When to use Semicolon in a Sentence ielts writing tips ieltsxpress

When to use Semicolon in a Sentence?

When to use Semicolon in a Sentence in IELTS Writing?


Many people are confused on when to use semicolon in IELTS Writing? Grammar range and Accuracy is one of the important factors to achieve higher bands in IELTS exam. Here in this post, we have explained some rules when semicolon is necessary and when you can just skip it. When to use Semicolon in a Sentence ielts grammar tips ieltsxpress

A semicolon is used when a sentence is complete, yet needs extra information in it.

For e.g. the manager was loved by all his staff; many employees quit their job when he was fired.

The much-maligned semicolon is your friend. Alas, some people use them as commas or colons, with incomplete clauses, or as part of winky-face emojis. Their true purpose, however, is to lend clarity and elegance only to those sentences in which they are needed.

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• I like animals ; lions, tigers, and bears.
• As for the Mariners baseball team ; they lost again.
• I like coffee , I would like to make some right now.


A semicolon separates two related but independent clauses:

“I like coffee; I would like to make some right now.”

In a list preceded by a colon, a semicolon separates items that include commas:

“I like hot drinks: coffee, because it helps me focus; and tea, because it reminds me of living in Ireland.”

Also Check: Improve IELTS Writing skills by using Grammarly

You cannot join 2 independent clauses together with a comma. You must use a full stop, or you can use a semi-colon.

The government was voted in by the public, this is the best way to choose a government. = Incorrect
The government was voted in by the public; this is the best way to choose a government. = Correct

Semicolons (;) are sometimes used instead of full stops, in cases where sentences are grammatically independent but the meaning is closely connected.

  • Women’s conversation is cooperative; men’s is competitive.
  • Some people work best in the mornings; others do better in the evenings.
  • Some are born great; some achieve greatness; some have greatness thrust upon them.
  • The Hobbit was published in 1937; the first volume of The Lord of the Rings followed in 1954.

When to use Semicolon in a Sentence – MORE TO KNOW

When you have a coordinating conjunction between two clauses, you don’t need a semicolon.

“He likes the red car, but she likes the gray car.” However, this sentence needs a semicolon:

“He likes the red car; she likes the gray car.”

And unlike with some colons, never capitalize the word following a semicolon.


Should you use a semicolon in the following sentence?

I should have stopped by the store for coffee ———- I just didn’t bother.

Answer: The first clause is complete; a semicolon is necessary.

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