Semicolon (;) vs Colon (:) When to Use a Semicolon, a Colon

Semicolon vs Colon! Learn how to use a semicolon (;) and when to use a colon (:) in English with examples, punctuation rules and ESL worksheets. Colons and semicolons were initially used to express pauses longer than a comma and shorter than a period.

Semicolon (;)

What is a Semicolon?

What is the symbol (;) called in English? It is called a semicolon which consists of a dot above a comma ( ; ).

A semicolon is mainly used to separate two independent clauses while still demonstrating that a close relationship exists between them. The semicolon does a better job of showing the connection between two statements than a full stop would.

When to Use a Semicolon with Examples?

1. We use a semicolon between items in a list or series when the items themselves contain commas.

Examples:

  • There are eight members on the team: two from China and Japan; three from France and Spain; two from Brazil and Chile; and one from India.
  • We visited Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore in the spring; Germany, France, and Italy in the summer; and South Africa in the fall.

2. We use a semicolon to join two independent clauses that are not connected with a coordinate conjunction.

A semicolon is used to separate two independent clauses while still demonstrating that a close relationship exists between them. The semicolon does a better job of showing the connection between two statements than a full stop would.

Examples:

  • They came all the way home; even so, they all knew they had to go back once more.
  • My daughter is a teacher; my son is a doctor.
  • John always slept with the light on; he was afraid of the dark.
  • John likes to play cricket; David likes to play soccer.
  • I drank lemonade; Tom drank tea.
  • My husband would like coffee; I would prefer tea.
  • I went to the basketball court; I was told it was closed for cleaning.
  • I told Anna she’s running for the hills; I wonder if she knew I was joking.

Colon (:)

What is a Colon?

What is the symbol (:) called in English? It is called a colon which is a punctuation mark consisting of two dots one over the other ( : ).

A colon is a fairly common punctuation mark with a varied number of uses. It can be used to introduce a quotation, an example, a series, or even an explanation. Secondly, it can be used to separate two independent clauses. Finally, a colon can be used to show emphasis.

When to Use a Colon with Examples

1. We use colons to introduce lists, series, quotations and explanations. 

A colon is used to announce, introduce a list, a quotation and before a final clause that explains something in the sentence.

Examples of colons with lists, series:

  • He was going to buy three things: chairs, tables, and utensils. 
  • John has all the ingredients: minced clams, milk, potatoes, and onions.
  • I have packed my cricket kit with the equipment I need: bats, gloves and pads.
  • A man needs three things to survive: air, water and food.

Examples of colons with quotations:

  • John wrote: “I wish you a merry Christmas. All affection and best wishes to you and yours.”

2. We use colons to separate independent clauses.

Examples:

  • They will not make it: the storm is too strong. 

3. We use colons to show emphasis.

Examples:

  • He was there for one person: his mother. 
  • You have two choices: finish the work today or lose the contract.
  • That’s because we have one goal: for you to consider your website a success.

4. We use colons to separate units of time.

Examples:

  • Sophia set her alarm clock for 6:30 a.m.
  • She ran the marathon in 1:27:34.5. (one hour, twenty seven minutes, thirty-four point five seconds.)

Semicolon vs Colon | Image

Learn the differences between a colon and a semicolon in English with this useful table.

Semicolon (;) vs Colon (:) When to Use a Semicolon, a Colon

4.3 6 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
25 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ethan
ethan
7 months ago

hi eveyone

erik
erik
7 months ago
Reply to  ethan

hey ethan

hugh
hugh
7 months ago
Reply to  erik

hey erik

karen
karen
7 months ago
Reply to  hugh

hey hugh

guy
guy
7 months ago
Reply to  karen

hey karen

ER BUI
ER BUI
7 months ago
Reply to  guy

Hey guy

JCCC
JCCC
6 months ago
Reply to  ER BUI

This is why mom doesn’t love you ER BUI

jason
jason
5 months ago
Reply to  JCCC

hey

laura
laura
5 months ago
Reply to  jason

hey jason

Nihaal
Nihaal
5 months ago
Reply to  laura

hi laura

Journey
Journey
4 months ago
Reply to  ER BUI

Hey ER BUI

hey
hey
4 months ago
Reply to  Journey

hey Journey

boy
boy
3 months ago
Reply to  hey

hey hey hey

pen
pen
3 months ago
Reply to  boy

hey boy

triddy
triddy
3 months ago
Reply to  pen

Hey pen

Guest
Guest
3 months ago
Reply to  triddy

Hi Triddy

Guest
Guest
3 months ago
Reply to  Guest

Hey Guest
-ur twin, guest

Guest
Guest
7 days ago
Reply to  Guest

Hey Guest
-ur long lost twin, I guest…

tusrzxzesaw
tusrzxzesaw
5 months ago

who wants to talk about games🎮🎮:)

Adam
Adam
2 months ago

Hi

dude perfect
dude perfect
2 months ago

please subscribe our you tube channel

Cody did not know colon and semi colon

Thank you! now Cody understands

we are dude perfect

we make you tube videos

dude perfect
dude perfect
2 months ago

bye

25
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x