Use of the semicolon, the ";" symbol.

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35
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5answers
23k views

Should I use a semicolon or a dash to connect two closely related sentences?

When you want to connect two closely related sentences, you can use a semicolon or a dash. (You can also use a dash for other kinds of non-sentential relations). How would you choose whether to use a ...
26
votes
7answers
2k views

How does one correctly use a semicolon?

How does one correctly use a semicolon? It is probably one of the more difficult punctuation marks to master in my opinion.
23
votes
4answers
4k views

I thought blah blah blah, and I was right. Is the comma correct?

This sentence is bugging me: I knew going in that the orange flavor component of the cake was going to be lacking, and I was right. The comma doesn't seem to be enough, but the semicolon just ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Colons and semi-colons

I've seen a few questions on this site relating to semi-colons, which I believe I correctly understand, but what I'm not as clear about is colons. For example: The man ate the apple; it tasted ...
11
votes
6answers
7k views

Am I misusing the semicolon?

Is the semicolon in the following sentence misused? How can I miss you; we've never met? I feel that the sentence, to be grammatically correct, must be split into its individual parts.
11
votes
3answers
354 views

Does this sentence make proper use of the semicolon and colon?

I have the following sentence: Relationships once so convoluted and beyond me were now clear: Pain became love; betrayal, loyalty; nonchalance, care. What I'm trying to accomplish is list ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it proper usage to replace a comma in a list with a semi-colon in this situation (see details)?

While writing a proposal at work today I needed to mention a list of things and within that list were multi-part items. It seems like replacing the comma with a semi-colon in this situation would make ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How to punctuate lists that are nested to three levels?

A basic list is punctuated like this: The park has some bears, deers, and other animals. (bears) (deers) (other animals) When commas appear inside the items of a list, or when lists appear ...
7
votes
4answers
565 views

When and why did the em-dash and the hyphen supplant the semicolon?

It seems to me that semicolons are rarely used today in ordinary English writing - even in newspapers and books. They appear to have been replaced, in many cases, by em-dashes and hyphens (the hyphen ...
6
votes
5answers
28k views

Does the word after a question mark start with a capital letter?

Should I write it like this? Or perhaps like this? Should I write it like this? or perhaps like this? What about after an exclamation mark or semicolon?
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How does using a semicolon or a full stop change meaning?

Federal agencies and Wal-Mart are investigating the charges; C. J.’s Seafood did not respond to The Times’s request for comment. In this statement, what is the effect of semicolon in the meaning ...
6
votes
2answers
899 views

Should the second part of a semicolon-separated sentence be capitalised?

In another question this example of semicolon usage is given: When dinosaurs agree on something, they often high-five one another; dinosaurs are all about high-fives. However, I have also seen ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

When should you use a semicolon *with* a conjunction?

I know the basics of a semicolon—at least I think I do. Aside from delimiting verbose lists, it separates independent clauses of a sentence. So, if you have two independent clauses in a sentence, ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Should an ending semicolon be underlined?

Should the semicolon at the end of an underlined heading also be underlined?
6
votes
3answers
66k views

Use of a semicolon before and comma after “however”

Several years ago, a previous boss told me to use a semicolon and comma with the word "however". I've always questioned this and would like to know if the following random sentences are using the ...
5
votes
3answers
378 views

Is this correct usage of a semi-colon?

I always have problems with the use of semi-colons. Is the following proper usage? They are connected but also standalone sentences. I speak and write English fluently; as you can see from my CV, ...
5
votes
3answers
31k views

When should one use the comma versus the semicolon, and vice versa?

I cannot understand the difference between the comma and semicolon. Can you please clarify?
5
votes
2answers
182 views

Semicolon followed by an em-dash

I recently read "The Cask of Amontillado" for pleasure, and I found this passage: He had a weak point –this Fortunato –although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

“Don't worry, …”

"Don't worry, it won't hurt much." Is the comma the correct punctuation mark to use after "Don't worry"? This seems to be the norm, but I feel like there almost two sentences there and that ...
5
votes
2answers
576 views

Semicolon: Always required before conjunction if internal punctuation follows, even if no ambiguity?

Is the semicolon in the following sentence necessary? Is it preferable? To me, it seems that there would be no ambiguity if the semicolon were replaced with a comma, but the writer insists that a ...
5
votes
7answers
4k views

Em dash vs semicolon: which is more appropriate in the following examples?

I am very confused by these, and even when I understand other people's usage of them I find it difficult to know when to employ them myself. For this reason, I am trying to make my own examples and ...
4
votes
3answers
477 views

Is this a proper usage for a semicolon?

I enjoy kayaking, hiking, tennis, volleyball, skiing; and I really want to learn how to snowboard this winter.
4
votes
5answers
411 views

What's the right punctuation for the following list?

Many cases of animal suicide were discused. A duck drowned itself after the death of its companion. A school of dolphins stranded on a beach with no reason whatsoever. A deer threw itself from ...
4
votes
5answers
343 views

Should I use a semicolon or comma in these statements for greater impact?

