• You are right; I'm sorry.
  • You are right, I'm sorry.

Do we use the semicolon or comma? A full stop works. Two independent clauses so perhaps the semicolon should be used.

  • All are acceptable, though the meaning may be subtly different in each case. – Kris Dec 14 '13 at 7:09
  • Is the second a comma splice? – Student Dec 14 '13 at 7:14
  • Not if that's meant. It could mean You are right that I am sorry. (Apparently, not what you meant). – Kris Dec 14 '13 at 7:17
  • 1
    It's probably more common to omit the "I'm" in the written version of the exclamative: "You are right. Sorry. / Apologies." – Edwin Ashworth Dec 14 '13 at 8:35
  • Using a comma instead of a semicolon is nowhere near the crime that is using a hyphen instead of a dash. – RegDwigнt Dec 15 '13 at 23:11

You are right; the semicolon should be deployed here. I don't like the comma splice, although some will argue that it is harmless and conventional in short informal English constructions like your example. A semicolon would be pedantic when the first "sentence" is reduced to one word: "Yes, it is" or "Thanks, I will". For two words, I prefer a semicolon. A hard case would be when the two words are so familiar as to be virtually one: "Thank you; I will" or ""Thank you, I will"? The pedant in me would prefer the former but not be offended by the latter.

protected by tchrist Sep 2 '15 at 21:39

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