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Colon and Semicolon Review

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Colon and Semicolon Review Answer Key

1. 
Fill in the blanks in the passage below with the correct punctuation.

“Jane, be still; don't struggle so like a wild, frantic bird, that is rending its own plumage in its desperation." - Jane Eyre
2. 
"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.” - Jane Eyre

In the quote above, how does the author use semicolons?
  • Sample answer: The author uses semicolons to connect two independent clauses, as well as clauses with a coordinating conjunction.
3. 
“Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.” - G.K. Chesterton

In the quote above, the author could replace the semicolon with a colon without significantly changing the meaning.
  1. True
  2. False
4. 
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” - Henry James

In the passage above, do you think the author correctly uses a semicolon? Explain. If you think it's used incorrectly, rewrite the sentence the way you would correctly write it.
  • Sample answer: I do not think the author correctly uses a semicolon because he does not correctly join two independent clauses or separate items in a series. Instead, I think it should be written as "Summer afternoon... summer afternoon -- to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."
5. 
“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.” - Anne Frank

In the quote above, does the author correctly use a semicolon? Explain.
  • Sample answer: Yes, Anne Frank correctly uses a semicolon to connect two independent, but related, clauses.
6. 
"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." - C.S. Lewis

In the quote above, how does the author use a colon?
  1. To put emphasis on a key idea
  2. To begin a list
  3. To set off an introductory element
  4. To combine closely related independent clauses
7. 
Fill in the blanks in the passage below with the correct punctuation. Hint: a semicolon is used twice and a colon is used once.

"I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who's ever lived: I've loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough."
8. 
“By my soul, I can neither eat, drink, nor sleep; nor, what's still worse, love any woman in the world but her.” - Clarissa

In the quote above, the semicolon is used to:
  1. Connect two independent clauses
  2. Connect clauses with a coordinating conjunction
  3. Separate elements in a series
  4. None of the above
9. 
"You know what I am going to say. I love you. What other men may mean when they use that expression, I cannot tell; what I mean is, that I am under the influence of some tremendous attraction which I have resisted in vain, and which overmasters me." - Our Mutual Friend

In the quote above, how does the author use a semicolon?
  • Sample answer: The author uses a semicolon to connect two independent, but related clauses, which helps clarify what he is saying.
10. 
“It is better to love wisely, no doubt: but to love foolishly is better than not to be able to love at all.” - Vanity Fair

In the quote above, why do you think the author chose a colon over a semicolon?
  • Sample answer: The author most likely chose a colon over a semicolon because the two ideas of loving are directly connected. The author wanted to further clarify the point, rather than just show they were related.

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