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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline Key Member
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    Default the ecosystem changes dramatically; in the absence

    Is the semicolon in the underlined for paraphrasing of the former part "the ecosystem changes dramatically"?
    Can this semicolon be replaced by a colon?
    There's many usages of semicolon, and I'd like to practice and apply it in writing.

    mo3-34ex) Some species seem to have a stronger influence than others on their ecosystem. Take away the sea stars along the northwest coast of the United States, for instance, and the ecosystem changes dramatically; in the absence of these sea stars, their favorite prey, mussels, takes over and makes it hard for other species that used to live there. Sea stars are known as keystone species, because as top predators they determine ecosystem structure by their eating habits.

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: the ecosystem changes dramatically; in the absence

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Is the semicolon in the underlined for paraphrasing of the former part "the ecosystem changes dramatically"?
    Can this semicolon be replaced by a colon?
    There's many usages of semicolon, and I'd like to practice and apply it in writing.

    mo3-34ex) Some species seem to have a stronger influence than others on their ecosystem. Take away the sea stars along the northwest coast of the United States, for instance, [U]and the ecosystem changes dramatically. Here's how: in the absence of these sea stars, their favorite prey, mussels, takes over and makes it hard for other species that used to live there. Sea stars are known as keystone species, because as top predators they determine ecosystem structure by their eating habits.
    I prefer the semi-colon, because (in this case) it implies 'Here's how:'. More generally, a semi-colon says 'I'm going to pursue the ideas contained in that sentence'. ' You could use a colon, and some people do. But I feel a simple colon requires a more exhaustive listing of all the environmental changes.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 20-Aug-2012 at 11:26. Reason: Fix typo

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: the ecosystem changes dramatically; in the absence

    I wouldn't use a colon either.

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