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Semicolons and Colons Explained | Writers Write

; A semicolon:

  1. Is a long pause that balances two related ideas. Example: She went by train; she would rather have flown.
  2. Adjoins two main clauses containing opposite ideas. Example: She is efficient; he is disorganised.
  3. Adjoins two main clauses where there is no conjunction. Example: My laptop is broken; I can’t transmit the document.
  4. Can separate items in a list when the items already contain commas. Example: Attendees included the CEO, Jeff Davis and his son, Tristan; the MD, Fred Khumalo, and his wife, Susan; and Harriet and Kosi from the PR agency.
  5. May be replaced by a full stop or by the conjunctions: and, but, so, for, although.

: A colon:

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