ENG 1101 Fall 2021 0277

Let’s take a step back.  There is something we did not talk about yet, the use of semicolons.


Semicolons are the most wrongly used punctuation marks.  You may think something more exotic is worse, but if you do not even know about dashes or brackets, you will probably not use them and, therefore, would not misuse them.  Yet everyone tries to use semicolons.


Frankly, they are rather unsightly and many students associate them with errors and avoid them, but they can be useful.  If, for example, you are proofreading your work and you realize you have a run-on or comma-splice sentence (please look for these terms on Google or in my previous documents), semicolons can come in handy.  You can always fit one in where there should have been a connection or to replace an inadequate comma.


Weeks ago you were asked to write five sentences using FANBOYS words, (for, and, nor,but, or, yet, so).   If done correctly, you should be able to rewrite them using only semicolons to replace the comma + conjunction connector.

ex.  Granny got her vaccine,  so she feels more protected against Covid.

Granny got her vaccineshe feels more protected against Covid.

Both versions are correct and both are considered compound:  two full thoughts in one sentence.

You may notice three things about the semicolon version:  (1) it seems very much like when you use a period, (2) it does not require a capital letter, (3) it doesn’t sound quite as good as the other version.


Let’s try something:   find the five compound sentences you wrote (not the complex ones) and rewrite them as I did above, by replacing the  , + FANBOYS word with only a ;

Unless your sentence was wrong and unless you used “or” or “nor,” it should work.


A)  Please, then, submit in discussion five sentences within which you use semicolons.  Repurpose the sentences you already have that way, or write some new ones.  The goal is five sentences.

B)  Create a list of as many words beginning with the prefix “trans-” that you know without Googling.   Please submit your list and if there are words you could not define if asked, please ask.  Do you see a common meaning with these words?   Each one probably involves some sort of change or movement.

C)  Look at, download, or save the Doc and File called “Transitionals.”   Page two shows how these connecting words are used.  As you see, they can work with semicolons.

      Granny got her vaccine; therefore, she feels more protected against Covid.

Granny got her vaccineshe, therefore, feels more protected against Covid.

Granny got her vaccine. Therefore, she feels more protected against Covid.

All of these are correct.   The last one shows that you can use a transitional to start a sentence–and that means you can start a body paragraph with one.   Using transitionals in your essays is a way to help move the reader from one paragraph to the next and simple coordinating words, like the FANBOYS words are NOT good to use to start paragraphs.

D)   Now, please go back to the five sentences you just wrote with only semicolons, and add transitionals to them. You will need to add another comma too.     Please post those too.

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