semi colons

what is the best way to remember on how to use semi colons

Hi sa1306,Semi-colons can be tricky! The semicolon or semi-colon (;) is a punctuation mark that separates major sentence elements. A semi-colon can be used between two closely related independent clauses, provided they are not already joined by a coordinating conjunction. In order to remember you really need to practice the rules by creating a series of example sentences. Here's a few to get you started:EXAMPLE: The plane suffered an electrical fault. It left the airport late. Here there is a clear connection between the two sentences, as the plane was late BECAUSE it suffered a fault. So, the sentence could read:      The plane suffered an electrical fault; it left the airport late.More examples…- He passed his driving test; his parents were delighted.- The film was really boring; she refused to watch it.Hope this helps. We can discuss this further during a lesson.Kind regards,Clare
Clare C.
14 September 2015
Hi Sa1396,Another simple way to remember how to use semi colons is as follows:A semi colon is stronger than a comma but not as final as a full stop.I hope this helps.
Indi R.
20 September 2015
Clare C's answer is good, and I would simply stress that it's important to remember the clauses either side of the semi-colon need to be independent (ie make sense on their own); you can see this in Clare's example, of course. These days, in informal writing, many people use the '-' (dash) to connect two sentences, so you might like to think of it as a more formal 'dash'.A good failsafe way to ensure you use a semi-colon in a pressured exam situation is to use it with a connective like 'however' or 'nevertheless'; consequently, you will make sure you are also using high level connectives to ensure you get into that top band of marks. (See what I did there? I used a semi-colon whilst explaining how to use semi-colons!).EXAMPLE: She wasn't completely confident about using semi-colons; however, she knew it was safe to use one before 'however'.
Sally D.
21 September 2015
Preferable not to use them. However, try this: "For breakfast, I had bacon and eggs, plus toast and lashings of coffee; and, for lunch, I had more coffee." You use them for when you want a more definite break within a sentence than a comma.
Sean G.
28 September 2015
It is used to mark off  related clauses in a sentence instead of using conjunctions e.g The tiger entered the village;the villagers ran for their lives.It is also used to separate a sentence that has been separated by a comma e.g The country has three ills first,corruption;second,underdevelopment;third,lack of job opportunity.
27 April 2018
Add an answer Cancel reply