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I have a question regarding the correct use of semicolon. I know that we use semicolon to separate two independent clauses with no conjunctions. However, I have a problem with separating the following run-on sentence:

She found the house once she didn't think she could find it again.

I can think of two ways to correct the sentence:

  1. She found the house. Once she didn't think she could find it again.
  2. She found the house once. She didn't think she could find it again.

I think that the first sounds more natural because I couldn't find any reason to put a period after once. However, my English professor said that the answer is the second one. Right now I am confused as to which one is correct.

I would be glad if you guys could tell me which one is better.

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    Few native English speakers will doubt that sentence 2 conveys the likely meaning. While sentence 1 is grammatical, the scenario is much less likely. – Ronald Sole Sep 11 '20 at 13:15
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The original is a fused sentence and is ambiguous.

  1. She found the house. Once she didn't think she could find it again.

  2. She found the house once. She didn't think she could find it again.

Both of the above interpretations are grammatical.

In 1), 'once' takes the meaning of 'once upon a time'. If you prefer this interpretation, I suggest a slight change to the original sentence:

'She found the house that she once didn't think she could find again.'

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