# Lesson 11 - Spearfish School District

The Semicolon as a
Connector
Lesson 11
Joseph C. Blumenthal
We have seen that two similar or
related sentences that are equal in
importance can be combined into a
compound sentence by using the
_________ and, but, or or.
We have seen that two similar or
related sentences that are equal in
importance can be combined into a
compound sentence by using the
conjunction and, but, or or.
Another useful device for holding two
sentences together is the semicolon (;). In
many compound sentences, we can use a
semicolon in place of the conjunction.
The ceiling was low, and all planes were grounded.
The ceiling was low; all the planes were grounded.
The semicolon replaces the
conjunction ____.
Another useful device for holding two
sentences together is the semicolon (;). In
many compound sentences, we can use a
semicolon in place of the conjunction.
The ceiling was low, and all planes were grounded.
The ceiling was low; all the planes were grounded.
The semicolon replaces the
conjunction _and__.
The ceiling was low; all the planes were grounded.
After the semicolon, the compound sentence
continues with a (small, capital) letter.
The ceiling was low; all the planes were grounded.
After the semicolon, the compound sentence
continues with a (small, capital) letter.
The committee discussed the problem. But
they reached no conclusions.
The committee discussed the problem; they
reached no conclusions.
The semicolon replaces the conjunction ____.
The committee discussed the problem. But
they reached no conclusions.
The committee discussed the problem; they
reached no conclusions.
The semicolon replaces the conjunction but.
The deadline was rapidly approaching; we
worked furiously to meet it.
In this sentence, the semicolon replaces the
conjunction _____.
The deadline was rapidly approaching; we
worked furiously to meet it.
In this sentence, the semicolon replaces the
conjunction and or so.
I could see them; they couldn’t see me.
In this sentence, the semicolon replaces the
conjunction ______.
I could see them; they couldn’t see me.
In this sentence, the semicolon replaces the
conjunction _but__.
The bottle should be tightly closed; the
perfume will evaporate.
In this sentence, the semicolon replaces the
conjunction ____.
The bottle should be tightly closed; the
perfume will evaporate.
In this sentence, the semicolon replaces the
conjunction _or_.
A semicolon can also take the place of
because, which is not a regular conjunction
such as and, but, or or.
could change it.
b. Virginia didn’t vote; she couldn’t make up
her mind.
In which sentence does the semicolon take
the place of because? (a,b)
A semicolon can also take the place of
because, which is not a regular conjunction
such as and, but, or or.
could change it.
b. Virginia didn’t vote; she couldn’t make up
her mind.
In which sentence does the semicolon take
the place of because? (a,b)
a. The child fell asleep; she was tired out
from playing.
b. We listened very carefully; we could hear
nothing.
In which sentence does the semicolon take
the place of because? (a,b)
a. The child fell asleep; she was tired out
from playing.
b. We listened very carefully; we could hear
nothing.
In which sentence does the semicolon take
the place of because? (a,b)
a. Few people attended the game because of
b. Paula didn’t worry because she was wellprepared for the test.
In which sentence could the semicolon take
the place of because? (a,b)
a. Few people attended the game because of
b. Paula didn’t worry; she was well-prepared
for the test.
In which sentence could the semicolon take
the place of because? (a,b)
We can contribute two simple sentences into a
compound sentence by using either a
conjunction or a _______.
We can contribute two simple sentences into a
compound sentence by using either a
conjunction or a semicolon.
When might we use a semicolon in
preference to a conjunction? If there are
too many and’’s in a sentence, we may get
rid of one by substituting a semicolon.
The patient asked for steak and potatoes,
and the doctors and nurses were
astonished.
How many and’s are there in this sentence?
________
When might we use a semicolon in
preference to a conjunction? If there are
too many and’’s in a sentence, we may get
rid of one by substituting a semicolon.
The patient asked for steak and potatoes,
and the doctors and nurses were
astonished.
How many and’s are there in this sentence?
_three__
The patient asked for steak and potatoes,
and the doctors and nurses were
astonished.
To get rid of one of the three and’s, we can
substitute a semicolon for the and which
follows the word ______.
The patient asked for steak and potatoes,
and the doctors and nurses were
astonished.
To get rid of one of the three and’s, we can
substitute a semicolon for the and which
follows the word potatoes.
The weather was hot and sticky, and the
boys and girls were listless.
To get rid of one of the three and’s, we can
substitute a semicolon for the and which
follows the word _____.
The weather was hot and sticky, and the
boys and girls were listless.
To get rid of one of the three and’s, we can
substitute a semicolon for the and which
follows the word sticky.
The gold and the silver finally gave out, and
many miners settled down and became
farmers.
