Belk 207
389 Centennial Drive
Cullowhee, NC 28723
828.227.2274 tel
828.227.7915 fax



The semicolon is rarely called for, but it serves several purposes in writing. Use the examples below to learn more.

Independent Clauses Not Linked by a Coordinating Conjunction

--Oh, I often click my tongue; it's my only revenge.
--Nadia was halted and removed in a squad car; they charged her with lurking with intent to loiter, and with wearing someone else's heart up her sleeve.
--The tower was too high; the dungeon was too low.
--A flannel nightgown is transfixed by a religious experience; a silk slip has a close call.

Phrases in a Series, or Elements in a Series that Include Internal Commas

Attending the kickoff of the global warming conference were a paranormal guttersnipe from Trinity College; seven Volga boatmen singing "The Song of the Volga Boatmen"; an extraterrestrial water sprite and his girlfriend from Tulsa, Oklahoma; a hypochondriac with his icepacks and hot water bottle; and a ferry-boater, in a tux, from the River Styx.

Clauses in a Compound, Complex Sentence

--Jacob, who was sitting on the balcony watching her out of the corner of his steel-gray eye, lunged forward to touch her as she passed by; but someone grabbed a fistful of his collar from behind and said, "Lay off my woman, you jerk."



-- Work Cited:
Gordon, Karen Elizabeth. The New Well-Tempered Sentence. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.


Copyright by Western Carolina University      •      Cullowhee, NC 28723      •      828.227.7211      •      Contact WCU
Maintained by the Office of Web Services      •      Directions      •      Campus Map      •      Emergency Information      •      Text-Only

Office of Web Services