Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Use of Semicolons

(This post comes from Susan Titus Osborn.)

The semicolon is stronger than a comma but weaker than a period. However, it can assume either role, although its function is usually closer to that of a period. Use semicolons sparingly because their use often makes sentences too long and cumbersome.

The most common use of a semicolon is between two independent clauses that are not joined by a conjunction.

* The road was long; the road was dangerous.

A semicolon normally comes before adverbs such as then, however, thus, hence, indeed, besides, and therefore when used between two independent clauses.

* Richard is going to London; however, he doesn't have his reservations yet.

When a semicolon is called for at the end of material enclosed in parentheses or brackets, the semicolon follows the closing parenthesis or bracket.

* She placed her manuscript in an envelope (her final draft); then, with relief, she sealed the envelope.

Susan Titus Osborn is the director of the Christian Communicator Manuscript Critique Service. She has authored 30 books. You can reach her at susanosb@aol.com, http://www.Christiancommunicator.com/.


  1. Howdy! Does the rate of updating your domain depend on some thing or you work on blog articles when you have an inspiration or spare time? Thank you very much in advance for your reply.

  2. Although this isn't related to Susan's guest blogs, I can tell you how I do it.

    For me to write new blogs twice a week every week is more than I would be able to do faithfully.
    Approximately 3 times a year, I set aside time to write blog entries for several weeks. I've discovered it easier to get into the rhythm of writing and keep going. One idea leads me to another.

    I write a monthly newsletter. It's only one each month and sometimes that's difficult because it means every 30 days I have to write a new one. I'd like to write them twice a year and have the task done.

    Some writers prefer to write under pressure, when facing a deadline. That's too much stress for me.


What are your thoughts?