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Semicolons and Colons

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Kyndall Turner

on 16 February 2017

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Transcript of Semicolons and Colons

How to Use
a Semicolon
How to Use
a Colon
Semicolons and Colons
From Mamie Webb Hixon's
Real Good Grammar, Too: A Handbook for Students and Professionals

Created by Kyndall Turner, Spring 2015
Example: Please close the window; the room is too cold.
Use a semicolon between two independent clauses.
Each sentence on either side of the semicolon must be complete with its own subject and verb. Keep in mind that the semicolon functions the same way as a period and a capital letter.
independent clause
independent clause
Example: You can study with me this weekend; I don't have any other plans.
Example: We lost the game; we had too many fumbles.
Example: We agreed to the plan: namely, to give him a surprise party.
Do not place a colon before the words
for example
,
namely
,
that is
, or
for instance
even though these words may be introducing a list.
Do not place a colon after a linking verb (
are
,
is,

was
,
am
, etc.) or a preposition (
such as
,
with
,
of
, etc.)
Example: Three plays by William Shakespeare will be presented this summer:
Hamlet
,
Macbeth
, and
Othello
.
Use a colon between an independent clause and a list or explanation
Please note that a complete sentence must precede a colon.
Remember that one item may constitute a list.
If these words introduce a complete sentence, use a semicolon; if they introduce a phrase or list, then use a comma or a dash.
Example: We are creating study guides to help students prepare for the tests; however, students' scores are reflecting improvement.
Use a semicolon between two independent clauses connected by a conjunctive adverb (
however
,
therefore
,
consequently
,
nevertheless
,
then
, etc.)
Example: I bought an old, dilapidated chair; a marble top table, which was in beautiful condition; and a new, ugly white rug.
Use a semicolon to separate items in a series when each item has internal punctuation.
Example: We are thinking about moving to Omaha, Nebraska; Gainesville, Florida; or Memphis, Tennessee.
Example: He took great care with his work; therefore, he was very successful.
Are these sentences
correct?
My favorite foods are: fettuccine alfredo pasta, ice cream, and miso soup.
Most of us wanted to attend the play; and go out for dinner.
A tomato is not a vegetable; it is a fruit.
In other words,
Example: There is only one thing left to do now: confess while you still have time.
Example: I hate this one course: English.
Use a colon to separate the introductory words from a quotation that follows.
Use this technique if the quotation is formal, long, or paragraphed separately.
Example: The actor spoke these important words
:
"I would rather be able adequately to play the part of Hamlet than to perform a miraculous operation, deliver a great lecture, or build a magnificent skyscraper."
Incorrect: The high school I attended was: old, centrally located, and small.
Correct: The high school I attended was old, centrally located, and small.
Incorrect: In college algebra, students learn about: polynomials, complex numbers, and linear inequalities.
Correct: In college algebra, students learn about polynomials, complex numbers, and linear inequalities.
Example: We agreed to the plan, namely, to give him a surprise party.
Example: I am not doing well in my biology class: that is, I failed the first test.
Example: I am not doing well in my biology class; that is, I failed the first test.
Example: The acting director often used her favorite quotation from Shakespeare's
Tempest
:
"We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep."
Example: Success in college, some maintain, requires intelligence, industry, and perseverance; but others, fewer in number, assert that only personality is important.
Use a semicolon to combine two independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction if either or both of the clauses contain other internal punctuation.
Example: Some people write with a word processor, typewriter, or a computer; and some people, for different reasons, choose to write with a pen or pencil.
Are these sentences
correct?
My favorite foods are: fettuccine alfredo pasta, ice cream, and miso soup.
Most of us wanted to attend the play; and go out for dinner.
A tomato is not a vegetable; it is a fruit.
My favorite foods are fettuccine alfredo pasta, ice cream, and miso soup.
Most of us wanted to attend the play and go out for dinner.
Find the answers at the end of the lesson.
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