A semicolon is can be used in three different types of sentence structures.
- To join two independent clauses.
Example: Several environmental organizations recognized the treaty; few endorsed it.
- To join two independent clauses when a conjunctive adverb is used.
Example: Several environmental organizations recognized the treaty; however, few endorsed it.
- To separate items in a list if the items in the list already necessitate a comma.
Example: She has a son, Mike Nach, of Arizona; a daughter, Emily Rosa, of Colorado; and a sister, Sara Evans, of Minnesota
Colons are used to draw attention to certain words. They are used after an independent clause to direct attention to a list, appositive, or quotation. They are used between independent clauses when the second clause summarizes or emphasizes the first clause or after the greeting in a formal letter.
|Appositive||My mom just won an award: Mom of the Year.|
|Answers the question||There was only one possible explanation: The train had never arrived.|
|Quotation||Homer Simpson is famous for his grunted expression: "Doh!"|
|Between independent clauses||Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're going to get.|
|Introduction of a definition||Hypernym of a word: a word having a wider meaning than the given one.||Is a special case of appositive.|
|After business salutation||Dear Sir or Madam:|
|In a dialogue||
|Separation of title from subtitle||Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope|
|Separation of the chapter and the verse numbers of religious scriptures||
|Separation within time of the day||
||Standard time vs military time|