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Semicolon Use. By Sana Jaber and Nicholas Shafer. SEMICOLON USE. The basic rule in semicolon use is to have independent clauses (which could be complete sentences) on both sides of the semicolon. . Examples. 1. The rain never ceased; it continued throughout the night and into the next week.

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semicolon use

Semicolon Use

By Sana Jaber and

Nicholas Shafer

semicolon use2
SEMICOLON USE

The basic rule in semicolon use is to have independent clauses (which could be complete sentences) on both sides of the semicolon.

examples
Examples

1. The rain never ceased; it continued throughout the night and into the next week.

2. Time went quickly; before she knew it, she was too old to find a new job.

subordinate rules
Subordinate Rules
  • Between series of items with internal commas

We had four professors on our committee: Peter Wursthorn, Professor of Mathematics; Ronald Pepin, Professor of English; Cynthia Greenblatt, Professor of Education; and Nada Light, Professor of Nursing.

subordinate rules5
Subordinate Rules
  • Before the words; hence, however, indeed, moreover, still, therefore, thus and other conjunctive adverbs that belong to the second independent clause; however, the word must be followed by a comma.
    • Homer found it difficult to beg forgiveness; however, Marj eventually forgave him.
    • Homer found it difficult to beg forgiveness; Marj, however, eventually forgave him.
problems and incorrect use
Problems and Incorrect Use

- Use a comma in a sentence that doesn't contain two independent clauses.

The interview went well; better than I expected.

- Corrected example

The interview went well, better than I had expected.

-An introductory clause must be connected to the independent clause by a comma

As time passed; I knew that I was going to like her.

- Corrected example

As time passed, I knew that I was going to like her.

works cited
Works Cited

Rodrigues, D., and Myron Tuman. Writing Essentials, Second Edition. New York: Norton, 1998.