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 the following style before, where the second part acts like a regular sentence with the first word capitalised:

When dinosaurs agree on something, they often high-five one another; Dinosaurs are all about high-fives.

I can see the reasoning: the semicolon is bridging two sentences. Which one, if any, is correct? Is it simply a style issue?

  • 3
    May I see an example real-world usage of the second case? I don't remember running across it in the wild before.
    – mmyers
    Commented Sep 4, 2010 at 4:33
  • 1
    @mmyers: I've seen semicolon plus capital letter bazillions of times.
    – delete
    Commented Sep 4, 2010 at 14:04

2 Answers 2


As you say yourself, the semicolon is bridging the gap between two sentences; they become one.

Wikipedia is exceptionally succinct on this:

English usage

Semicolons are followed by a lower case letter, unless that letter is the first letter of a proper noun.

  • I don't understand: Does this answer the question? Are you saying both the sentences in the OP are acceptable? How? Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 15:14
  • @HeWhoMustBeNamed The answer is saying that since the two sentences are joined into one, get rid of the second capital letter unless it just so happens to belong to a proper noun. In OP's example, 'dinosaurs' is a common noun, so according to this answer (and the cited Wikipedia page), only the lowercase version is correct. Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 5:35

The Chicago Manual of Style (6.57 - 6.62) uses a small letter after the semicolon, e.g.

Mildred intends to go to Europe; her plans, however, are still quite vague.

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