How do I use a semicolon?
You might not see the semicolon used as much as other punctuation marks, but it is good to use as it can be pretty useful😊
It can add variety to your writing. This is important if you plan to sit an English proficiency exam like IELTS, PTE or one of the Cambridge English tests.
So how do we use it?
- We can use it with a transition. When we use a semi colon with a transition, we use it before the transition and then a comma is usually used after the transition.
Note: A transition is a word or phrase which links ideas.
Let’s take a look:
I didn’t answer the question in my essay properly; therefore, my teacher said I had to rewrite it.
I think learning English is enjoyable; in addition, I believe it will help me in my career.
He barely studied for the test; nevertheless, he passed it with flying colours.
2. We also use a semicolon to join two simple sentences or independent clauses together, but the clauses must be closely linked to each other in meaning.
She is a diligent student; she studies every day.
I love teaching; I enjoy seeing my students develop their English skills.
3. We use a semicolon in a list of things where there are already commas.
My student worked hard on her punctuation problems which included comma splices, capitalization errors, and apostrophe mistakes; her grammatical mistakes which included tense problems, subject verb agreement issues, and incorrect verb patterns; and her vocabulary errors which included spelling and collocation mistakes.
So, as you can see, the semicolon is handy to use and not difficult when you know how to use it. Why not try it next time you are writing an essay ?😊