To get rid of one of the three and’s, we can
substitute a semicolon for the and which
follows the word _____.
The gold and the silver finally gave out, and
many miners settled down and became
farmers.
To get rid of one of the three and’s, we can
substitute a semicolon for the and which
follows the word _out_.
If you have a good ear for the sound of
sentences, you have noticed that a
semicolon produces a quicker, brisker
rhythm than a conjunction.
needs you.
you.
Which sentence is more brisk
and forceful? (a,b)
If you have a good ear for the sound of
sentences, you have noticed that a
semicolon produces a quicker, brisker
rhythm than a conjunction.
needs you.
you.
Which sentence is more brisk
and forceful? (a,b)
a. You can sell your home; you can’t sell rent
receipts.
b. You can sell your home, but you can’t sell
rent receipts.
Which sentence is more brisk and forceful?
(a,b)
a. You can sell your home; you can’t sell rent
receipts.
b. You can sell your home, but you can’t sell
rent receipts.
Which sentence is more brisk and forceful?
(a,b)
a. Clyde sat right in front of me, and we
soon became close friends.
b. The brakes failed, and the car crashed
into the truck.
In which sentence is the action more exciting?
(a,b)
a. Clyde sat right in front of me, and we
soon became close friends.
b. The brakes failed, and the car crashed
into the truck.
In which sentence is the action more exciting?
(a,b)
a. Clyde sat right in front of me, and we
soon became close friends.
b. The brakes failed, and the car crashed
into the truck.
Which sentence, because of its more exciting
action, would benefit more from the brisk
effect of a semicolon? (a,b)
a. Clyde sat right in front of me, and we
soon became close friends.
b. The brakes failed, and the car crashed
into the truck.
Which sentence, because of its more exciting
action, would benefit more from the brisk
effect of a semicolon? (a,b)
a. The strike was called, and five thousand
workers laid down their tools.
b. The game was very slow, and many fans
In which sentence would the use of a
semicolon reinforce the excitement of the
action? (a,b)
a. The strike was called, and five thousand
workers laid down their tools.
b. The game was very slow, and many fans
In which sentence would the use of a
semicolon reinforce the excitement of the
action? (a,b)
Don’t use a comma without a conjunction to
connect sentences. Only a semicolon has the
power to hold two sentences together
without the help of and, but, or or.
a. Bea shook the branches, the apples came
tumbling down.
b. Bea shook the branches; the apples came
tumbling down.
Which sentence is correctly punctuated? (a,b)
Don’t use a comma without a conjunction to
connect sentences. Only a semicolon has the
power to hold two sentences together
without the help of and, but, or or.
a. Bea shook the branches, the apples came
tumbling down.
b. Bea shook the branches; the apples came
tumbling down.
Which sentence is correctly punctuated? (a,b)
a. The weather was wet, and the field was
muddy.
b. The weather was wet, the field was
muddy.
In which sentence is the comma correctly
used? (a,b)
a. The weather was wet, and the field was
muddy.
b. The weather was wet, the field was
muddy.
In which sentence is the comma correctly
used? (a,b)
a. The weather was wet, and the field was
muddy.
b. The weather was wet, the field was
muddy.
Which sentence is correctly punctuated? (a,b)
a. The weather was wet, and the field was
muddy.
b. The weather was wet, the field was
muddy.
Which sentence is correctly punctuated? (a,b)
If you omit the conjunction from a compound
sentence. Put a (comma, semicolon) in its
place.
If you omit the conjunction from a compound
sentence. Put a (comma, semicolon) in its
place.
There are a number of adverbs that are
sometimes mistaken for conjunctions.
however
therefore
otherwise
consequently
nevertheless
furthermore
Since these words are adverbs, they do not
have the power of _________ to combine
sentences.
There are a number of adverbs that are
sometimes mistaken for conjunctions.
however
therefore
otherwise
consequently
nevertheless
furthermore
Since these words are adverbs, they do not
have the power of conjunctions to combine
sentences.
a. The air is humid, therefore the paint dries
slowly.
b. The air is humid, and therefore the paint
dries slowly.
Which sentence is incorrect because there is
no conjunction to connect its two parts?
(a,b)
a. The air is humid, therefore the paint dries
slowly.
b. The air is humid, and therefore the paint
dries slowly.
Which sentence is incorrect because there is
no conjunction to connect its two parts?
(a,b)
The air is humid, and therefore the paint
dries slowly.
The word therefore is not a conjunction and
has no connecting power. For this reason, we
need to use the conjunction ____ in this
sentence.
The air is humid, and therefore the paint
dries slowly.
