Set IV, 10

THE COMMA VS. THE SEMICOLON IN THE COMPOUND SENTENCE

A group of words containing a subject and a verb and expressing a complete thought is called a sentence or an independent clause. Sometimes, an independent clause stands alone as a sentence, and sometimes two independent clauses are linked together into one sentence which is called a compound sentence. There are two different marks of punctuation which can be used between these independent clauses: the comma and the semicolon. The choice is yours.

THE COMMA

Use a comma after the first independent clause when you choose to link the two independent clauses with any one of these words:

AND BUT FOR OR NOR (and sometimes SO and YET) I am going home, and I intend to stay there. It rained heavily during the afternoon, but we managed to have our picnic anyway.

THE SEMICOLON

Use the semicolon when you choose to join two independent clauses together with NO connecting words.

I am going home; I intend to stay there. It rained heavily during the afternoon; we managed to have our picnic anyway.

THE SEMICOLON

Use the semicolon when you join two independent clauses together with one of those long connecting words such as: HOWEVER, MOREOVER, THEREFORE, CONSEQUENTLY, OTHERWISE, NEVERTHELESS, THUS, etc.

I am going home; moreover, I intend to stay there. It rained heavily during the afternoon; however, we managed to have our picnic anyway. Put this in your notebook, and use it! Put this in your notebook; use it!

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