As creative writers we can break some grammar rules but only sometimes. I think there are probably rules about when you can or can’t break rules. I don’t know.
Semi-colons are one of those things you should use correctly like 98% of the time, because if they’re wrong and they mess up the reading flow of your reader… well reading flow is your friend. You don’t ever want to snap a reader out of it. And honestly, you don’t need them everywhere. Some people have the mentality that using semi-colons sounds smarter. Well, if you use them wrong you sound dumb. So use them carefully. Or at least use them correctly. I’m sure there are a heck of a lot of writers who use more semi-colons than I do, and they use them correctly so all is well; I’m just more of an em dash person.
So here we go, dorks: Semi-colons 101.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that semi-colons link two independent clauses. What’s an independent clause, you ask? It’s a complete sentence. Meaning it has a subject noun and verb. Let’s get some examples in here:
Kent lifted his dark-bladed dagger.
She sighed like it was a hassle to explain.
Remember all that? These are all complete sentences, AKA independent clauses. They can stand alone. And in this case of semi-colons, it really should be a true complete sentence, meaning no starting with “and” “but” “because” and all those. Normally I’d say knock yourself out with fragment sentences and things starting with “and” and all, because I do it all the time. But for semi-colons, please think carefully.
So like I said, a semi-colon means two independent clauses—two complete sentences. Meaning both sides of the semi-colon CAN stand alone if they wanted to. Let’s see if our examples have a noun and a verb on both sides:
The boy’s eyes met mine; they were so bottomless and dark that I couldn’t even think about screaming again.
Idoubt they’re thinking about me anymore; they just want to win for the sake of rubbing it in the other’s face.
Icouldn’t read him at all; his eyes gave away nothing, and his face didn’t seem to be capable of anything other than a scowl.
If you read through all of those, you’ll see each one CAN stand as its own sentence. “The boy’s eyes met mine.” I could have ended it there, and made the rest its own sentence. In fact, I’m sure there are plenty of places in my novel where I coulda used a semi-colon, but I didn’t because I suppose it’s not quite my writing style.
So if it’s that easy, why link them? And when should you link them?
The easiest answer is to use a semi-colon when the two sentences link in some way. They talk to each other, or directly relate to the information presented in the previous/following sentence. If you want a more complicated reason, it has to do with the rhythm of writing. The cadence of your words. The semi-colon isn’t a full pause to breathe like a period is; it’s like half a breath. You don’t come to a complete stop. I think the best way to get the hang of proper semi-colon use is to read examples. Say them out loud. Concentrate on the pause of it.
People misuse semi-colons a lot because they know there’s supposed to be a break there or some kinda pause in the writing. It’s an instinct some writers have, even if they don’t know the grammatically proper way to write it. Often, I find the right answer is to use an em dash (—). In many ways, em dashes and semi-colons are interchangeable. Em dashes just have more of a feeling of urgency, and they’re more flexible in their usage.
In the meantime, if you’d like some more semi-colon examples, I’ll plop a few more down. Getting used to how they’re supposed to sound should help you out.
I've already died once for this cause; I’m not about to die twice.
I mean, I had no way to know for sure; I didn’t know the details of the zodiac binding other than what Kent had told me.
I’d have to ask Vincent about it later; if she was infamous, he’d know more about her than I would.
The air seemed to freeze around me; I was amazed my breath wasn’t visible.
I looked at her and I believed it; she had obviously forgotten her umbrella.
The wood cat felt delicate; I was hesitant to let go of it, because I was sure the tail would chip off if I tucked it into my pocket.
He faltered; I saw the hesitation flit across his face.
If you have any questions about proper semi-colon usage, feel free to submit an Ask! Or if you’ve got a semi-colon in your own writing and you’re unsure about it, send me the sentence and I’ll let you know if you’re using it correctly or not. :)
Fall weather can be a mood-buster, so it’s best to always have an umbrella or two on hand for rainy days. We suggest you plan ahead and get a new one now, as it pays to be prepared when temperatures drop. Consider spending a little more on a nicer model to really get your moneys worth - we’ve all experienced the inside-out umbrella predicament caused by strong winds, which is why we’ll be dishing out a little more for a sturdy umbrella this year. Shop our favorite styles below and pat yourself on the back for shopping a little smarter this season.
True Colours … I saw the mans striped top and yellow umbrella and went for the juxtaposition of the colours. The blue car, blue umbrella and children in blue? I’m not going to lie, was a complete fluke. But hey we all need a little luck now and again :^)
Bae Jung Yun] On April 11, VIXX disclosed a trailer ‘VIXX 2016
Conception Opening Trailer’ on its official YouTube and TV cast.
trailer is explaining the direction of the group’s upcoming series
album concept. Previously, the group announced its comeback by releasing
‘VIXX 2016 Conception Art Film’ on March 28. Several hints about its
upcoming yearly series album were included in the unveiled trailer.
the video, the group members are stuck in the unknown situation. Member
Ravi is wandering on the permanently connected unlimited stairs and Ken
is surrounded by men with a black cloak. N is wandering in the woods
full of black umbrellas and Leo is hinting untold story with eyes full
of meaning. Hyuk is looking confused in piles of paper and Hongbin is
lighting up the fire like brightening up the world of darkness.
Significant items and unique background such as permanently connected
stairs, black umbrella and cloak, crumpled paper are noticing
unimaginable concept of the group.
Moreover, a Greek word that is
a motive of the upcoming album appeared in the video and noticed future
direction of the album. The group, which announced its yearly album
series keyword as a god of fate and destruction, Ker from its previously
unveiled conception art film, noticed the broad musical spectrum
through the unveiled opening trailer. The video’s grand atmosphere like a
fantasy movie is overwhelming the viewer.
The group proved its
ability with differentiated concepts such as vampire, voodoo dolls and
cyborg. Just like the announcement from ‘VIXX 2016 Conception Release
Scheduler’, unique format and content will be unveiled in consecutive
order until May 20.
Meanwhile, VIXX will participate in ‘China
Music Award’, which will be held on May 15 in Macao, China. (photo by
For more bntnews.co.uk Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
i just kinda want a scene where abbie can’t sleep because she keeps having nightmares about her time in purgatory so, unable to stand the confines of her house, she goes outside in the middle of the night and wanders about. she doesn’t know how long she’s been outside but it suddenly starts pouring and it kind of takes the edge off of how she’s been feeling lately. without realizing it she finds herself near ichabod’s residence. ichabod in the meanwhile, is also having trouble sleeping and is reading a book from the new reading list that abbie gave him when he happens to glance outside and see a human form in the clearing by the woods. umbrella in hand he goes outside to check the suspicious figure out and comes across a drenched abbie. they’re both surprised to see each other, considering the time of night and all, and ichabod ushers her into his abode to dry herself off. he offers her the use of his shower and she asks him if he still has the new clothes she bought him. he replies with a questioning yes and brings the small paper bag they came in to her and she takes it to the shower with her. while ichabod is preparing tea for the both of them abbie emerges from the bathroom in the shirt and boxers she had bought for him. ichabod blushes and stutters like the dork he is and abbie is all “yo cool it bro” or something ichabbie-y like that, and after that moment they both talk about why abbie was out there, why they both can’t sleep, what the future holds for them, etc. until they both eventually fall asleep on the couch.