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  1. #1
    LiteracyLover is offline Newbie
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    Semicolon usage

    Hello! I have a question about the following sentence - should a semicolon or a comma be used after "shared"?

    "There is something about liking cats that begs to be shared; some need to tell others that I, too, know the joy and mystery of caring for a feline."

    I understand that semicolons are used to join two independent clauses. The second part of the sentence doesn't look independent to me, because "some need to tell others..." can't stand on its own. But a semicolon feels right to me for some reason. Could someone please explain the correct grammar?

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Semicolon usage

    The second clause has an implied "people" after some. Add the missing word and I think you'll see that the second part can indeed be seen as an independent clause.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    LiteracyLover is offline Newbie
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    Re: Semicolon usage

    Oh I see, thanks very much!!

  4. #4
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Semicolon usage

    On re-reading the quote, though, I think the writer made a mistake. I see some as an adjective modifying the noun "need", so the second clause is dependent and a semicolon isn't justified.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. #5
    LiteracyLover is offline Newbie
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    Re: Semicolon usage

    Thank you for the clarification. I have been learning more about proper colon and semicolon usage and now realize that a colon would indeed be the proper punctation here. Thanks again!

  6. #6
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    Tarheel is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Semicolon usage

    Quote Originally Posted by LiteracyLover View Post

    "There is something about liking cats that begs to be shared. Some need to tell others that I, too, know the joy and mystery of caring for a feline."
    I disagree with GS on this one. The word "need" is not a noun there.

  7. #7
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Semicolon usage

    I need to tell you something. (verb)
    I need you. (verb)

    I have a need. (noun)
    I have needs. (noun)

  8. #8
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Semicolon usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I am with GS. 'Need' is a noun, though I'd call 'some' a determiner.

    There is something about liking cats that begs to be shared - and that something is some need to tell others ...
    That changes the sentence.

  9. #9
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Semicolon usage

    Quote Originally Posted by LiteracyLover View Post
    "There is something about liking cats that begs to be shared; ​a some need to tell others that I, too, know the joy and mystery of caring for a feline."
    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I disagree with GS on this one. The word "need" is not a noun there.
    Is it clearer if we change "some" to "a", as above? The writer is saying that the thing about liking cats that needs to be shared is a need to tell others about it.
    I am not a teacher.

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