extra which means or a colon with more flexibility. When you could have a conjunctive adverb linking two unbiased clauses, you need to use a semicolon. Some frequent conjunctive adverbs embody moreover, however, however, otherwise, subsequently, then, finally, likewise, and consequently. You can use semicolons to divide the objects of a listing if the objects are long or contain inside punctuation.


As such, the semicolon involves the rescue to divide the lists, appearing as a comma, however permitting for greater organization and readability. A fast and useful take a look at is to take away the colon and ask whether or not the sentence would nonetheless make sense. In the primary instance above, the answer is yes, so the colon ought to go. But within the second instance, removing the colon introduces confusion, so we have to keep it. They can also be used as a kind of “meta” parentheses when the content material between the dashes already contains parentheses.

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