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Here is the sentence. They are answers to a series of questions but the grammar must be accurate. It is on a chemistry topic, so you can ignore that aspect of it:

(A) Bi has half of its 6p orbital filled; (b) Cr might appear correct at first, but it is an exception to Hund’s Rule (it is energetically favorable to half-fill the 4s and 3d orbitals, as opposed to having a complete 4s orbital and a nearly half filled 3d orbital. This way, it maximizes unpaired electrons, a stable configuration); (c) Am has half of its 5f orbital filled.

There will be more after that (a d, e, and f), but the important part is this:

(b) Cr might appear correct at first, but it is an exception to Hund’s Rule (it is . . . 3d orbital. This way, it maximizes unpaired electrons, a stable configuration); (c) Am has . . .

I am not sure if the semicolon should go there. I read elsewhere on this site that the grammar of dashes should be applied to sentences in parentheses, but this did not go on to semicolons. The semicolon just seems so necessary. Also, if it were removed I would be left with configuration) (c) Am has (a closing parenthesis followed by an opening one. What is correct?

  • The semicolons are being used to separate the choices. The content of the choices is irrelevant to this. BTW, since you're using lowercase letters to label the choices, the first one should be (a) rather than (A). – Barmar May 1 '17 at 17:32
  • It might be better if you started each choice on a separate line, and ended them each with a period, rather than treating the whole list of choices as a single sentence with semicolons between the choices. – Barmar May 1 '17 at 17:33

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