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Confused by the different usage of semicolon for a similar statement

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Confused by the different usage of semicolon for a similar statement  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2018, 03:35
1) While cleaning the room, I found a pen; this belonged to Joe. (incorrect)

2) King George is the ruler of the largest empire; its size as large as a continent. (correct)

After going through the details, I found that statement 1 is incorrect since "this" is ambigous, however statement 2 is considered correct.
Could someone shed some light please?
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New post 18 Aug 2018, 08:10
Hi 55555Raj,

"This" in the first sentence is ambiguous because "this" can refer to the room and/or the pen.

The semicolon (;) connects two closely related statements. Each statement must be able to stand alone as an independent sentence. It is fine to use the pronoun in the second part.
The second sentence misses the verb in "its size as large as a continent." Are you sure you that part is correct?
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Re: Confused by the different usage of semicolon for a similar statement  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2018, 08:36
1
I agree with the point made by Akela

"this" in statement 1 is ambiguous

You may like to go through the following:-

GMAT Sentence Correction: Semicolons [Source: Kaplan]

There are two absolutely central and simple rules for the use of the semicolon (“;”), and learning these will improve both your Sentence Correction skills and your writing in general — remember, in addition to getting lots of questions right on the GMAT, you will need to write actual sentences on your AWA, in your personal statement, and in your MBA classes! The rules for the use of the semicolon are:

1) When writing a list of things, and those listed things have commas themselves, separate the items in the list with semicolons.


Semicolons and Lists

The first is the simpler of the two. According to the first rule, the semicolon acts as a kind of “meta-comma,” a bigger divider separating the other dividers properly so that the reader can make sense of a list:

“Erika loves to travel and has visited many places: Iona, Scotland, Seattle, Washington, Beijing, China, and Calgary, Alberta.”

A less careful reader might think she’s visited eight different places rather than four; a careful reader will get it right, but may well become frustrated with the author. A semicolon makes it clearer:

“Erika loves to travel, and has visited many places: Iona, Scotland; Seattle, Washington; Beijing, China; and Calgary, Alberta.”

You might also see commas setting off modifying phrases within a list:

“Henrik couldn’t stand to eat certain foods: sushi, which made him jealous of people who lived near the sea; anything that came from sheep, such as lamb and mutton; and peaches, because the fuzz gave him the chills.”

It’s not important to remember any of the different reasons you might have commas within your list, though, as long as you remember to separate your list items (when you do have commas within them) with the “meta-comma,” the semicolon.

2) When joining two related independent clauses (“complete sentences”) into a single sentence, place a semicolon between them.

The second of the two semicolon uses requires a definition: the clause. In grammatical terms, a clause has a subject and a verb. Clauses are either independent or dependent; independent clauses can stand on their own as complete sentences ( . . . which is why they’re labeled “independent”), while dependent clauses cannot.


Hope it helps you!!

All the best!!
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Re: Confused by the different usage of semicolon for a similar statement  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2018, 18:45
Akela wrote:
Hi 55555Raj,

"This" in the first sentence is ambiguous because "this" can refer to the room and/or the pen.

The semicolon (;) connects two closely related statements. Each statement must be able to stand alone as an independent sentence. It is fine to use the pronoun in the second part.
The second sentence misses the verb in "its size as large as a continent." Are you sure you that part is correct?


Thank you Akela, yes the 2nd statement is correct according to e-gmat. I made a note of the sentence weeks back though, so can't exactly point out where from e-gmat.
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Re: Confused by the different usage of semicolon for a similar statement  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2018, 18:46
CAMANISHPARMAR wrote:
I agree with the point made by Akela

"this" in statement 1 is ambiguous

You may like to go through the following:-

GMAT Sentence Correction: Semicolons [Source: Kaplan]

There are two absolutely central and simple rules for the use of the semicolon (“;”), and learning these will improve both your Sentence Correction skills and your writing in general — remember, in addition to getting lots of questions right on the GMAT, you will need to write actual sentences on your AWA, in your personal statement, and in your MBA classes! The rules for the use of the semicolon are:

1) When writing a list of things, and those listed things have commas themselves, separate the items in the list with semicolons.


Semicolons and Lists

The first is the simpler of the two. According to the first rule, the semicolon acts as a kind of “meta-comma,” a bigger divider separating the other dividers properly so that the reader can make sense of a list:

“Erika loves to travel and has visited many places: Iona, Scotland, Seattle, Washington, Beijing, China, and Calgary, Alberta.”

A less careful reader might think she’s visited eight different places rather than four; a careful reader will get it right, but may well become frustrated with the author. A semicolon makes it clearer:

“Erika loves to travel, and has visited many places: Iona, Scotland; Seattle, Washington; Beijing, China; and Calgary, Alberta.”

You might also see commas setting off modifying phrases within a list:

“Henrik couldn’t stand to eat certain foods: sushi, which made him jealous of people who lived near the sea; anything that came from sheep, such as lamb and mutton; and peaches, because the fuzz gave him the chills.”

It’s not important to remember any of the different reasons you might have commas within your list, though, as long as you remember to separate your list items (when you do have commas within them) with the “meta-comma,” the semicolon.

2) When joining two related independent clauses (“complete sentences”) into a single sentence, place a semicolon between them.

The second of the two semicolon uses requires a definition: the clause. In grammatical terms, a clause has a subject and a verb. Clauses are either independent or dependent; independent clauses can stand on their own as complete sentences ( . . . which is why they’re labeled “independent”), while dependent clauses cannot.


Hope it helps you!!

All the best!!


This is very useful, thank you!
Re: Confused by the different usage of semicolon for a similar statement &nbs [#permalink] 18 Aug 2018, 18:46
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