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Usually, an independent clause introduced by a coordinating conjunction is preceded by a comma. In formal prose, a semicolon may be used instead-either to effect a stronger separation between clauses or when the second independent clause has internal punctuation. Another option is to use a period instead of a semicolon.

However, it is apparently quite difficult to identify the sections which require a semicolon and the ones where a period would be necessary.

For instance, in the following sections, the usage of comma or colon seems inappropriate.

“Come here, Red Riding Hood. Take this cake and a bottle of wine to Grandmother, she is weak and ill, and they will do her good."

“Look at the pretty flowers, Red Riding Hood. Why don’t you look about you? I don’t believe you even hear the birds sing, you are just solemn as if you were going to school: everything else is so gay out here in the woods.”

“I’m sure Grannie would be pleased if I took her a bunch of fresh flowers. It is still quite early, I shall have plenty of time to pick them.”

Which of these sections require a semicolon and which of these require a period?

Kindly explain.

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Here's how I see it.

“Come here, Red Riding Hood. Take this cake and a bottle of wine to Grandmother, she is weak and ill, and they will do her good." I'd use a period. A semi-colon often seems seems needlessly fussy and academic, particularly in direct speech as here. I assume the person speaking is Red Riding Hood's mother, not some pedantic Oxford don. I would even suggest that a lot of ordinary people, such as Red Riding Hood's mother, never use semi-colons and indeed don't know what a semicolon is!

Look at the pretty flowers, Red Riding Hood. Why don’t you look about you? I don’t believe you even hear the birds sing, you are just solemn as if you were going to school: everything else is so gay out here in the woods.”

Same comment as above.

“I’m sure Grannie would be pleased if I took her a bunch of fresh flowers. It is still quite early, I shall have plenty of time to pick them.” Here, I'd prefer to say "It is still quite early, so I shall have plenty of time to pick them.”

Clive

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jhilly89Usually, an independent clause introduced by a coordinating conjunction is preceded by a comma. In formal prose, a semicolon may be used instead-either to effect a stronger separation between clauses or when the second independent clause has internal punctuation. Another option is to use a period instead of a semicolon.

This is written in a confusing way. Do you/they mean replace the comma with a semicolon or period and remove the conjunction or retain the conjunction? Neither seems generally correct. Also, assuming you are referring to the punctuation just after the italicised words, none of those involve a conjunction, so I don't see how this "rule" is relevant to your question.

jhilly89However, it is apparently quite difficult to identify the sections which require a semicolon and the ones where a period would be necessary.

A period is a stronger stop than the semicolon. Which to use can be a stylistic choice or matter of author's preference. There aren't really fixed rules to follow. The semicolon is a relatively "complicated" punctuation mark, which some people would never use in their life, nor know how to use.

(Cross-posted)