There were extra hot dogs. This is where I have a role to play; to help eat leftovers.

closed as unclear what you're asking by NVZ, Helmar, Chenmunka, tchrist Sep 9 '16 at 14:19

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • First, please phrase this as an actual question. Secondly, I'd much prefer an em dash: "This is where I have a role to play—to help eat leftovers. – arbitrarystringofletters Sep 8 '16 at 17:44
  • 2
    Taking my cue from To sleep, perchance to dream, I think I might prefer a comma. But it seems to me whereas a dash or colon are "valid", what follows a semicolon should normally be capable of standing as a sentence on its own. – FumbleFingers Sep 8 '16 at 17:51

Yes, semicolons should separate complete clauses, if a period is too strong of a separation; use it rarely (more rarely than I am; adverbial phrases are preferred). Your sentence deserves a colon, since the final phrase is an example of your role to play; it might have been a list.

  • I appreciate your advice; it will help! – Chris Sep 8 '16 at 17:57
  • 1
    Ah, behold the driveby downvoter, a plague upon this site. My guess is that the vote reflects the fact that your answer is unsupported. Certainly, the first clause (about semicolons) is correct per many style manuals. I'd guess that the clause about colons isn't. – deadrat Sep 8 '16 at 19:13

The correct usage of a semicolon is to separate to related independent clauses.

There were extra hot dogs. This is where I have a role to play; I help eat leftovers.

Or, if you still want to have a dependent clause at the end, use a colon instead.

There were extra hot dogs. This is where I have a role to play: help eat leftovers.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.