English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Here is a line of text from Willa Cather’s My Ántonia.

There was only—spring itself; the throb of it, the light restlessness...

I wish to end the quote at the semicolon. Eg:

"There was only—spring itself;..." Jim says (Ln 5).

Is this correct?

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by MετάEd, tchrist, Kristina Lopez, Andrew Leach, kiamlaluno Feb 1 '13 at 16:45

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Why do you need the semicolon? Why not stop at the f? – Jim Feb 1 '13 at 5:02
up vote 3 down vote accepted

In that example, the semicolon exists only to separate two clauses. Since you're leaving out the rest of the sentence, there is nothing to separate. It serves no purpose and can safely be omitted.

"There was only—spring itself..." Jim says (Ln 5).

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.