Expressive Punctuation: Semicolons

Basic semicolon examples

Action; feeling one way, and another.

This snippet uses a semicolon to show how a person can have contradictory feelings about an event.

We tripped and fumbled; scared to leave something behind, scared we might be left behind.

Desert DawnWaris DirieSource

Notice how the there are two clauses after the semicolon. What’s that about?

scared to leave something behind, scared we might be left behind.

The two clauses are equal opposites. As these characters are tripping and stumbling, they are both afraid of losing their belongings, and of being left behind because they are too busy trying to carry their stuff.

We staggered around the field; longing to win, longing to rest.

I painted my room completely black; convinced it was the best thing ever, convinced my parents were going to kill me.

My mother dragged me into the car by my hair; furious that I was arguing with her, even more furious that I was right.

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