Punctuation Overview

How do I use semicolons?

The semicolon is a really powerful punctuation mark. If you get it right you will impress those reading your work as well as being able to express your ideas and opinions in a more subtle way.

The semicolon is pretty easy to figure out once it has been explained. Here are a couple of situations where the semicolon is used

In lists where the items themselves have commas.

The semicolon is used to clarify a complicated list containing many items, many of which contain commas themselves. Have a look at this example:

School dinner for today is a choice between fish, chips, peas, sausage, egg, beans, sauté potatoes, beef pie, mashed potatoes, mushy peas, gravy, pasta, garlic bread, salad.

You can probably work out what each individual option is if you sit down and think about it but using semicolons to separate the choices does the job really well: Continue reading “How do I use semicolons?”

Full Stops

A full stop is used to show that you have come to the end of a sentence. We use sentences all the time. It can be difficult, however, to define one exactly.

In its simplest form a sentence is a group of words that can stand on its own and make sense. A sentence must have a subject and a verb. A sentence always begins with a capital letter and always ends with a full stop. In its simplest form a sentence might look like these:

The dog barked.
The dog barked at the postman.

‘dog’ is the subject of the verb ‘barked’ and ‘postman’ is the object. Each of these starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop.

Full stops are also used to show that you have shortened or abbreviated words. There are two types of abbreviations that use full stops…

Continue reading “Full Stops”