How To Use A Semicolon

However, if the 2 related clauses comply with a sequence of thought, use a colon. Both parts of the sentence are unbiased clauses, and commas should not be used to attach independent clauses if there isn’t a coordinating conjunction. Use a semicolon between impartial clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction if the clauses are already punctuated with commas or if the clauses are lengthy. A semicolon is most commonly used to hyperlink two unbiased clauses which might be closely associated in thought. When a semicolon is used to affix two or more ideas in a sentence, those ideas are then given equal place or rank. The sprint (or, more specifically, the “em sprint”) is maybe essentially the most versatile of the punctuation marks.

If it is the latter, return the dashes to your punctuation device bag and use a comma, colon, or semicolon as an alternative, or revise the sentence so as to omit the dreaded dash. The em dash is an extremely versatile punctuation mark that can be used as an alternative of parentheses, commas, colons, or citation marks in a sentence. The em sprint is probably probably the most versatile punctuation mark. Depending on the context, the em dash can take the place of commas, parentheses, or colons⁠—in every case to slightly totally different impact.

To Assist Separate Objects In A List, When A Few Of Those Objects Already Comprise Commas

As the last example demonstrates, conjunctive adverbs and transitional expressions are movable parts. Although they generally appear in entrance of thesubject, they might also show up later within the sentence. But no matter the place the transitional time period makes its appearance, the semicolon belongs on the end of the primary major clause.

  • They may also be used as a type of “meta” parentheses when the content between the dashes already incorporates parentheses.
  • For instance, researchers trying to publish in journals should read articles from the journals they’re targeting to see which punctuation marks are utilized by most authors in that journal.
  • For this cause, many authors use colons to introduce their main argument or supporting evidence.
  • A colon, however, ought to be used for a stronger, extra direct relationship.
  • Both elements of the sentence are impartial clauses, and commas shouldn’t be used to connect unbiased clauses if there isn’t any coordinating conjunction.

Dashes are thought of much less formal than parentheses; they’re also more intrusive. If you wish to draw attention to the parenthetical content, use dashes. If you wish to embody the parenthetical content material extra subtly, use parentheses. In this example, commas help to separate city names from extra basic locations, and semicolons show which of the place names and places are grouped collectively.


Semicolons can be utilized to separate components of a sentence. As for semicolons, you can now join the ranks of grammarians who use them properly. In a land of LOLs and BRBs, it’s good to know you are still a grammar aficionado.

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