Jul 182012

When do we use a semi-colon?

ANSWER: A semi-colon (;) is usually used for three main reasons:

  1. separating lists within sentences;
  2. completing items in a bullet list (like this);
  3. joining (usually) short, complete sentences into one sentences.


1. “There are many ways to keep fit and healthy: running around the block once a day; eating a balance diet; going to the gym; and visiting the doctor regularly.

(Also notice the use of the colon (:) above which is like a little arrow pointing to the right!)

2. (see above)

3. “IELTS writing task answers require correct punctuation for high scores; it’s not hard to learn.”

Notice that there is a noticeable “meaning” connection between the two joined complete sentences. Of course, they could also be written as two separate sentences.

 Posted by at 10:54 am
Jul 182012

When do I place a comma before “so”?

ANSWER: When “so” begins a clause:

.e.g. “I studied hard, so I am sure to pass the test.”

The same punctuation rule is used with: FOR – AND – NOR – BUT – OR – YET

…or FANBOYS to help you remember.

e.g. “It is important, but not everyone agrees with the policy.”

      “There is a new rule in the workplace, yet no-one knows about it.”

If the sentence is quite short, this punctuation is often skipped.

 Posted by at 10:53 am