The word therefore is not a conjunction and
has no connecting power. For this reason, we
need to use the conjunction _and_ in this
sentence.
The air is humid; therefore the paint dries
slowly.
This sentence is correct because a semicolon
has the power of a _________ to connect
the two parts of a compound sentence.
The air is humid; therefore the paint dries
slowly.
This sentence is correct because a semicolon
has the power of a conjunction to connect
the two parts of a compound sentence.
a. It rained all day, nevertheless everyone
b. It rained all day, but everyone had a good
time.
Which sentence is correct because its two
parts are connected by a conjunction. (a,b)
a. It rained all day, nevertheless everyone
b. It rained all day, but everyone had a good
time.
Which sentence is correct because its two
parts are connected by a conjunction. (a,b)
a. It rained all day, nevertheless everyone
b. It rained all day, but everyone had a good
time.
Which sentence is correctly punctuated. (a,b)
a. It rained all day, nevertheless everyone
b. It rained all day, but everyone had a good
time.
Which sentence is correctly punctuated. (a,b)
a. Our team was overconfident; consequently
we lost.
b. Our team was overconfident, and
consequently we lost.
c. Our team was overconfident, consequently
we lost.
Which one of these sentences is incorrectly
punctuated? (a,b,c)
a. Our team was overconfident; consequently
we lost.
b. Our team was overconfident, and
consequently we lost.
c. Our team was overconfident, consequently
we lost.
Which one of these sentences is incorrectly
punctuated? (a,b,c)
However
Therefore
otherwise
consequently
nevertheless
furthermore
It is equally correct to start a new sentence
with one of these adverbs. Many writers
prefer to do so.
Our team was overconfident. Consequently we
lost.
This sentence is (correct, incorrect).
However
Therefore
otherwise
consequently
nevertheless
furthermore
It is equally correct to start a new sentence
with one of these adverbs. Many writers
prefer to do so.
Our team was overconfident. Consequently we
lost.
This sentence is (correct, incorrect).
a. I lost my car keys; I would have driven.
b. I lost my car keys, otherwise I would have
driven.
c. I lost my car keys. Otherwise I would have
driven.
Which one of these three sentences is
incorrectly punctuated? (a,b,c)
a. I lost my car keys; I would have driven.
b. I lost my car keys, otherwise I would have
driven.
c. I lost my car keys. Otherwise I would have
driven.
Which one of these three sentences is
incorrectly punctuated? (a,b,c)
a. Education must include the whole person;
otherwise it is not true education.
b. Education must include the whole person.
Otherwise it is not true education.
Both a and b are correct. (true, false)
a. Education must include the whole person;
otherwise it is not true education.
b. Education must include the whole person.
Otherwise it is not true education.
Both a and b are correct. (true, false)
a. Education must include the whole person;
otherwise it is not true education.
b. Education must include the whole person.
Otherwise it is not true education.
Both a and b are correct. (true, false)
Write the following answers on your
own sheet of paper.
Write if each sentence needs a comma to go
with its conjunction or if it needs just a
semicolon.
The field was muddy
it didn’t stop the Rangers.
1. Comma or semicolon?
Write if each sentence needs a comma to go
with its conjunction or if it needs just a
semicolon.
The wise are so uncertain
the ignorant are so positive.
2. Comma or semicolon?
Write if each sentence needs a comma to go
with its conjunction or if it needs just a
semicolon.
There are thirteen dogs on our block
seemed to be barking at once.
and all of them
3. Comma or semicolon?
Write if each sentence needs a comma to go
with its conjunction or if it needs just a
semicolon.
Much of the soil is poor
consequently the Japanese
farmer depends greatly upon fertilizers.
4. Comma or semicolon?
Write if each sentence needs a comma to go
with its conjunction or if it needs just a
semicolon.
Mrs. Merrill may be old
fashioned.
however, she is not old-
5. Comma or semicolon?
Write if each sentence needs a comma to go
with its conjunction or if it needs just a
semicolon.
Fruit trees must be sprayed at the right time
fruit will be wormy.
6. Comma or semicolon?
or the
Write if each sentence needs a comma to go
with its conjunction or if it needs just a
semicolon.
Fruit trees must be sprayed at the right time
otherwise the fruit will be wormy.
7. Comma or semicolon?
Write if each sentence needs a comma to go
with its conjunction or if it needs just a
semicolon.
summer.
8. Comma or semicolon?
Write if each sentence needs a comma to go
with its conjunction or if it needs just a
semicolon.
Athletics keep a person physically fit
and
furthermore they develop a sense of teamwork.
9. Comma or semicolon?
You are done!!!

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