confusion with the semicolon

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“Colons introduce the part of a sentence that exemplifies, restates, elaborates, undermines, explains or balances the preceding part.” (Truss Eats, Shoots, and Leaves p120)

I learned more about the colon and semicolon by reading this book. I hardly ever use them. I never really understood why we use them. I especially get confused on whether to use a comma or a semicolon. I have used colons when I introduced a new speaker in a dialogue.

Colons are used to start off lists and sets off book and film titles. A semicolon suggests a connection between the two halves of the sentence. Then Truss introduces the dash. She says a dash could be used to separate a sentence when the connection is less direct.  I only use dashes when I am quoting lines from a poem to separate the lines. I never thought to use one when I’m separating parts of a sentence.

2 Comments

Katie Vann said:

I was confused (and still am somewhat) with how to use a colon and semicolon. I rarely ever use a colon and I never use a semicolon because I never understood how to use them correctly. I think Truss made them a little more clear, but I think I still will second guess myself when using them.

Katie Vann said:

I was confused (and still am somewhat) with how to use a colon and semicolon. I rarely ever use a colon and I never use a semicolon because I never understood how to use them correctly. I think Truss made them a little more clear, but I think I still will second guess myself when using them.

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