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Commas, Colons, and Semicolons

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Myla Barnett

on 25 February 2015

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Transcript of Commas, Colons, and Semicolons

Commas, Colons, and Semicolons
What is a Comma?
What is a Semicolon?
A punctuation mark that indicates an audible pause—slightly longer than a comma, but short of a period's full stop.

A comma is a valuable punctuation mark (,) that appears in various languages usually indicating a pause in the sentence. It divides relative elements in a sentence into coordinating segments.

Rules: Commas
Rules: Colons

Rules: Semicolons
By: Myla Barnett, Carly McIntosh, and Sharzad Shojaian
When you want to combine two closely linked sentences a semi colon can replace a period.

Example: I went to the mall. I bought a new sweater.
I went to the mall; I bought a new sweater.

1. When using a colon in a series of items, do not capitalize the first item after the colon unless it's a proper noun.

I have to go home because I have a numerous errands I need to tend to: feed gary, get more jelly, blow bubbles, and study for my boating license.

Rules: Semicolons
Rules: Semicolons
Use a semicolon to connect complete sentences that begin with words such as
however, therefore, that is, for example, or, for instance

There are some desserts; however, it’s better to eat the fruit.
Example: There are some desserts. However, it’s better to eat the fruit.
Use semi colons to list items that contain their own commas.
Rules: Semicolons
Example: The conference had people from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania; Albany, New York; and Boise, Idaho.
Use a semicolon when an independent clause, that connects to another clause, has more than one comma.
Example: Miss Hannigan, the evil foster mom, wanted the girls to do her work; and she stopped at nothing to get what she wanted.

Use commas after introductory clauses, phrases, or words that come BEFORE the main clause.
example: Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who has supported me.

Be sure NOT to place the comma AFTER the distinct pause in the sentence, but BEFORE the distinct pause.
example: I will, tomorrow.

DO NOT use commas to set off relative words such as (which, where, that, who).
example: The book that I bought from Boarders is exquisite!

Use a comma at the end of a sentence indicating a pause or shift.
example: You are in my math class, right?

Place a comma to shift between a main discourse and/or quote.
example: “I love to eat worms!”, said Hank.

DO NOT use a comma to separate a subject and verb.
example: An eighteen-year old in California is now considered an adult.

Use a comma when there is a distinct interruption that gives/restates additional information. Make sure to insert a comma on both sides of the additional information.
example: The homework, that is due Friday, is very hard.

Commas can only connect two independent clauses IF there is a conjunction present.
example: Shelly fell down the stairs, so life alert came to the rescue.

Commas connect dependent clauses, with conjunctions.
example: Lilian brushes her teeth, puts on her clothes, and eats a good breakfast every morning.

Use commas to separate coordinate adjectives. You do NOT need a comma after the last adjective describing the subject.
example: The ooey, gooey, chocolate cake looks great.

Use commas to separate numbers with more than three digits.
example: She makes 13,928,393$ a year working as a supreme court defensive attorney.

Rules: Colons
2. In a list, avoid using a colon when it directly follows a verb or preposition

I want the following people at my birthday party: Sandy, Patrick, and Squidward.

Rules: Colons

3. When listing items one by one in separate lines, capitalization and ending punctuation are optional. If each point is a complete sentence, capitalize the first word and end the sentence with appropriate ending punctuation.

I want a fry cook who can do the following:

a. care for the Krusty Krabs
b. work overtime without extra pay
c. make me a lot of money

Rules: Colons
4. You can use a colon instead of a semicolon when the second independent clause elaborates on the first.

He got what he asked for: a brand new jelly fishing net.

Rules: Colons
5. Colons can be used when you want to introduce long quotations. In this case quotation marks are not used.

In an episode of Spongebob where he wants to get a job at the Krusty Krab, he says:

There it is. The finest eating establishment ever established for eating. The Krusty Krab, home of the Krabby Patty, with the Help Wanted sign on the front. I’ve waited years for this moment. I’m gonna go in there, march straight up to the manager, look at him straight in the eye, lay it on the line, and - I can’t do it!

Rules: Colons

6. In a formal letter never use a semicolon or comma after the salutation, but instead a colon. A comma is used in more informal letters.


Formal: Dear Santa:
Informal: Dear Santa,

What is a Colon?
Definition: A colon is a punctuation mark that indicates:

1. That the writer is introducing a quotation or a list.

2. That a writer is separating two clauses in which the second is based on the first.
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