I am struggling with the use of semicolons, commas, and periods in my writing of a specific passage of my personal statement. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. “What is the worst thing ...
4
votes
2answers
74 views

Punctuation of this: Their movements, quick and effortless; mine, lumbering and heavy

I'm not sure how to punctuate this: Their movements, quick and effortless; mine, lumbering and heavy. Maybe I got it right. Any thoughts?
3
votes
3answers
282 views

Should I reformat this sentence? [closed]

I kind of feel like the first comma in the sentence below should be a semi-colon. Does anything else in there read funny? As you’ll see in my enclosed resume, I have the educational background, ...
3
votes
5answers
11k views

Semicolons at the end of list items

In school, we were taught to end each list item with a semicolon. But I have never actually seen this. Can somebody please confirm this? Should we end each list item with anything at all? I've seen ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the rules on when to use commas, colons, semicolons and dashes?

What are the rules on when to use commas, colons, semicolons and dashes?
3
votes
4answers
282 views

Using the semicolon in my sentence

I am writing an essay and don't have a fundamental understanding in using semicolons, and in fact writing as well. My sentence is below: Group dynamics is the study of the processes and functions ...
3
votes
1answer
313 views

Any examples of where a full-stop can't replace a semi-colon?

By virtue of separating two closely related but separate thoughts, the semi-colon can generally be replaced by a full stop. I don't mean in the beauty and sound of it, but just grammatically. Can you ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Do I use a semicolon before 'and' in a complex list?

I am listing things in a sentence which includes commas between the internal parts. Do I finish with an 'and' at the end of it? For example: I arrange interviews through phone and film; ...
3
votes
1answer
404 views

Semicolon use: a quick question

Is the following sentence correct, and is its use of the semicolon correct? Note that the use of the word 'concurrency' is meant to indicate a computer science term. A host of design issues are ...
3
votes
3answers
368 views

Understanding independent clauses

My understanding is that semicolons are used to separate independent clauses of a sentence, and also to delimit a list wherein one or more members contain a comma. Regarding the first usage, my ...
3
votes
4answers
147 views

Pauses and Punctuation

My girlfriend and I were discussing the following sentence: "Curiosity and diversity were discouraged, at times, disciplined." I feel that there is clearly a larger pause with the first comma than ...
3
votes
1answer
672 views

Why ; is called semicolon and what is its history? [closed]

Semi- is a Latin prefix meaning "half" and colon is another punctuation. Should I therefore say that semicolon is a halved colon?
3
votes
1answer
316 views

Use semicolon or period when telling a result of an action?

If you look at these sentences, the second one is result of the first: Alex shouts and feels pain in his leg, and he rubs the place with hand and looks at the leg. His leg swelled little bit. So ...
3
votes
1answer
764 views

Semicolon as a super-comma preceding “etc.”

I was wondering which punctuation to use preceeding etc. in an enumeration with semicolons as supercommas (as formulated here: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon). People with dichromatic ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

punctuation if dash introduces question-sentences

He worried--why X; what will happen if Y? It seems that this construction expresses the idea best, but it creates a few punctuation questions. Should the first semicolon be question-mark? Is there ...
3
votes
1answer
36 views

Correct colon and semi-colon usage?

I thought of this while walking and wanted to write it down. I would like to know if I am using punctuation correctly in this sentence-- particularly the use of the colon and semi-colon. And please ...
3
votes
3answers
218 views

Use of semi-colons vs commas when listing items with colons

I have a list of classes (titles) which have colons as a part of the titles, in this list should I use commas or semi-colons to separate them? (there are no items which have commas internally to them) ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Should I use commas or semi-colons in this multi-item list within a sentence?

In the following sentence, I am listing multiple areas of study. Should they be separated by commas or semi-colons? "In my exposure to this field so far, I have come to appreciate just how ...
3
votes
0answers
47 views

Do I use semicolons to create a list where there are commas in the items? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it proper usage to replace a comma in a list with a semi-colon in this situation (see details)? When should one use the comma versus the semicolon, and vice versa? I ...
2
votes
2answers
613 views

Can “;” be used to replace the word “but”?

Are these two sentences both correct and equivalent? People say stuff like "all lawyers are liars", but it's not true. People say stuff like "all lawyers are liars"; it's not true. Is ...
2
votes
4answers
235 views

Does this semicolon work here?

Can a semicolon be used here? "Hello Justin; this is Rebecca." Or is it just a comma that should be placed there? Or do of them both work in a sentence?
2
votes
1answer
437 views

Should I use a comma or semicolon to separate these ideas?

I can no longer remember her face, too much time has passed. I can no longer remember her face; too much time has passed.
2
votes
2answers
270 views

Is this a correct use for semicolons?

Is this sentence punctuated correctly? Not only am I a wife, but a mother; not only a daughter, but a sister; not only a coworker, but a friend.
2
votes
3answers
116 views

Is this a proper use of a semicolon and the word “whom”?

PCAs are usually assigned to an individual with a physical, mental, behavioral, or emotional handicap; whom they work with throughout the year. Is this sentence grammatically correct? I know ...
2
votes
1answer
797 views

Is a single-word sentence like “No” an independent clause? And semicolons [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Comma or semicolon after “No” when responding to a question It started because of this: "No; I found the behavior off-putting." I believe "no", as an ...
2
votes
1answer
316 views

Question about sentence structure and semicolons

Suppose the following sentence: When the sun comes in the morning; the sky is blue. Are "When the sun comes in the morning" and "the sky is blue" two clauses of the sentence? So, is it correct to ...
2
votes
1answer
973 views

Can you use a semicolon after an interjection/exclamation?

The usual form for using interjections involves following them with a comma, period, or exclamation point. For example... "Well, I honestly have no idea." "Dude! Where's my car!" "Wow. I have ...