Colons and Semicolons in Night—answer key colon ( : )—



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Colons and Semicolons in Night—ANSWER KEY
Colon ( : )—comes after a complete sentence to introduce:

-a list

-a definition or explanation

-a result

-additional information/detail

-answer a question

-emphasize a point



Semicolon ( ; )—used to connect two complete sentences that express:

-parallel ideas

-similar ideas

-continuous thought

-juxtaposition (comparison/contrast)



N.B. a semicolon performs the same function as a period, but helps connect separate ideas.
How to tell if something is a complete sentence: read it out loud. Listen for the long pauses.

“We were to leave the train here there was a labor camp on site the conditions were good families would not be separated only the young would work in the factories the old and the sick would find work in the fields.” (27)



Examples:

Semicolon used to contrast:

“The train disappeared over the horizon; all that was left was thick, dirty smoke.” (6)


Colon used to explain:

“There could no longer be any doubt: Germany would be defeated.” (8)



Colon used to define:

“First edict: Jews were prohibited from leaving their residences for three days, under penalty of death.” (9)



N.B. there is a closer connection between the parts of a sentence connected by a colon, however, the two parts of the sentence are generally unequal in length or importance.
Practice:

  1. “The next day brought really disquieting news: German troops had penetrated Hungarian territory with the government’s approval.” (9)

  2. “The same day, the Hungarian police burst into every Jewish home in town: a Jew was henceforth forbidden to own gold, jewelry, or any valuable.” (10-11)

  3. “Some prominent members of the community came to consult with my father, who had connections at the upper levels of the Hungarian police; they wanted to know what he thought of the situation.” (11)

  4. “In fact, we felt this was not a bad thing; we were entirely among ourselves.” (11)

  5. “The ghetto was ruled by neither German nor Jew; it was ruled by delusion.” (12)

  6. “The street resembled fairgrounds deserted in haste. There was a little of everything: suitcases, briefcases, bags, knives, dishes, banknotes, papers, faded portraits.” (17)

  7. “Good news: we were not leaving town today; we were only moving to the small ghetto.” (18)

  8. “I looked at my little sister, Tzipora, her blond hair neatly combed, her red coat over her arm: a little girl of seven. On her back a bag too heavy for her. She was clenching her teeth; she already knew it was useless to complain.” (19)

  9. “People’s morale was so bad: we were beginning to get used to the situation.” (20)

  10. “There no longer was any distinction between rich and poor, notables and others; we were all people condemned to the same fate.” (21)

  11. “One person was placed in charge of every car: if someone managed to escape, that person would be shot.” (22)

  12. “They were all smiles; all things considered, it had gone very smoothly.” (22)

  13. “Through the windows, we saw barbed wire; we understood that this was the camp.” (28)

  14. “There was no time to think, and I already felt my father’s hand pressed against mine: we were alone. In a fraction of a second I could see my mother, my sisters, move to the right. Tzipora was holding Mother’s hand. I saw them walking farther and farther away; Mother was stroking my sister’s blond hair, as if to protect her.” (29)

  15. “He looked like the typical SS officer: a cruel, though not unintelligent, face, complete with monocle.” (31)

  16. “Still, I told him that I could not believe that human beings were burned in our times; the world would never tolerate such crimes…” (33)

  17. “For us it meant true equality: nakedness.” (35)

  18. “My head was buzzing; the same thought surfacing over and over: not to be separated from my father.” (35)

  19. “I woke: I was standing, my feet in the mud.” (38)

  20. “The word ‘chimney’ here was not an abstraction; it floated in the air, mingled with the smoke.” (39)

  21. “The camp’s food had agreed with him; he could hardly move, he was so fat.” (48)

  22. “He liked my shoes; I would not let him have them.”

  23. “On the other hand, the dentist seemed more conscientious: he asked me to open my mouth wide.” (48)

  24. “He complained that they would not let him play Beethoven; Jews were not allowed to play German music.” (49)

  25. “We did not speak: she did not know German and I did not understand French.” (52)

  26. “I found another answer: my crown had been listed in the register during the medical checkup; this could mean trouble for us both.” (55)

  27. “The SS surrounding us, machine guns aimed at us: the usual ritual.” (64)

  28. “I had but one thought: not to have my number taken down and not to show my left arm.” (72)

  29. “The race seemed endless; I felt as though I had been running for years.” (72)

  30. “My father had a present for me: a half ration of bread, battered for something he had found at the depot, a piece of rubber that could be used to repair a shoe.” (73)


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