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Use of Semicolon, Colon, Apostrophe, and Ellipses

In content writing, grammar is a crucial point. Even a minor grammatical error can ruin the written piece and its validity. And the thing people often make mistakes with is punctuations. We all know how to use a period (.) and a comma (,) but, we often stumble with the other ones. Some of these are semicolons, colons, apostrophes, and ellipses. 


A semicolon (;) has a comma and a period. It falls between the spectrum of a comma and a period. We use semicolons when we want something more prominent than a comma but less final than a period. Now, where to use it, you ask? 

It can be used to connect two independent clauses. An independent clause forms a complete sentence with subject and predicate. So, to use a semicolon, you must have two complete sentences, which are connected sensibly. For example, 

I like rice; she does not.

It was raining; she didn't go out.

Here, the sentences joined are both independent. 

Semicolons are also used to list things. For example, 

The color combinations I like for my dress are red and black; blue and white; or pink and black. 

Note: We should not use a capital letter after a semicolon unless it's a proper noun. 


A colon is relatively easier to use than a semicolon. It is made by two periods stacked upon each other, and it emphasizes the text that comes after the colon. 

1. It introduces a list or text. For example,

 We have two choices: do or die.

There are two types of roots: taproot and fibrous root.

Note: A colon should not be placed between noun and verb or preposition and its object. For example, 

The two types of roots are: taproot and fibrous-root.

The above statement is wrong as the colon is inserted between a verb and its object.


An apostrophe (‘) is often used to show possessions. They also have other uses. 

They shorten the verbs and models when attached to the other words. For example, is not becomes isn’t. I have becomes I’ve. 

This shortening is also frequently used in prose and poetry. For example, something = somethin’. Ever = e’er.

We all know the use of the apostrophe to show possession. Apostrophes are used differently when it’s a joint possession or when we talk about the separate possession of two people. For example, 

Siya and Rimmy’s home. 

Siya’s and Rimmy’s home.

In 1st sentence, because of apostrophes, we know that Siya and Rimmy live in the same house. On the contrary, in the 2nd sentence, we can deduce that they both live in a separate home. 


Ellipses are the three dots at the end of the sentences. People often go overboard with them, which might be the wrong thing to do. 

We can use ellipses to show a pause in a sentence. For example,

“Do you think we should…talk to them?”

It omits some text when we are quoting something and do not want to write the whole paragraph. It is often used in literary essays. 

I hope this article helped you with the use of semicolons, colons, apostrophes, and ellipses. 

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Manik Chaturmutha