Tuesday, April 12, 2011

QUICK TIP: Know When to Use a Semicolon

 by Lindsey Strang

The semi-colon is a somewhat neglected punctuation mark, and you may want to try it out. Still, it’s important to be sure you’re using it right, and for a specific purpose... not just to spruce up the visual interest of your essay.

There are a few different ways to use semicolons.  For today, we'll focus on just one.  (But stay tuned: we'll be back next week to talk about another.)

Semicolons are used to separate two independent clauses; more simply, they separate two clauses that could stand alone as separate sentences. That doesn’t mean you can or should put a semicolon between any two sentences. They have to be directly related to one another in order for the semicolon to be warranted.

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