Why do we need to use correct punctuation? Because it is absolutely essential to writing and expressing ourselves properly and correctly. Everywhere from the workplace to writing emails, documents and even sending text messages, society will always endeavour to adhere to the social norms, that is, what we perceive to be correct. Correct usage and a basic understanding of the fundamentals of English punctuation concerning; apostrophes, colons, semi-colons, commas, dashes, full stops, questions marks, exclamation marks and quotation marks, will lead to an overall much more fluent, comprehensive and respected English. We should strive to meet the social, academic norms, and withstand from letting ourselves become accustomed to writing in English using incorrect and shabby punctuation. Down below, we’ll elaborate and explain with examples over the basic pillars of punctuation specifically targeting: semi-colons.
Semi-colons (;) – Replace full stops
When you have two or more clauses together which are similar in meaning but grammatically independent, a semi-colon can be used instead of a full stop if desired. This is subjective to the writer and its usage can add more flow to the sentence.
- I really adore your idea; let’s hope it works out.
- They agree with me; we need to buy a new rack.
- Some people are early risers; others are late risers.
Semi-colons (;) – Lists
Like the colon, the semicolon can be used to make lists. When you have many items and the sentence is complicated, it is best to order the items using semi-colons (;) to give all sentences equal importance and can illustrate a stronger message then just commas.
- I’ll coach the team on the premises that; I get to use the equipment; my day finished at 19:00 and no later; and I’m given more responsibilities.
- He doesn’t deserve to work here; he doesn’t have any experience; there are already many other applicants; he doesn’t respect the agreement.
Modal auxiliary verbs:
- Articles (a/an, the, zero article)
- Pronouns: subject, object and possessive
- Question tags
- English conditionals
- Interrogatives in English
- Phrasal verbs
- Prefixes and suffixes
- Reported and direct speech
- Numbers: cardinal, ordinal, and Roman numbers
- The verb: “get”
- ‘Get’ vs. ‘go’ and ‘got’ vs. ‘gotten’
- Copular verbs
- Cleft sentences
- Subjunctive in English
- Vulgar and taboo in English
- Split infinitive
- Emphasis with inversion
- Gerunds in English
- To + infinitive
- Bare infinitive
- British and American spelling