Learning How To Use Semi-Colons

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Grade Level
High School
Length of Time
45 minutes

In this lesson, students will have a study sheet and a worksheet for them to do. They will learn how to use semi-colons in sentences.


To learn how to use semi-colons correctly.

Materials Needed

Study Guide that is included in this lesson.
Pencils and Erasers


First, you need to explain to the students about semi-colons. After they understand the concepts, you can give the study sheet and the worksheet for them to do. When they have completed the worksheet, you can also give them a test to make sure they can use semi-colons correctly.

Study Sheet On Semi-colons

Semi-colons are used in between two independent clauses when there is not a co-ordinating conjunction.

Example: Penny was frightened; she entered her apartment.

They are also used in between two independent clauses with a subordinate conjunction. One rule to remember is to never use a comma before the word because in a sentence.

Let's look at these examples.

1. We can go to the mall; however, the dishes need to be done.

2. Will you come with me to the hospital because I'm not feeling very good?

They are also used in a series if there are other internal punctuation marks such as commas.

Let's look at this example.

We ordered printer paper; two packages of good, quality paper, and two packages of cheaper paper; and pens; two packages of blue pens, two packages of red pens, and two packages of black pens.

Because there are commas separating the items purchased, then the semi-colons are placed within the sentence to separate the two purchases.

Worksheet on Semi-Colons

Directions: For these sentences, you need to insert the semi-colons in the correct places. If there are two sentences, combine them into one sentence using the correct punctuation or add words and punctuation. Some of them may be correct. If that's the case, write the word correct beside the number.

1. We can go shopping however the dishes need to be done first.

2. Jenny was excited about her new apartment. She was a little frightened when she saw her door open.

3. I like to watch television write my stories on the computer talk on the phone. However I get distracted at times.

4. Crissy Sadey and Cassie chase each other around the room because they like to have fun playing.

5. I need printer paper white and card stock pens blue and black and business cards.

6. I like to cook at home. I like to relax.

7. Let's turn on the air conditioner because it's hot inside.

8. We can watch television then we can get some supper.

9. It's time to go to school however we don't want to forget our book bags.

10. We like to go to the movies because we need time for ourselves.


You can grade them on using semi-colons correctly.

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