Anonymous:
Hi,

Usually a semicolon is used to with two independent clauses when a conjunctive adverb is used. Good. But I feel the two independent clauses can be independent in structure but cannot be independent in thought linkage -- that is, they have to related in thoughta and ideas. Am I right? I think I am right because I found some online references supporting it.

What is confusing is when what looks to be two independent clauses in structure is connected by a comma, rather than a semicolon.

The average bamboo floor costs about $5 to $7 a square foot, not including installation, whereas walnut or pine can cost nearly $10 a square foot.

I feel that the color part can be said to be an independent-in-structure clause, but I could be wrong. Why did the person write it as this with a semicolon?

The average bamboo floor costs about $5 to $7 a square foot, not including installation; whereas walnut or pine can cost nearly $10 a square foot.

Should they in semicolons or in separate sentences and not commas? How can I know?

1. This task requires cooperation among members, similarly it could be said that it requires dedication.

2. He was poor, therefore it was hard for him to buy basic necessities.

3. Give him a break. He was busy at that time, moreover, he was sick to really pay attention to what he was doing.

4. He was poor, neverthless he gave the poor man the money.
Hi,

Usually a semicolon is used to with two independent clauses when a conjunctive adverb is used. I don't agree. A semi-colon joins two independent clauses.

eg correct Tom loved Mary; Mary did not love Tom.

eg incorrect Tom loved Mary; whereas Mary did not love Tom. 'Whereas Mary did not love Tom' is not an independent clause, because it can't stand as a sentence by itself.

If you use a conjunction, you don't need a semi-colon, because the conjunction itself supplies the connection.

Good. But I feel the two independent clauses can be independent in structure but cannot be independent in thought linkage -- that is, they have to related in thoughta and ideas. Am I right? I think I am right because I found some online references supporting it. Yes, you are right. The semi-colon indicates a close connection. I would add that the two parts should have some style or importance.

She loved him with all her heart; she never told him. sounds OK

I took out the garbage; it was smelly. sounds stupid.

What is confusing is when what looks to be two independent clauses in structure is connected by a comma, rather than a semicolon. You don't neesd a semi-colon becsause there is a conjunction to supply the connection.

The average bamboo floor costs about $5 to $7 a square foot, not including installation, whereas walnut or pine can cost nearly $10 a square foot. OK

I feel that the color part can be said to be an independent-in-structure clause, but I could be wrong. Why did the person write it as this with a semicolon?

The average bamboo floor costs about $5 to $7 a square foot, not including installation; whereas walnut or pine can cost nearly $10 a square foot. Not OK

Should they in semicolons or in separate sentences and not commas? How can I know?

1. This task requires cooperation among members, similarly it could be said that it requires dedication. Two sentences. 'Similarly' is not a conjunction.

2. He was poor, therefore it was hard for him to buy basic necessities.Two sentences. 'Therefore'' is not a conjunction.

3. Give him a break. He was busy at that time, moreover, he was sick to really pay attention to what he was doing. Two sentences. 'Moreover' is not a conjunction.

4. He was poor, neverthless he gave the poor man the money.Two sentences. 'Nevertheless' is not a conjunction.

In examples 1 to 4 above, you could also use a semi-colon to join the two parts. I wouldn't, because the adverb supplies sufficient connection.

Let me finish by offering my personal opinon about semi-colons. Emotion: smile Don't use them excessively, or your writing will start to seem unnatural and irritating to the reader. About one semi-colon a month sounds acceptable. I never use them myself.

After English learners are taught about semi-colons, they often have them in just about every sentence on every page. Bad idea.

There are other people on the Forum who do not share my semi-colon phobia. Emotion: stick out tongue

Best wishes, Clive
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Anonymous:
Thank you, Clive.

I think you said the following do not need a conjunction because a semicolon establishes the connection.

She loved him with all her heart; she never told him. sounds OK

I took out the garbage; it was smelly. sounds stupid.

Can I write like these for those two examples of yours?

She loved him with all her heart; however, she never told him that.

I took out the garbage; as a result, the house is free from foul smells.

If I follow your explanations, 'however' and 'as a reult' would be unnecessary since a semicolon is providing the connection. Am I right?

Also, the four words that you said is not conjunctions are from a list of conjunctive adverbs and I believe those words as many conjunctive adverbs do and can, if not all of them, function as simple adverbs.

Also, as to the fact that both a conjunction and a semicolon not being necessary, please tell me why many online help sources have examples that have both a semicolon and conjunction?

Nothing can be unconditional; consequently nothing can be free. (George Bernard Shaw) Would you say 'consequently' is not used as a conjunction here but as an adverb? How would I know?

"Always go to other people's funeral; otherwise, they won't go to yours." (Yogi Berra) Would you say 'otherwise' is an adverb, not a conjunction? How would I know?

