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Helpful Hints from Proofing Plus

Articles of Interest | Comma Use | Colon vs. Semicolon | More to Come...
 

 
articles of interest

comma use
Use the serial, or Oxford, comma to separate the final two items in a list: I would like a hot dog, chips, and a drink for lunch. However, use the semicolon in place of the comma to separate items in a list when one or more of the items contain commas: I would like a hot dog with mustard, ketchup, and relish; chips; and a drink for lunch.

Commas are always used to set off certain adverbs: however, in fact, therefore, nevertheless, moreover, furthermore, still, instead, too.

colon vs. semicolon
Use the colon after a complete sentence introducing a list of items when introductory phrasing, such as namely or for example, do not appear. Use the semicolon before the phrasing when it does.

Use a semicolon in place of a period to separate two complete ideas without a conjunction: Come back later; we serve lunch after 12:30. Use a colon instead of a semicolon when the second idea clarifies the first: I enjoy sandwiches: paninis are my favorites.
 

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