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Please can someone tell me whether the following sentence is correct:

If you want to help; this challenge could be the perfect opportunity for you.

My understanding is that it's wrong; the sentence should instead use a comma before 'this challenge'.

The reason I'm asking this question is because I see this everywhere (in books, marketing materials for big companies, etc.) and it's making me question my own logic. Could someone clarify?

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    'If you want to[,] help; this challenge could be the perfect opportunity for you.' is unusual but not unacceptable (after say 'Do you think I should volunteer? It would not be easy to do everything they want me to.' But the comma would be appropriate in the usual context, after say 'I want to get involved.' Sep 28 '17 at 13:00
  • Outside this WWW, there are not too many people… certainly not producing books, marketing materials for big companies, or whatever you might mean by etc who understand that there is such a thing as a semicolon. Worse, when I was about 13 a teacher giving dictation to a class of 30-odd used blah lah… colon… blah and almost every hand in the class went up. Please, Sir. How d'you spell that? How d'you spell 'colon'? I’m sure you’re wholly right: that’s wrong; the sentence should instead use a comma before this challenge but getting anyone else to agree could be more difficult. Sep 29 '17 at 19:45
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A semicolon separates independent clauses. If you like, a grammatically correct sentence using the semicolon could be

You seem like you want to help; this challenge could be the perfect opportunity for you.

Otherwise, you are correct; you should stick to the comma.

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