When to use each?
A colon ( : ) is used to emphasize what follows after it. It generally introduces a list, a definition or a clarification, or additional details. An independent clause precedes a colon. The sentence after the colon can be a dependent or independent clause. For example:
The following are students who expressed interest in my class: Allan, Marie, Lucy, Fabian, Rosy
A semicolon ( ; ) is used to show that two sentences are related in some way. The sentences before and after the semi colon must be independent clauses. For example:
I like chocolate ice cream; I will go to the market and buy some today.
A hyphen ( – ) breaks words apart or joins them together. For example,
re-enter: asserts that one is entering somewhere again
eighty-eight: combines eighty and eight together