-2

The sentence:

First of all, i just want to state that these are really great; I wish i had known about them earlier.

It would be great if you could also add some overall tips on the usage of semicolons as well.

1

Yes, this is the correct usage of a semicolon.

There are many great websites that can give you some good tips on how to use semicolons. Here are two common usages of the semicolon provided by the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Link two independent clauses to connect closely related ideas

This is what you have done in your example. You can link two complete sentences that are related using a semicolon if you want to emphasize that they are connected.

Some people write with a word processor; others write with a pen or pencil.

Link lists where the items contain commas to avoid confusion between list items

It can often be difficult to create a list inside a sentence, so a semicolon can help to break up the sentence and make sure your ideas are easily understood. Two examples they provide of this are:

  1. There are basically two ways to write: with a pen or pencil, which is inexpensive and easily accessible; or by computer and printer, which is more expensive but quick and neat.

  2. I like cows: they give us milk, which tastes good; they give us beef, which also tastes good; and they give us leather, which is used for shoes and coats.


Another helpful tip they provide is on when to use a common vs. a semicolon. If you are connecting two independent clauses and you do NOT have a coordinating conjunction, you need a semicolon. If there is a coordinating conjunction, you need a comma. (Coordinating conjunctions: and, but, or, nor, so, yet...)

The cow is brown; it is also old.

The cow is brown, and it is also old.

Be careful, 'however' is not a coordinating conjunction. Many people incorrectly use a common before however.

Incorrect: I like cows, however, I hate the way they smell.

Correct: I like cows; however, I hate the way they smell.

In addition, if one of the clauses is not independent, you must use a common.

Because cows smell, they offend me.

  • Thanks for this great answer! I am not marking it as "correct" immediately because i want some sort of competition. If this remains as the best answer tomorrow, i will mark it as "correct". And lastly, you couldn't put a semicolon before "i will mark it as 'correct'" and "you couldn't put a semicolon before" because the preceding statements are not complete sentences, right ? – doubleOrt Sep 5 '17 at 2:29
  • I'm not sure I understand your second example, but you are correct about the first example. "If this remains as the best answer tomorrow" is not a complete sentence, so you need a comma. "I will mark it as correct" is a complete sentence, so you could use a semicolon to add a complete sentence before or after it. An example: "I will mark it as correct; it is the best answer." BUT "I will mark it as correct; you couldn't put a semicolon before 'I will' " is incorrect because the two sentences are not directly related. ~~ P.S. Thank you. :) – KumaAra Sep 5 '17 at 2:36
  • It appears that i don't know how to print out white-space in a Stackexchange comment, sorry. In the second example, i was talking about putting a semicolon between And lastly and you couldn't put a semicolon before...; by now, i am sure that you can't though. Thank you as well! – doubleOrt Sep 5 '17 at 2:41
  • 1
    You are absolutely correct. – KumaAra Sep 5 '17 at 2:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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