When to Use Semicolon vs Colon

Today’s lesson is a writing one that is going to really show that you are a sophisticated write. That means that you are intelligent and that you’ve got a good understanding of English grammar, because you can use these two key punctuation marks.


what’s it used for?

*A semicolon is used to replace a conjunction or full stop, What it does is it to connect two closely related ideas. So rather that lots of boring short sentence, I spice things up by putting in a semi-colon.

Instead of saying:

“They love chocolate.” Full stop, “I can’t stand it.”

Or They love chocolate, and I can’t stand it.

You put a semi-colon in there, It just gives it better effect, It’s just more interesting the way it sounds and the way it looks on  the page.

E.g.  They love chocolate; I can’t stand it.

*Used to separate items in a list

E.g.  For the pudding, I need: berries, fresh summer ones; milk, preferably full fat; a new whisk (after I trod on the last one) and …


*introducs lists

*isolates words to create emphasis

E.g. He knew what he was feeling: fear.

* introduces quotes

I would put the coat on okay we’re going to look at a passage now, and we’re going to think about when we should use a semicolon and when we should use a colon. So here we are with a little passage that I have just written for you.Please tell me  where the semicolons and colons should go.

You need to do three things to be successful in English: practice with native speakers; learn and to advise your vocab; and master your grandma. It helps enormously to visit the UK: you’ll understand the culture, together we can achieve fluency; together we can grow.

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