For a while, I've been using "so" with a semicolon.

For example, I would say, "I like bugs; so, I went to the bug convention happily."

I've always thought of the semicolon as a replacement for the coordinating conjunction in the sentence: "I like bugs, and, so, I went to the bug convention happily."

I haven't seen many other people use this construction, and I was wondering if anyone had any insight as to if this is correct or not.

  • Too much punctuation. Way too much punctuation. "I like bugs, so I went to the convention". "I like bugs, and so I went to the convention". That is all. As to semicolons specifically, the rule for using them is very simple. If you wonder whether you should use a semicolon, then you shouldn't.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jul 1 '20 at 8:36
  • 2
    It's fine. There is nothing wrong with starting a sentence with so, so there is nothing wrong with starting an independent clause with so. Any objection will be entirely on stylistic grounds, which is a matter of opinion. (I completely disagree with the previous comment—but that's just my opinion.) Jul 1 '20 at 8:46
  • @JasonBassford I never once objected to starting an independent clause with so. Not here, not elsewhere; not on stylistic grounds, not otherwise.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jul 1 '20 at 11:37

The Corpus of Historical American English returns over a thousand hits for this construction so it's defninitely acceptable; however, it usually appears in much longer and more complex sentences.


There had not been such a freshet for years before, and there had never been one since ; so , as the quiet seasons went by, " Lucindy's log " was left in peace, the columbines blooming all about it, the harebells hanging their heads of delicate blue among the rocks that held it in place, the birds building their nests in the knot-holes of its withered side. (The Fall of the House of Usher, Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849)

And as upon the invasion of their valleys, the frosty Swiss have retreated to their mountains ; so , hunted from the savannas and glades of the middle seas, the whale-bone whales can at last resort to their Polar citadels, and diving under the ultimate glassy barriers and walls there, come up among icy fields and floes; and in a charmed circle of everlasting December, bid defiance to all pursuit from man. (Moby Dick or the whale, Melville, Herman, 1819-1891)

Garcia and London, who earn their livings by lecturing and giving demonstrations of the pitfalls that await unwary cardplayers and pedestrians, are exceedingly skillful at sleight of hand ; so , of course, is Tannen, who bounced into sight behind Garcia and, with a snap of his fingers, caused a paper bouquet to materialize under our nose. (Talk of the Town; Cooper, Henry; New Yorker: 1960-01-23: p. 23-27)

  • All three of these examples are different from what the OP has.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jul 1 '20 at 11:39
  • Thank you so much! I had assumed that I would get an email notification when someone responded, but I didn't, so I apologize for the late response ;). I usually use the construction in longer sentences like those but have been doing so in shorter sentences as well. From now on, I will use a simple comma for sentences like that I used in my example and a semicolon for longer ones like the examples you have provided. Thank you all once more! Jul 1 '20 at 16:50

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.