Could you explain why the English language needs phrases and clauses?
Of course! Phrases add extra description to sentences. Clauses can act as their own sentences,
or they can answer the, "who, what, when, where, or why" to a sentence.
What about colons and semicolons?
Colons connect an independent clause to either another independent clause, or a dependent clause. The second clause adds illustration or explanation to the first clause.
If two independent clauses are related, a semicolon is used, rather than starting a whole new sentence
Wait, how is a dependent clause "dependent" on an independent clause?
Dependent clauses cannot stand on their own as a sentence, because they aren't complete thoughts. They need to be attached to an independent clause to make a complete sentence.
What about subordinating conjunctions? When do I use those?
Well, Toby, subordinating conjunctions are used to separate a dependent clause after a comma. They always indicate a setting or a cause and effect relationship.
Going back to semicolons and colons, I should use them in place of a period between two related thoughts, right? Would saying, "my sister is a senior in high school; she's going to a college near home", be right?
Yes! That is correct for semicolons, but colons are used to connect an independent clause to a clause that describes that independent clause. For example, "we need the following ingredients for the cake: sugar, flour, cocoa, butter, etc."
Thank you for helping me, because I was really confused!
She wasn't here today, but usually I would.
Unless you have a mouth emergency, i'll see you in 6 months! Go out the door, and the lobby is on the left!