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I am just wondering if I merge two sentences using a semicolon, then are they become one sentence or they are still two sentences but more closely connected?

For example, is the following sentence(s) count for one sentence?

He knows how important attending lectures is; however, he still missed today's lecture.

Edit

As some comments pointed out, the question seems kind of pointless without any context.

I am doing my logic course homework, which requires me to translate English into logical expression. We usually count each sentence as one premise or conclusion. I encountered one problem containing a semicolon so I am not sure whether I should divide them into two premises or just leave it as one.

I guess it's better to ask my professor.

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    As to your actual question, the answer depends on your definition of a sentence. Of which there are dozens. And you can easily come up with a dozen more. If you define a sentence as "anything beginning with a capital letter and ending in a period", then obviously your fragment is one sentence. If you define a sentence as "a syntactically complete thought", then your fragment is obviously two sentences. So the question becomes: why do you even care? What difference does it make? Let's say I tell you you have three and a half sentences there. Now what? – RegDwigнt Feb 1 '17 at 16:49
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    (Not trying to be dismissive or inflammatory, by the way. Quite the opposite. It feels like you are withholding from us the actual question or problem that you are faced with. So please do elaborate.) – RegDwigнt Feb 1 '17 at 16:53
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    @JayWong Definitely a question for the professor, as a sentence will be defined logically, not grammatically. – Hank Feb 1 '17 at 17:17
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    Semicolons are a full stop mark. They have the same intonation curve as the period, and they go after a complete clause. Or sentence. Certainly that's common in writing, as Lewis Thomas points out, "The period tells you that that is that; if you didn't get all the meaning you wanted or expected, anyway you got all the writer intended to parcel out and now you have to move along. But with a semicolon there you get a pleasant little feeling of expectancy; there is more to come; to read on; it will get clearer." – John Lawler Feb 1 '17 at 17:31
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    Since linguists can't even agree on a definition of 'sentence', the question seems rather pointless. Ask your professor for their preference. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 1 '17 at 18:01
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In a comment, John Lawler wrote:

Semicolons are a full stop mark. They have the same intonation curve as the period, and they go after a complete clause. Or sentence. Certainly that's common in writing, as Lewis Thomas points out, "The period tells you that that is that; if you didn't get all the meaning you wanted or expected, anyway you got all the writer intended to parcel out and now you have to move along. But with a semicolon there you get a pleasant little feeling of expectancy; there is more to come; to read on; it will get clearer."

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