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ITB Library study guide: colons & semi-colons

A study guide for how to use colons and semi-colons correctly

ITB Library

on 27 September 2012

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Transcript of ITB Library study guide: colons & semi-colons

Understanding the colon and semi-colon Semi-Colon ; Colon : Colons appear at the end of a phrase or sentence.

They indicate that
there is more relevant information to follow. Colons are used in the greeting of a business letter
.......... Dear Miss Jones:

Colons are used in time notations
.......... 12:45pm

Colons are used in bibliographic references
.......... Genesis 1:18 Colons show that related information will follow.

The related information is often in the form of a quotation or a list.

It usually substantiates the original statement. There are four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter.

The socialist movement will benefit from class unity: Marx said, "workers of the world unite".

The colours of the rainbow are:
◦Violet Semi-colons can appear
.......... between independent clauses or
.......... in a list that already includes commas Independent clauses are often joined by connector words.

Connector words include: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet...

.......... The sky is blue and the birds are singing.

.......... The sky is blue; the birds are singing. Semi-colons are used in complicated lists and lists that already include commas.

.......... The accused has addresses in Blanchardstown, Dublin; Barcelona, Spain; and Boston, Massachusetts.

.......... The quiz team included Carol, the carpenter; Tom, the accountant; and Jane, the technician. Semi-colons are used when independent clauses are joined by conjunctive adverbs.

Conjunctive adverbs include: however, therefore, moreover, consequently, otherwise, nonetheless...

.......... I want to sell my car; however, I will wait until the market improves.

.......... The weather is cool in Spain; nonetheless, I am enjoying my holiday. Source: OWL Purdue Online Writing Course
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/566/01/ WCC Writing Center tutor Rebekah Lindstrom discusses differences between the colon and the semicolon. Here is a video that may be help explain it further... http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-use-colons-and-semi-colons ITB Library ITB Library http://blanchlib.itb.ie
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