[Grammar] Semicolon usage

Status
Not open for further replies.

LiteracyLover

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
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?
 

GoesStation

No Longer With Us
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
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.
 

LiteracyLover

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
Oh I see, thanks very much!! :)
 

GoesStation

No Longer With Us
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
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.
 

LiteracyLover

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
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!
 

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
"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.
 

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I need to tell you something. (verb)
I need you. (verb)

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

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
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.
 

GoesStation

No Longer With Us
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
"There is something about liking cats that begs to be shared; ​a [STRIKE]some[/STRIKE] 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.
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.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top