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I'm wondering whether I have correctly used the semi colon in the sentence below.

This would bring many benefits; namely a vast amount of prestige, which would help attract more clients, large IPO fees and the likelihood of securing more deals within Saudi Arabia.

I would appreciate any help,

Jack

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I believe a semicolon may not be used here, considering semicolons are used to separate two independent clauses, list items with commas, and to follow quotes; "this would bring many benefits" is an independent clause, but the clause that follows is independent. A comma would work.

This would bring many benefits; namely a vast amount of prestige, which would help attract more clients, large IPO fees and the likelihood of securing more deals within Saudi Arabia.

This would bring many benefits, namely, a vast amount of prestige, which would help attract more clients; large IPO fees; and the likelihood of securing more deals within Saudi Arabia.

This may work; however, I believe the sentence can be condensed:

This would bring many benefits: a vast amount of prestige, which would help attract more clients; large IPO fees; and the likelihood of securing more deals within Saudia Arabia.

Semicolons are used in the list (marked with bold), because of the comma in "a vast amount of prestige, which would help attract more clients."

  • No problem! Once upon a time, I really hated semicolons. – Crocko Nov 24 '16 at 11:56
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@crocko is correct in saying that your use of the semicolon is incorrect (it is not separating two independent clauses not joined by a conjunction -- what follows your semicolon is not an independent clause), in using semicolons to separate items on a list when one or more of the items has one or more commas, and in condensing your sentence.

The correct punctuation mark is the colon, which is used after an independent clause to introduce a list of particulars [see, e.g., Strunk and White, or google colon]:

This would bring many benefits: a vast amount of prestige, which would help attract more clients; large IPO fees; and the likelihood of securing more deals within Saudi Arabia.

The items on the list are particulars of benefits.

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