(See what we did there?) This conjunctive adverb rule is similar to the conjunction rule. In both cases, examine that the 2 concepts are independent clauses that could stand on their own as sentences. If so, then you definitely’re grammatically good to go as far as the semicolon is concerned. In these kind of sentences, an em dash can substitute for a semicolon.

how to use ;

Writing a list sounds simple, but there are several punctuation marks you want. Start it with a phrase and a colon to introduce the listing. In this occasion, think of colons as saying, “Here’s what I mean.” What’s about to come after the colon is meant to additional illustrate whatever was mentioned earlier than the colon. A colon, however, should be used for a stronger, more direct relationship. It ought to provide emphasis, an example, or an evidence.

Should You Capitalize The First Letter After A Colon?

Use a semicolon to separate items of a series when a number of of the units include commas. Avoid a semicolon when a dependent clause comes earlier than an unbiased clause. A semicolon can exchange a interval if the writer needs to narrow the gap between two carefully linked sentences. It’s no accident that a semicolon is a period atop a comma. Like commas, semicolons indicate an audible pause—barely longer than a comma’s, however in need of a period’s full stop. Notice that the letter following the semicolon just isn’t capitalized.

Commas are probably the most regularly used punctuation mark in most kinds of writing. The cause for this is that they have so many uses and so many rules—it may be onerous to keep monitor of them all. Let’s check out only a few of the comma’s essential capabilities and talk about when to decide on a comma over another comparable punctuation mark.


Each item within the list contains commas itself, so utilizing commas to separate the items would lead to ambiguity. This may depart you wondering if you ought to use a colon or a semicolon to connect two independent clauses. If the two clauses are merely related, not necessarily sequential in thought, use a semicolon.

  • Using commas with compound sentences or to separate clauses with different commas may cause confusion.
  • As for semicolons, you can now join the ranks of grammarians who use them properly.
  • This is identical effect colons can have upon readers.
  • Essentially, a semicolon is sort of a comma with extra meaning or a colon with more flexibility.
  • A lot of writers have tailored the em sprint to suit their very own purposes.

However, like the semicolon, it’s underutilized in most kinds of writing. It can function like a comma, parentheses, or colon, but creating subtly completely different results in each case. A semicolon could also be used between independent clauses joined by a connector, corresponding to and, but, or, nor, etc., when a number of commas appear within the first clause. A lot of writers have adapted the em dash to swimsuit their very own functions. James Joyce—insurgent that he was—used the em sprint throughoutUlysses. Emily Dickinson used em dashes in most of her poetry.

Colons Vs Semicolons: What’s The Distinction?

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