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Video transcript

hello grammarians in this video I'm going to tell you about a piece of punctuation called the semicolon which basically looks like a comma with a period on top of it the semicolon has a few uses but the basic sort of standard use is to link to closely related ideas that can stand on their own as individual sentences so that might sound a little weird you think there's two individual sentences so they just have a period in between them why why do they need to be linked well let's look at an example and I'll show you what I mean I'm a big fan of rollercoasters but if I weren't I could say something like I don't want to ride the mega sky coaster I'm afraid of heights and that ride sounds terrifying now you notice we have a semicolon here in between these parts but let's take a step back and just put a period here for a second so now we have I don't want to ride the mega sky coaster period I'm afraid of heights and that ride sounds terrifying exclamation point these can work on their own as different sentences but they're so closely tied together you know I say I don't want to ride the mega sky coaster it's sort of telling us the back story as to why I don't want to ride it so we can use a semicolon in this instance to sort of tie the two sentences together into one now we can't go around tying every sentence to each other we can't have everything just connected with a whole bunch of semicolons it works in this case because these clauses are sharing such similar information in this sentence the two clauses that are directly connected are both independent clauses this makes sense because the semicolons job is to connect things that can stand on their own as sentences but a sentence isn't always just an independent clause by itself one example of this would be I want to get a pet turtle semicolon however I think it might scare my baby brother this is an independent clause and so is this but the however in between the two of them can make things a little bit confusing that's why it's important to note that you can have a semicolon followed by an introductory adverb or a transitional phrase it doesn't just have to be independent clause semicolon independent clause period you can have other clauses and phrases and words in there as long as the things that you're linking together can stand on their own as individual sentences there's another place we can use semicolon which is in a complex list in this case it's called a super comma but we're going to get to that in another video so for now this is how you use a semicolon to link parts of a sentence if the words to the left and the words to the right of the semicolon can stand as individual sentences with a period in between them you can put a semicolon there instead you can learn anything page out