Use of semicolon

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Use of semicolon

Post by Kangas on Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:34 pm

Today I'll bring you the rules regarding te use of the semicolon.

Once again I based my study on Lary Trask's explanation on University of Essex

The semicolon is used to link two complete sentences. It joins two senteces that are two close to use a full stop and have no connecting word to join them with a comma into the same sentence. For that one of three conditions MUST be present:

  1. The two sentences are felt to be too closely related to be separated by a full stop;
  2. There is no connecting word which would require a comma, such as and or but;
  3. The special conditions requiring a colon are absent.


NOTE:

  1. The semicolon MUST be preceded by a complete sentence and followed by another complete sentence;
  2. If it's suitable to use a joining word, then it's preferable to use a joining comma than a semicolon;
  3. Some connecting words require to be preceded by a semicolon. These are: however, therefore, hence , thus, consequently, nevertheless and meanwhile;
  4. Sometimes a semicolon is used to join incomplete sentences when these are two long and full of commas that it's almost impossible for the reader to follow them; HOWEVER, this is not very appealling and should be avoided at all costs. One of the options for sentences that are two long and full of commas would be refrase them into two separate complete sentences and use the full stop instead.


Kangas

Source: University of Essex

Kangas

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