When you see a (,)(;)and(:) do you get totally confused? If so, you are not alone. Many people have no idea how to use punctuation properly. Some people play with the various punctuation marks, hoping that they’ll choose the right one, while others omit them completely.
If you know the rules that go with (,)(;)and(:), using punctuation marks will become fun and easy.
The comma (,)
1. Use a comma to separate elements in a series
ex. Shungo picked up his guitar, bit into his apple, and ran for first base.
Samantha has a dog, a cat, and a reindeer at home.
2. Use a comma with conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, yet, or, so)
ex. Mayumi likes cheesecake, but doesn’t eat too much of it.
Ben doesn’t rent movies, so he doesn’t have a blu ray player.
The semicolon (;)
1. Links two independent clauses to connect closely related ideas
ex. I have a really large cat; he likes to ride atop rhinos.
Yesterday Mayumi ate a delicious parfait; it was full of sugar and calories.
*Basically, the semicolon replaces the period at the end of the sentence. Both clauses can stand alone, but by adding the semicolon we eliminate the pause that the period causes and create a sort of bond between the first and second clause.
2. Use a semicolon when you are listing many things that include many commas
ex. My favourite movies include Iron Man, a movie about a guy who fights crime in a metal suit; Star Trek, the best science fiction movie ever made; and The Avengers, a movie with lots of guys and girls wearing black spandex.
The colon (:)
1. Use a colon to introduce a series
ex. On the camping trip you will be required to bring: a flashlight, a tent, a bell for bears, and lots of chocolate bars.