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Semicolons & Colons . Use a semicolon to connect independent clauses when the independent clauses are not connected by a conjunction. Incorrect : The students entered the room, the ACT booklets were handed out. Correct: The students entered the room; the ACT booklets were handed out.

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Use a semicolon to connect independent clauses when the independent clauses are not connected by a conjunction.

  • Incorrect: The students entered the room, the ACT booklets were handed out.
  • Correct: The students entered the room; the ACT booklets were handed out.
  • Incorrect: The bird soared the fish swam.
  • Correct: The bird soared; the fish swam.
  • Incorrect: Henry finished studying for the ACT; but he still had to take the test.
  • Correct: Henry finished studying for the ACT, but he still had to take the test.

[These two clauses are connected by a conjunction.]

slide3

The clause on either side of the semicolon must be a complete sentence.

  • The night before the SAT, Ken stayed up till midnight.

Never use a semicolon with a dependent clause.

  • Incorrect: Before he went home; Henry returned the Amsco ACT book to the library.
  • Correct: Before he went home, Henry returned the Amsco ACT book to the library.
slide4

The worst pandemic in history , the bubonic plague swept through Eurasia during the 1300s and killed nearly one in three people over 200 million.

  • A. no change
  • B. nearly 1 in 3 people; over 200 million
  • C. over 200 million; nearly 1 in 3 people.
  • D . Over 200 million; nearly 1 in 3 people died.
slide6

Frequently, you will see two independent clauses joined by a semicolon and a transitional adverb (such as consequently, however, furthermore, indeed, moreover, nevertheless, therefore, and thus).

  • Julie ate five brownies; however, Eileen ate seven.
  • Josh needed to buy peas; thus he ran to the market.
slide7

Semicolons between independent clausesTransitional expressions

Common Transitional Expressions

as a result for example for instance in fact

in addition in conclusion in other words that is

A transitional expression show s how ideas fit together.

It makes a connection between the ideas in

two independent clauses and is followed by a comma.

Choral read S circle

slide8

The semicolon replaces the comma as the structural backbone of a series if the items already contain commas.

  • The tennis tournament featured the surprise comeback player, Koch, who dropped out last year due to injuries;the up-and-coming star Popp, who dominated the junior tour;and the current favorite, Farrington, who won five of the last six tournaments.
slide9

Colons are used after complete sentences to introduce related information that usually comes in the form of a list, an explanation, or a quotation. When you see a colon, you should know to expect elaborating information.

The wedding had all the elements to make it a classic: the elegant bride, the weeping mother, and the fainting bridesmaids.

place a colon after an independent clause to introduce a list or illustration
Place a colon after an independent clause to introduce a list or illustration.
  • Incorrect: Bring these items to the ACT, an admission ticket, pencils, erasers, and a
  • watch.
  • Correct: Bring these items to the ACT: an admission ticket, pencils, erasers, and a watch.
  • Incorrect: There is only one necessary personal trait, perseverance.
  • Correct: There is only necessary personal trait: perseverance.
  • WRONG: The ingredients I need to make a cake: flour, butter, sugar, and icing.
  • RIGHT: I need several ingredients to make a cake: flour, butter, sugar, and icing.
slide13

Do not use a colon in these examples:

  • Incorrect: You should bring: an admission ticket, pencils, erasers, and a watch to the
  • ACT.
  • Correct: You should bring an admission ticket, pencils, erasers, and a watch to the ACT.
slide14

There Should Never Be More Than One Colon in a Sentence.

  • WRONG: He brought many items on the camping trip: a tent, a sleeping bag, a full cooking set, warm clothes, and several pairs of shoes: sneakers, boots, and sandals.
  • RIGHT: He brought many items on the camping trip: a tent, a sleeping bag, a full cooking set, warm clothes, sneakers, boots, and sandals.
slide15

My room is frequently contaminated by my younger siblings, which can last for several hours.

  • A. siblings, which can last for several hoursB. siblings that can last for several hoursC. siblings it can last for several hoursD. siblings, while contamination can last several hoursE. siblings; the contamination can last for several hours