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Question: When to use comma vs semicolon?

Why would you use a semicolon instead of a comma?

Use a semicolon to replace a comma when you use a coordinating conjunction to link independent clauses that already contain commas. In this example, using a semicolon makes it easier to read the two independent clauses on either side of the coordinating conjunction: Correct: My dog is sick.

When should a semicolon be used examples?

A semicolon may be used between independent clauses joined by a connector, such as and, but, or, nor, etc., when one or more commas appear in the first clause. Example: When I finish here, and I will soon, I’ll be glad to help you; and that is a promise I will keep.

What are the 8 rules for commas?

Commas (Eight Basic Uses)

  • Use a comma to separate independent clauses.
  • Use a comma after an introductory clause or phrase.
  • Use a comma between all items in a series.
  • Use commas to set off nonrestrictive clauses.
  • Use a comma to set off appositives.
  • Use a comma to indicate direct address.
  • Use commas to set off direct quotations.

Can you use a comma before a semicolon?

Semicolons Connect Related Independent Clauses



You can use a semicolon to join two closely related independent clauses. That’s exactly why you can‘t substitute a comma for a semicolon. Using a comma instead of a semicolon in the sentences above would result in a comma splice.

What is the point of a semicolon?

A semicolon has two general uses: to clarify a series and to indicate two closely related sentences. Series—If one or more elements in a series contain a comma, use semicolons to separate them.

What are some examples of semicolons?

Examples of Semicolons: Joan likes eggs; Jennifer does not. The cat slept through the storm; the dog cowered under the bed. Semicolons are also used in a sentence when something stronger than a comma is needed.

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What are the three semicolon rules?

Three Essential Semicolon Rules

  • Rule 1: Use a semicolon between independent clauses that are closely related in theme.
  • Rule 2: Use a semicolon before conjunctive adverbs and transitional phrases that join independent clauses.

How do you use a colon example?

Colons in Sentences

  1. There are two choices at this time: run away or fight.
  2. We knew who would win the game: the Eagles.
  3. He wanted to see three cities in Italy: Rome, Florence, and Venice.
  4. Here are three states that begin with M: Michigan, Mississippi, and Maine.

What is the correct punctuation for a list?

Punctuate the list items with commas if they are not complete sentences; with semicolons, if they are complete sentences. Use the same spacing for in-sentence lists as in regular non-list text. Whenever possible, make the in-sentence list occur at the end of the sentence.

Where should I put a comma in this sentence?

Extended Rules for Using Commas

  1. Use commas to separate independent clauses when they are joined by any of these seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet.
  2. Use commas after introductory a) clauses, b) phrases, or c) words that come before the main clause.

Does this sentence need a comma?

2. Use a comma after a dependent clause that starts a sentence. A dependent clause is a grammatical unit that contains both subject and verb but cannot stand on its own, like “When I went running ” If a dependent clause ends the sentence, however, it no longer requires a comma.

Do we need to put comma before and?

The word and is a conjunction, and when a conjunction joins two independent clauses, you should use a comma with it. The proper place for the comma is before the conjunction. Therefore, we need a comma before and. Don’t use a comma before and when one of the clauses it’s connecting is a dependent clause.

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Do you use a semicolon before and in a list?

The general rule is to use the semicolons as you would use commas with ordinary list items: Sentences containing complex lists are complicated enough that you should always include the final semicolon to ensure that readers parse all of the list items properly without having to reread the sentence several times.

Can I use a colon and semicolon in the same sentence?

Colons and semicolons can be used in the same sentence, but they are each used for different purposes. In this example, the colon is used to introduce the cities.

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