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Hello ! Emotion: smile

I am not very sure on how to use dash , colon , semicolon in a sentence . I hope you can help me ! I tried several website but still do not really understand and quite get the concept . I would be very happy if someone can explain to me! Emotion: big smile Thank you very much ! Thank you !
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Thank you so much ! The website helps a lot ! Hmmm ... but ... the site said that dash can be used to emphasize on a point . Can it be use on any point? Does it have to be a sentence or can it be just a phrase ?


E.g . But we managed to get out in time - I hoped . (acceptable?) <-- is this emphasizing on a point?

She just stood there, not moving - at all - not until we move . (What about this?) <-- a phrase ?
And .. and ! Colon and semi-colon . Is it apporiate to use in this way :


E.g . A few excellent ideas were thought out by our committee members: ashley with the idea on holding an open house; john with the idea on printing booklets; and jolin with the idea on giving a presentation.

Some website said that " ; and " cannot be used together, they have to be changed to " , and " , so I have to change it? And according to the website you suggested, it says that a semi-colon is used to separated sentence with commas . So the above sentence without commas is not acceptable?
Sorry to ask so many question ! Emotion: geeked And thanks a lot ! ^^ Emotion: big smile
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PleasecorrectmeThank you so much ! The website helps a lot ! Hmmm ... but ... the site said that dash can be used to emphasize on a point . Can it be use on any point? Does it have to be a sentence or can it be just a phrase ?

E.g . But we managed to get out in time - I hoped . (acceptable?) <-- is this emphasizing on a point? Acceptable - and indicating a pause for effect when spoken


She just stood there, not moving - at all - not until we move . (What about this?) <-- a phrase ? If written as: not moving at all - not until we moved, then it is fine.
I think the use of the dash to emphasize a point is better shown as: There are several things to be considered - correct spelling, correct grammar, correct usage.
And .. and ! Colon and semi-colon . Is it apporiate to use in this way :

E.g . A few excellent ideas were thought out by our committee members: Ashley with the idea on holding an open house; John with the idea on printing booklets; and Jolin with the idea on giving a presentation.

Some website said that " ; and " cannot be used together, they have to be changed to " , and " , so I have to change it? And according to the website you suggested, it says that a semi-colon is used to separated sentence with commas . So the above sentence without commas is not acceptable?
That sentence is fine. It could be either semi-colon or comma. I see no reason why you canot use "and" after a semi-colon.

Sorry to ask so many question ! And thanks a lot ! ^^

Hi,

Here are a few brief additional comments.

Dashes - Don't get into the habit of using them a lot, because they can sometimes lead to lazy punctuation and poor sentence stircture (eg Instead of taking the time to figure out how to make my meaning clear, I'll just use a dash here and let the reader figure out what I mean.)

Colons and semicolons - These should be used sparingly. When I teach them, some of my students write pages full of them. It always makes their writing seem very unnatural. There are often simple ways to word your writing to avoid the need for them.

Let me add that these are my subjective views. Other people may offer you different opinions on this topic.

Best wishes, Clive
Thanks Feebs and Clive! Emotion: big smile

Some last question ! Hoho !

Does using too much Colons and semicolons make writing seem very unnatural? Then how can I use or learn to use these punctuation marks naturally ? ( Including other punctuation marks )

How to improve essay writing? I am still trying to find interesting & different sentence structures to make the essay look different from others . Where do you suggest I look them up at? How about formal letter writing ?

Haha! Thank you so much for answering sooo.. many questions! I am really very grateful ! Thanks a lot ! Emotion: embarrassed

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Pleasecorrectme
Does using too much Colons and semicolons make writing seem very unnatural? Then how can I use or learn to use these punctuation marks naturally ? ( Including other punctuation marks )

Hello PCM,

The key to your question is "too much." Too much of anything is unnatural. Even ice cream. (Although, happily, I haven't found that point yet when it comes to ice cream.)

Colons are really not often used. Your example is a good one. Use them before a list. Until you have written a great deal, don't try to insert them into running text (standard prose).

The comment about not using "and" and a semicolon refers to using the semicolon to seperate two complete thoughts; and so, you would not use it like this. (That was an example of incorrect useage.)

One way to use a semicolon is back to the idea of lists. If items within the list have commas within them, then use the semicolon to seperate each item. You will have a semicolon and an "and" in the list that way. We visited several cites: Portland, ME; Boston, MA; Providence, RI; and Hartord, CT.
Hi PCM,

As a very general comment, and although it's an obvious kind of suggestion, I think the key is to read as much as you can.

Best wishes, Clive
Oh! Thank you !
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