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 Punctuation: Colons and Semi-colons

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Kanchana
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Kanchana

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Punctuation:  Colons and Semi-colons Empty
PostSubject: Punctuation: Colons and Semi-colons   Punctuation:  Colons and Semi-colons EmptyThu Jan 06 2011, 23:49

Using Semi-colons

There are two primary uses for semi-colons.

1.  Semi-colons are used to join two RELATED independent clauses.
Quote :

Gem had been running all day.  She was very tired.

These independent clauses are closely related, so we can join them with a semi-colon.  Note that we do not capitalize the first letter of the second clause (unless it's a proper noun, that is).   

Quote :

Gem had been running all day; she was very tired.

Do not use a semi-colon to join two clauses if they are not closely related.

Quote :

Drannor had been running all day.  Gem liked to eat peaches for lunch.

[quote]
Eragon had been running all day; Arya liked to eat peaches for lunch.  ]WRONG USE]
These sentences should NEVER be joined with a semi-colon.  I've exaggerated the point here by choosing two sentences that are completely unrelated, but you can see how the first example is different than this one.

2.  Semi-colons are used to join items in a series.

When we have a simple series, we join the items with commas.
Quote :

Drannor ate peaches, berries, and nuts for dinner.

When the items in the series already have commas, we use semi-colons to separate them.
Quote :

Gemma was escorted by Drannor, a Rider; Gem, a princess; and Gaelira, a dragon.

Using Colons

There are actually several times a colon should be used, but we'll restrict ourselves to the one you're more likely to use.

Use a colon after a complete statement or independent clause to introduce a list, a quotation, or some other type of clarifying statement.
Quote :

Drannor learned many things:  swordplay, archery, and patience.
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