please write an essay on, ” uses of a comma, semi-colon, and colon.”



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In all written languages, punctuation marks are used to indicate things like pauses, full stops, convey of emotion, declaration of statements, ask questions and separate items or ideas. The purpose of this is to try and emulate the cues present in spoken language where they appear naturally. Without punctuation marks, language would be difficult to read and comprehend. It would just be a collection of sentences running together incoherently. In this essay we are going to discuss three of these punctuations, the comma, semi-colon and the colon.

The comma is a mark of punctuation placed on the baseline of the text. It is used to separate different parts of sentences or texts. This could include, clauses, phrases or items in a list. Generally, a comma presents the idea that the ideas and words presented before the comma are not closely related to the ideas and words that come after the comma (McDermott 2016). For example, “He has bought a pizza, cake and fruits”. Another use for the comma is before coordinating conjunctions such as for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so when they link two independent clauses. For example, “It was raining, but I went to class”.  Commas also follow phrases or clauses meant to introduce ideas. For example, “On the day, I went home early”.

A semicolon on the other hand separates two tightly knit independent clauses. It is important that these clauses are not joined together by coordinating conjunctions. A semicolon can be used in a larger list that already contains commas. For example, “He bought fruits, like mangoes, bananas, oranges; snacks, like cake, pizza and popcorn. Semicolon are often ignored due to their complexity in application. Many people use commas in their place which is not always right. The major thing to understand is that the clauses separated by semicolons could as will be their own individual complete sentences. These clauses could be in contrast or related to each other.

Lastly is colons. Colons are used after independent clauses which is often followed by lists, words, phrases, dependant or independent clauses. An example in a sentence would be, “My friend has travelled to the following countries: China, Singapore, and Dubai. As indicated a colon in most case is used together with a comma. Another use of a colon is when expounding an idea further. For example, “He did not want to do it because: he knew better”. In such a case, the information offered before the colon is expounded further with the information after the colon.

With the use of these three punctuation marks there are several things to note. One is that you should avoid using a conjunction when a semi colon is applied (Khan 2016). Using both a conjunction such as but, and, or and a semi colon is risky and could likely end in a grammar error (Sawyer 2018). Another important use for these punctuation marks is to create emojis. Emojis have recently been included in keyboards and are gaining popularity in informal writing. The three punctuation marks, colon, semicolon and comma can be used together or with other marks to represent an emoji reaction. The only way to completely get conversant with the use of these punctuations is to read out the text aloud and also to keep practicing.









Khan, A., & Khan, Y. (2016). Punctuation Errors made by the learners of intermediate level at punjab group of colleges; an error analysis. International Journal of Institutional & Industrial Research1(1), 22-25.

McDermott, J. (2016). Punctuation for now. Springer.

Sawyer, R. (2018). Teaching Punctuation with Literature.

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