Year 7 Grammar – Year 7, Week 7: Colons and Semi-Colons

Year 7, Week 7: Colons and Semi-Colons

Colons can be used to join two sentences together when the second sentence explains something about the first sentence.

e.g.

  • Several people have been sent to hospital: they have all received life-threatening injuries.
  • Jordan had to go home: he had been voted out.

You can think of the colon as replacing the connective because if that helps you.

Semi-colons can also join two sentences. They need to be two equally important sentences that you feel you can connect together in some way.

I play football; I also play rugby.                                                        (and)

I play football; my brother plays rugby.                                             (whereas)

The teacher was already talking; I ran into the classroom.               (so)

You can think of the semi-colon replacing the connectives and, whereas and so if that helps you. Although a connective can be used in these examples, a semi-colon can make your writing more sophisticated and effective.

Capital letters after colons and semi-colons

In some forms of English, people use a capital letter after a colon or semi-colon and you may have seen this. You should only use a capital letter after a colon or a semi-colon if you would normally use a capital letter for it, even in the middle of a sentence e.g. a proper noun like ‘I’ or ‘David’.

Look at the two examples below:

I play football; I also play rugby.                    A capital letter would be needed anyway.

I play football; my brother plays rugby.         A capital letter is not needed.

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