What do you say about this? Does it contradict any of the helpful points you brought out or do they fit right in? Can you tell me what it means here?

The conjunctive adverbs that connect two main clauses are usually separated (punctuated with) by a semicolon preceding the word or term. Except the one-syllable conjunctive adverbs and also, which is then have a comma after them.

Thank you.
Hi,

I think you said the following do not need a conjunction because a semicolon establishes the connection.

She loved him with all her heart; she never told him. sounds OK

I took out the garbage; it was smelly. sounds stupid.

Can I write like these for those two examples of yours? Yes.

She loved him with all her heart; however, she never told him that.

I took out the garbage; as a result, the house is free from foul smells.

If I follow your explanations, 'however' and 'as a reult' would be unnecessary since a semicolon is providing the connection. Am I right? Generally speaking, yes, although the conjunction clarifies the nature of the connection, while a semi-colon by itself leaves the reader to think about what is being said and work out the connection for himself.

Also, the four words that you said is not conjunctions are from a list of conjunctive adverbs and I believe those words as many conjunctive adverbs do and can, if not all of them, function as simple adverbs.

Also, as to the fact that both a conjunction and a semicolon not being necessary, please tell me why many online help sources have examples that have both a semicolon and conjunction? Just because something is not necessary does not mean that you can't do it if you want to.

Nothing can be unconditional; consequently nothing can be free. (George Bernard Shaw) Would you say 'consequently' is not used as a conjunction here but as an adverb? I didn't say that 'consequently' was not a conjunction. My dictionary lists it as both a conjunction and an adverb. However, I personally see it as more of an adverb here. I would write it with a conjunction, thus. He loved her, and consequently he married her'. How would I know? My first reaction to ask why you need to know Emotion: smile as long as you understand the meaning of the sentence.

"Always go to other people's funeral; otherwise, they won't go to yours." (Yogi Berra) Would you say 'otherwise' is an adverb, not a conjunction? My dictionary lists it as an adverb. I would write it with a conjunction, thus. 'Give me your money, or otherwise I will kill you'. How would I know? My first reaction to ask why you need to know Emotion: smile as long as you understand the meaning of the sentence.

What do you say about this? Does it contradict any of the helpful points you brought out or do they fit right in? Can you tell me what it means here?

The conjunctive adverbs that connect two main clauses are usually separated (punctuated with) by a semicolon preceding the word or term. Except the one-syllable conjunctive adverbs and also, which is then have a comma after them. I don't agree. These words that you are calling conjunctive adverbs are used a lot. Semi-colons are not used a lot.

Here are a couple of closing comments.

First, I've said it before, but I would like to stress it. Semi-colons are not used as much as I think that you think they are.

Second, here is some advice. Try to think less about about where a semi-colon should be used, and more about why it should be used.

eg Why would you want to say

'She loved him with all her heart; however, she never told him.'

instead of 'She loved him with all her heart; she never told him.'

or 'She loved him with all her heart. However, she never told him.'

or 'She loved him with all her heart. She never told him.'

Best wishes, Clive
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Anonymous:
This conversation is long over, but the information in it isn't entirely correct. Semicolons can be used with conjunctive adverbs (which are not standard conjunctions) to link two independent clauses.

A quick Internet search brought me to South Dakota State's recommended comments.

http://www.sdstate.edu/writingcenter/conjunctions_and_conjunctive_adv1.htm

I'm copying them below:

2. Conjunctive Adverbs (= Coordinating Adverbs):

Technically, conjunctive adverbs are not connecting words: they are transition words. As a result they can occur at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of either the second of the two clauses in a compound sentence or in the second of two related sentences. If they are used in a compound sentence, a semicolon is ordinarily used to connect the two clauses, although a colon, a dash, or a comma along with a coordinating conjunction are sometimes possible. Wherever they are found, coordinating conjunctions are set off from the sentence in which they are located by commas.
examples: meanwhile, henceforth, in addition, therefore, however, thus, otherwise, and several others
1. Danielle likes to make sugar cookies; however, she doesn't eat many of them.

2. Danielle likes to make sugar cookies; she doesn't, however, eat many of them.

3. Danielle likes to make sugar cookies; she doesn't eat many of them, however.
Unfortunately they don't answer my question.... is "whereas" as coordinating conjunction or not... hmm...
--CH
This link gives good examples of punctuation and lists of connecting words
http://www.rscc.cc.tn.us/owl&writingcenter/OWL/Connect.html
It does have some advice on "whereas"

Avoid archaic transitional phrases, such as "hitherto," "whereof," "whereby," and "whereas."
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Anonymous:
Actually, both ways are gramatically correct. Whether you use a comma or semicolon is purely personal preference.
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