Unit 11.1

Semicolon

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Introduction

The semicolon is a punctuation mark, something between a full stop and a comma. It is stronger than a comma but weaker than a full stop.

Form

The sign of a semicolon is: ;

Example

  • omission of a coordinating conjunction
    • Everyone hates spinach; I like it.
    • A lot of writers have written great books; a lot of readers have read them.
    • She has little money; she can’t pay the rent.
  • when we need a connector because the first clause has a comma.
    • When I finish my work, and I will soon, I’ll be glad to help you; and that is a promise I will keep.
    • If I have time, and I think I will, I will go to the party; and that’s what I want to do.
    • I don’t know what to do, and I think I might stay at home; this is where I’m at for now.

Use

We use a semicolon between independent clauses:

  • when a coordinating conjunction is omitted
  • when the first clause has a comma and the sentences are joined by a coordinating connector such as ‘and, but, or, nor’.

Related

At A1 level you can take a look at these:

At A2 level you can take a look at these:

At B1 level you can take a look at these:

At B2 level you can take a look at these:

Exercises

External link to Semicolon exercises (1252).



More exercises

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