Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Semicolon, what does it all mean?

Last week when I posted my little tidbit about breaking grammar rules I got a much bigger response than I was expecting. The number one question that was asked after my post was, how on earth do you use a semicolon? Which is kinda funny, because I had debated whether or not to put that in there.

Since you asked, I thought I would do a little post to put my thoughts on the semicolon out there. I've read few things on the subject, but am, by no means, an expert.

In order to understand the semicolon we must first understand the comma. I tend to way overuse commas, but I think we can generally look at the comma as breath. Anytime something doesn't flow, needs a break, or proceeds a conjunction we should use a comma.

Okay, so what the heck is semicolon for, you ask?

It's for combining two complete thoughts into one sentence. Which means, it should be used rarely. Although, there are times when a semicolon just makes everything mesh together much better.

For example, say you write two short sentences that relate. "I went to the store. I took my dog." These can be combined with a semicolon for better flow. "I went to the store; my dog came with me." The connection lends to a more complete feeling of the sentence rather than two related, but choppy, sentences.

Hopefully that makes sense.

Do you like these posts? Should I keep them coming, or would you prefer to 'google' your grammar woes? What would you like to know?
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