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Colon or semicolon when because is omitted from a sentence e.g.,

I am sorry I disturbed you (;) (:) (because) it looked like you were having a lot of fun there.

Because explains and clarifies a preceding clause so would it be correct to use a colon preceding the explanatory clause if because is omitted?

Alternatively, because can be replaced by for, which is a coordinating conjunction and would correctly be punctuated with a semicolon.

I am sorry I disturbed you, for it looked like you were having a lot of fun there.

I am sorry I disturbed you; it looked like you were having a lot of fun there.

For is of course reasonably archaic but is useful sometimes for grammatical clarity.

And if anyone wants to comment on the that omission and comma replacement, I'd be very happy.

I am sorry (that)(,) I disturbed you because it looked like you were having a lot of fun there.

2

There's a lot here.

Okay...

For your first question, a semicolon is best fitting. Using a colon makes for a much more rigid construction and wholly levies blame onto yourself for the change in the recipient's mood. The semicolon allows a looser connection between the decline in the mood of the recipient and the actions you took to (potentially) induce unhappiness. A colon forges a very solid link between two clauses.

You can't use a comma in your last sentence. That would create a comma splice as there are two main clauses either side of it. A semicolon would work here. You can omit "that" because we often cut out words that add no meaning to a sentence. "That" merely serves as a conjunction which sets up a clause that expresses some reason [for you being sorry].

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