We’ve played your advisor, your helper, your guide, and a semi medical expert. It’s about time we played your professor too. Everybody quiet! Not even a peep should come out of you when you’re learning the proper usage of English grammar. And you’ll have to pay unflinching attention to learn the subtleties of it. Are we clear on this? Good! Let’s begin! There’s no point in talking or writing in English if your grammar is all haywire. Speaking in your lingo - practically possible but only on some occasions! Plus not every time can your mother tongue work wonders for you, in this global world. Not to mention that your written tests and interviews will leave an awful impression if you’re going to be using impaired English. So, here’s your first lesson; how to use semicolon (;) and colon (:) in a way they’re meant to be. These menacing looking symbols probably stand as two of the most renowned stalwarts among the many celebrities in the grammar world; and if used correctly, can convey the meaning you tend to convey in a symphony-like manner. But if used incorrectly, the same can make your meaning sound like a broken melody from an out of tune guitar. The following part of the article will impart you with knowledge on the correct usage of semicolon and colon.
How To Use Semicolon And Colon
A semicolon is used when two sentences are not connected by conjunctions like “but”, “and”, or “or”. The two sentences that are well within their rights to stand on their own as complete sentences yet connecting them with a semicolon will bring out a whole other meaning out of the two sentences as if the latter was a planned follow up of the former. A few examples will make the concept clearer:
- It was the first of December; all the Christmas collection was on display. - To separate two independent thoughts in the same sentence.
- I went to the tennis court; I was told it was closed for renovation. - To connect closely related sentences.
- Ralph Lauren’s outlets can be found in many cities around the world: New York, USA; Paris, France; New Delhi, India; Rome, Italy. - To separate a long list when more than a fair share of commas have already been used.
Colons are used in the presence of two independent clauses and mostly build up the anticipation as if something is to follow. The following examples along with the explanations are given below, which will make you understand the concept of it in a better way.
- I have to buy several additional components: amplifier, woofer, two speakers, and a recorder. - To introduce a list of things.
- As Paulo Coelho stated: “Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.” - To introduce a quote or a statement that follows an introductory sentence.
- Office hours are from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM. - To separate hours from minutes when 12 hour clock system is being used.
- Dear Sir: It was a pleasure working with you… - To begin a formal business letter by using a colon in the salutation.
Dear reader: We hope that this lecture proved to be of worth; by the end of it you knew how to use semicolon and colon. See, how easy it is to use both colon and semicolon!