When We Use Semicolon And Comma – Punctuation rules should generally be followed in academic writing. Placing a comma between two independent clauses can confuse readers and make your work frustrating to read. On the other hand, using semicolons correctly can add nuance and subtlety to any type of writing.
But what is a semicolon? How do colons and hyphens work? How to use commas correctly?
When We Use Semicolon And Comma
A semicolon is used to separate two closely related ideas (two independent clauses). They can also be used when listing complex ideas or phrases where commas are used. Essentially, a semicolon is like a comma with more meaning or a colon with more flexibility. Knowing how to use semicolons correctly will make your writing more refined and subtle.
How To Use Semicolons In A List
Use semicolons to connect two or more ideas in a sentence The universe has always called to humanity; there is no more final limit than space. Using semicolons to join two independent clauses, Sam thinks that David is inviting him to a picnic to enjoy a nice day; it turns out David is planning a surprise birthday party. Use semicolons to represent items in lists or series with commas or long items. Our family members come from as far away as Denver, Colorado, Rochester, Minnesota and even Paris, France. Use semicolons to join independent clauses joined by coordinating conjunctions. My main research goal is to isolate the cause of the disease and contribute to the existing literature, as this will end hunger across the continent and create epidemiologically relevant new research designs and change the paradigm in my field of research. More tips on how to use semicolons (;) Use semicolons between independent clauses connected to transition expressions
Transition expressions are also usually separated by semicolons. These include linking adverbs and transitional phrases, as shown in the table below.
*The conjunction adverb “however” shows a connection between two independent clauses; do not use commas to join two independent clauses that do not have a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, or, etc.).
It produces light, which plants need to survive, it gives us warmth, which is useful for most of life, and it makes a sad day feel happier, which is obviously a positive feature!
Writing Tips: How To Use Semicolons
It produces the light that plants need to survive, it gives us warmth, which is useful for most of life, and it makes a sad day feel happier, which is obviously a positive feature!
*With only commas, it is not clear exactly which items are listed. A semicolon helps separate each listed item that contains a comma.
The colon is used to make a list and tell the reader, “This is what I meant.” Unless a large list is involved, colons should not be used very often in most types of writing. The rules for colons are strict, but fairly easy to remember. Knowing how to use colons comes in handy when making lists or introducing subordinate information or details.
Use a colon to introduce a project or series Humans use five primary senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Using a colon to separate independent clauses to illustrate, explain, explain, or expand on an idea, Martha realizes that her worst fears are about to come true: her son will be sent to war.
When And How To Use A Semicolon ( ; )
Using a Colon to Follow a Salutation in a Formal Letter to the Central Valley Commission President: More Tips on Using the Colon (:)
Do not capitalize the first word after a colon unless it is a proper noun, part of a quotation, or the first of a series of sentences:
When a quotation contains more than one sentence, cite it with a colon instead of a comma. In chapter 3, the author explains his theory: “Dogs dream, but they do not dream like humans do. Their dreams reflect a primary desire for pleasure, while humans are focused on themselves and their self-image. During awakening and the same go to sleep.” An entire sentence does not need to follow a colon – a single word or phrase will do. One sentence sums up our approach to climate change: urgent action. Common colon errors (:) that separate two statements of the same rank or unrelated information
(*Use a period if the sentence is completely irrelevant. Use a semicolon if the information in the second sentence is somewhat relevant but does not illustrate, explain, or explain the first sentence.)
Colon Vs. Semicolon: The Ultimate Punctuation Showdown!
Colon is a powerful punctuation mark and should be used with care. Think of it as a stop sign that grabs the reader’s attention and says, “Hey! Pay attention to this. This is important.” If there are too many stop signs on your street, you won’t be able to drive smoothly or quickly. This is the same effect that a colon has on the reader.
Because colons are so noticeable, they can clearly indicate what information is important. Therefore, many authors use colons to introduce their main arguments or supporting evidence.
The comma is the most used (and abused) punctuation mark in most writing. The reason for this is that they have so many uses and so many rules – it’s hard to keep track of them all. Let’s look at some key features of commas and discuss when to choose a comma over another similar punctuation mark.
Use commas to list items or phrases that I buy at the grocery store such as bread, cheese, and pickles. Use commas to separate long independent clauses joined by conjunctions. For centuries, astronomers have known the positions of the stars, but they did not know that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Add a comma after the introductory phrase In preparation for the next conference, the delegates studied the most important issues. Use commas to separate phrases or interrupt words. All doctors, if they care about their patients, care about good office hygiene. Common comma errors (, ) comma splicing
Fixing Comma Splices
A comma splice is a comma error that involves the use of a comma to join two independent clauses. Do not use commas to separate two independent clauses without a conjunction.
Using commas in compound sentences or separating clauses from other commas can cause confusion (use semicolons instead).
The hyphen (or more specifically “dash”) is probably the most versatile punctuation mark. But like the semicolon, it is underused in most writing. It can be used as a comma, parenthesis or colon, but has a slightly different effect in each case.
When writing parentheses or breaking phrases, hyphens can be used in pairs instead of commas. Hyphens have a slightly more emphatic feel, allowing the reader to focus on the information within the special mark.
Semicolon: The Most Misunderstood Punctuation Mark
The parents were happy but nervous because all the baby products were still to be purchased.
Place a couple of dashes in the same position as you would use parentheses. Because they are less formal, dashes are used less often than parentheses in academic writing. But they cause more visible distractions and therefore more emphasis. They can also be used as a kind of “meta” parentheses when the content between dashes already contains parentheses.
*Dashes are more visible than parentheses, so they interrupt the flow of the sentence more and draw attention to the content.
When used at the end of a sentence instead of parentheses, only a single hyphen is used:
How To Use Semicolons
*A hyphen works especially well when placed at the end of a sentence – it extends the sentence like an appendix, allowing a long line of new information to be added.
Use an em dash instead of a colon when you want to emphasize the end of a sentence without giving all the meaning that a colon gives. Dashes can add “extra” information, making it more flexible. It is also less formal than a colon.
*Using hyphens instead of colons conveys a sense of anticipation (or inevitability) and can give an almost editorial feel to the writing.
As with all technical decisions about writing, it’s best to consider your audience and the context you’re working in when choosing which punctuation to use and apply consistently. For example, researchers hoping to publish in a journal should read the articles in the journal they are targeting to learn the punctuation used by most authors in that journal. The same rules apply to any newspaper, magazine or magazine you write for.
Excel Formulas Need A Semicolon Instead Of A Comma? • Auditexcel.co.za
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