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Use Semi-Colons Correctly 3

In this worksheet, students practise using semi-colons to take the place of conjunctions.

'Use Semi-Colons Correctly 3' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   English

Curriculum subtopic:   Punctuation: Colons, Semicolons & Apostrophes

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

A semi-colon can be used to join two clauses instead of a conjunction.

for example:

I love ice cream because it's so cool on a hot day.

I love ice cream; it's so cool on a hot day.

 

Both these sentences are correct, but using a semi-colon adds variety to writing and makes it more interesting. In a way, the reader understands the word 'because' in the sentence even though it is not actually there.

 

Note that it is not correct to use a comma to join two clauses in this way. This is a very common mistake.

I love ice cream, it's so cool on a hot day. (wrong)

 

A semi-colon should only be used if the sections on both sides make sense in their own right. 'I love ice cream' and 'It's so cool on a hot day' can both stand as independent sentences.

 

If the second part of the sentence adds information to the first part but could not stand on its own as a sentence, then a colon should be used instead.

There is only one flavour of ice cream worth eating: strawberry.

Replace the conjunction in this sentence with a semi-colon.

 

Peter looked in the garden while I searched in the house.

Replace the conjunction in this sentence with a semi-colon.

 

My friend likes cats but I prefer dogs.

Replace the conjunction in this sentence with a semi-colon.

 

It's getting late so you ought to go to bed.

The following sentence uses a semi-colon to replace a conjunction. Tick the conjunction that is implied even though it isn't there.

 

We should have an early night; we have to get up before dawn tomorrow.

and

so

because

while

The following sentence uses a semi-colon to replace a conjunction. Tick the conjunction that is implied even though it isn't there.

 

I liked all the places we visited; my favourite was Edinburgh.

so

but

because

whereas

The following sentence uses a semi-colon to replace a conjunction. Tick the conjunction that is implied even though it isn't there.

 

I did my homework; my brother watched TV.

because

while

since

so

Rewrite the following sentence, replacing the comma with either a colon or a semi-colon.

 

There's only one thing I hate more than peas, sprouts.

Rewrite the following sentence, replacing the comma with either a colon or a semi-colon.

 

We're going to France on holiday, my best friend Julia is going to Brighton.

In the following paragraph one sentence contains a comma where there should be a semi-colon. Rewrite the sentence correctly.

 

The day turned cold and dark. Black clouds started gathering on the horizon, slowly blotting out the sun. Jamie shivered, he felt frightened although he didn't know why. Fat raindrops began to fall on the hot, dusty road. Jamie held his jacket over his head and began to run.

Now do the same with this paragraph.

 

Martina loved the circus. The jugglers were so clever, throwing up so many balls and never dropping any of them, while the clowns made her cry with laughter. However, her favourites were the trapeze artists. She held her breath all the time she watched them, but they never fell. When it was all over Martina felt like crying, she knew it would be a long time before she saw anything like that again.

  • Question 1

Replace the conjunction in this sentence with a semi-colon.

 

Peter looked in the garden while I searched in the house.

CORRECT ANSWER
Peter looked in the garden; I searched in the house.
EDDIE SAYS
Great effort! You need to identify the conjunction in the sentence and then replace it with a semi colon. The conjunction \'whilst\' should be replaced with a semi colon. Remember to use a semi colon both sentences should make sense on their own.
  • Question 2

Replace the conjunction in this sentence with a semi-colon.

 

My friend likes cats but I prefer dogs.

CORRECT ANSWER
My friend likes cats; I prefer dogs.
EDDIE SAYS
Good job! The conjunction \'but\' should be replaced with a semi-colon. Keep it up!
  • Question 3

Replace the conjunction in this sentence with a semi-colon.

 

It's getting late so you ought to go to bed.

CORRECT ANSWER
It's getting late; you ought to go to bed.
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get this one? You can tell where the semi-colon needs to go by reading through the sentence and deciding at which point the sentence could be split to make two separate sentences. \'It\'s getting late.\' and \'You ought to go home.\' Make sense on their own.
  • Question 4

The following sentence uses a semi-colon to replace a conjunction. Tick the conjunction that is implied even though it isn't there.

 

We should have an early night; we have to get up before dawn tomorrow.

CORRECT ANSWER
because
EDDIE SAYS
Well done for having a go! \'Because\' is the correct conjunction to use as we are giving a reason for something happening. You got this!
  • Question 5

The following sentence uses a semi-colon to replace a conjunction. Tick the conjunction that is implied even though it isn't there.

 

I liked all the places we visited; my favourite was Edinburgh.

CORRECT ANSWER
but
EDDIE SAYS
Super work! \'But\' is the correct conjunction to use as it proposes another option.
  • Question 6

The following sentence uses a semi-colon to replace a conjunction. Tick the conjunction that is implied even though it isn't there.

 

I did my homework; my brother watched TV.

CORRECT ANSWER
while
EDDIE SAYS
Keep it up! \'While\' is the correct conjunction to use as it shows the timing of events.
  • Question 7

Rewrite the following sentence, replacing the comma with either a colon or a semi-colon.

 

There's only one thing I hate more than peas, sprouts.

CORRECT ANSWER
There's only one thing I hate more than peas: sprouts.
EDDIE SAYS
Great effort! This sentence needs a colon because the second part cannot stand alone as a sentence. Remember you only use a semi-colon if both parts can be stand alone sentences.
  • Question 8

Rewrite the following sentence, replacing the comma with either a colon or a semi-colon.

 

We're going to France on holiday, my best friend Julia is going to Brighton.

CORRECT ANSWER
We're going to France on holiday; my best friend Julia is going to Brighton.
EDDIE SAYS
Keep it up! This sentence needs a semi-colon because both parts can stand alone. The semi-colon balances the two parts of the sentence and the conjunction \'but\' is understood.
  • Question 9

In the following paragraph one sentence contains a comma where there should be a semi-colon. Rewrite the sentence correctly.

 

The day turned cold and dark. Black clouds started gathering on the horizon, slowly blotting out the sun. Jamie shivered, he felt frightened although he didn't know why. Fat raindrops began to fall on the hot, dusty road. Jamie held his jacket over his head and began to run.

CORRECT ANSWER
Jamie shivered; he felt frightened although he didn't know why.
EDDIE SAYS
This sentence needs to use a semi-colon as both parts make sense on their own. In the other sentences that use commas the second part of the sentence relies on the first to make sense. You got this keep going!
  • Question 10

Now do the same with this paragraph.

 

Martina loved the circus. The jugglers were so clever, throwing up so many balls and never dropping any of them, while the clowns made her cry with laughter. However, her favourites were the trapeze artists. She held her breath all the time she watched them, but they never fell. When it was all over Martina felt like crying, she knew it would be a long time before she saw anything like that again.

CORRECT ANSWER
When it was over Martina felt like crying; she knew it would be a long time before she saw anything like that again.
EDDIE SAYS
Super effort! This sentence can use a semi-colon as again both parts make sense on their own.
---- OR ----

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