11+ Semicolon Examples and Tips to Use

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Semicolon Examples

A semicolon (;) is denoted as a period stacked on top of a comma. It is generally used to join two independent clauses without using coordinating conjunction like ‘and.’ Also, this punctuation mark can be used to segregate a list of items within a sentence. If you wish to explore other semicolon examples to improve your writing skills, keep reading the blog. Here we go!!

5 Ways to Use Semicolon with Examples

The usage of the semicolon is very common. In this section, we will explore five common ways to use semicolon with examples. Let’s proceed!!

You can use a semicolon to join two closely related independent clauses. Let’s put it another way: the set of words that comes before the semicolon should form a complete sentence and the set of words that occur after the semicolon should form a complete sentence. These two sentences should share a close, logical connection.

Example: He ordered a sandwich for lunch; life’s too short for calculating calories.

2. Skip Coordinating Conjunction and Use Semicolon Between Independent Clauses

A semicolon is not the foremost thing that links two independent clauses as coordinating conjunctions such as ands, buts, and ors can do that too. However, we can use this punctuation mark to avoid using coordinating conjunctions and clarify the intent. 

Example: She saw a majestic albatross, and it was eating a mouse.

3. Semicolons in a List

One can use semicolons to separate items in a long list or a list that includes internal punctuation. In these circumstances, the semicolon allows readers to keep track of the divisions between the items.

Example: He needs the weather statistics for the following cities:London, England; Ontario, Canada; Paris, France; Delhi, India; Perth, Canada; Tokyo, Japan.

4. Use Semicolons with Conjunctive Adverbs

When you have a conjunctive adverb that connects two independent clauses, you should utilise a semicolon within the clauses. Common conjunctive adverbs contain words such as moreover, however, nevertheless, therefore, otherwise, then, finally, consequently, likewise, and many others.

Examples: She needed to go for a run and get some fresh air; she also needed to buy milk.

5. Semicolon to Give a Wink!

The semicolon is a useful punctuation mark to have in your back pocket. So whether you are utilising it to whip up a suitable complex sentence or to give a wink, now you get to know how to do it right.

Examples: This recipe looks easy enough, even for someone like me ;). (This playfully hints at the speaker’s lack of cooking skills.)

Explore: How to Speak Fluent English in 30 days? [With Go-To Tips]

Other Semicolon Examples

Herein, we have some semicolon examples that show different uses of this essential punctuation mark. 

Semicolon ExamplesUses of Semicolon
The baker woke up before dawn; a fresh bun would be ready by sunrise.To connect independent clauses
The show was filled with special effects; yet, the plot was horrible.To replace a conjunctive adverb
The session included representatives from London, England; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Tokyo, Japan.To separate items in a list.
They visited the Science Museum; home to the Mona Lisa.To give additional information 
The half-yearly exam was challenging; consisting of multiple-choice questions, essays, and a short presentation.To explain something
The waves slammed against the shore; a fascinating collection of nature’s power. To connect two short sentences
The chef chopped veggies; then he sauteed them in oil. To be used instead of conjunction for a stronger emphasis on the separate actions
He hiked through fields; across brooks; and finally, up a steep mountain path. To denote series with adverbial phrase
It was pouring rain outside; luckily, he had the right book to keep me company.To express informal contrast
The play was a humour; or, more specifically, a satirical take on modern politics. To clarify a thought
They climbed the mountain for hours; to see the view from the peak which was worth it. To emphasise something in a sentence through a pause
Source: TED-Ed

Exercise on Semicolon

Instruction: Rewrite the sentences using a semicolon in an appropriate place. And If a semicolon is not required then write “Correct” next to the sentence.

1. The trail wound through the woods, and towering trees cast long shadows on the path.
2. They packed their bags with water, juice and snacks, we were ready for a long hike.
3. The climate forecast expected rain, so she brought our raincoats just in case.
4. The scenery from the mountain peak was spectacular, she could see for miles in every direction.
5. They roasted marshmallows over the campfire, laughter filled the air.

1. The trail wound through the woods; towering trees cast long shadows on the path. (Semicolon joins two independent clauses describing the hike)
2. They packed our bags with water, juice and snacks; we were ready for a long hike. (Semicolon can be used here, but a comma also works because the second clause explains the first)
3. Correct (The comma is sufficient to join the two independent clauses)
4. The scenery from the mountain peak was breathtaking; she could see for miles in every direction. (Semicolon joins two independent clauses describing the view)
5. They roasted marshmallows over the campfire; laughter filled the air. (Semicolon joins two independent clauses describing the evening)
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Q1. How semicolon (;) is used for?

Ans: Use a semicolon to join two connected independent clauses in place of a comma and a coordinating conjunction such as ( but, and, or, for, nor, so, yet). Make sure when you utilise the semicolon the relationship between the two independent clauses is clear without the coordinating conjunction.

Q2. What do you understand by a colon vs a semicolon?

Ans: A colon (:) is used to present information set up by the previous clause. It is commonly utilised before a list, example, or explanation. Whereas, a semicolon (;) is used to join related independent clauses together in the same sentence without a conjunction.

Q3. What do you understand by semicolons in simple words?

Ans: A semicolon is used to indicate that two sentences are closely related in general. A colon, on the other hand, is typically used to indicate that the second sentence explains, clarifies, or expands on the previous sentence.

This was all about the clauses, phrases, and sentences in English grammar. Hope you understand the concept and know how to proceed. You can also follow the page of Leverage Edu for more exciting and informative blogs.

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