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Consolidate Understanding of Colons and Semicolons

In this worksheet, students will revise the functions of the colon and semicolon in order to use them effectively in their writing.

'Consolidate Understanding of Colons and Semicolons' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Year:  Year 9 English worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Writing

Curriculum subtopic:   Use Accurate Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

Popular topics:   Punctuation worksheets, Writing worksheets

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

Using semicolons and colons accurately can add different effects to your writing and demonstrate a sophisticated use of punctuation.


The semicolon (;) is a punctuation mark that is used in the following ways:

1. To separate two independent clauses in a compound sentence that are about similar themes. Here, it effectively replaces a conjunction in linking the two parts together.       

The town was in chaos; looters filled the streets.


2. To separate items in a list when the items are long phrases as opposed to single words.

I bought shiny, ripe applessmall, sweet, juicy grapesand firm pears.




The colon (:) is another punctuation mark which can enhance and improve your writing if used correctly. The common uses are as follows:


1. To introduce a quotation or list.

In Act 1, Scene 5, Romeo states"Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!/ For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night."'


Romeo and Juliet


The nightclub played many different types of music: rock, hip-hop, jazz, indie and even soul.


Note that a colon should only be used to introduce a list if the first part of the sentence makes sense on its own.

The nightclub played rock, hip-hop, jazz, indie and even soul.

In this example, a colon is not used because 'The nightclub played' does not make sense on its own.


2. To make a reader take notice of a point because it is on its own, or to reveal something to the reader.

We were all waiting for the hero of the eveningJohn.

The cat's fur was found in two roomsthe bedroom and the kitchen.

I know what's wrong with her: she's in love.




That was a lot of information to take in, so let's attempt ten questions to consolidate your knowledge!

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