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I'm really struggling with semicolons and I know I need an independent clause after the semicolon but I feel like that makes the whole sentences flow a bit sharp?

would this be correct: "My prior knowledge of this sector was limited; therefore, I was surprised to learn about the different strategies business used to outcompete different firms"

I know I need to get rid of therefore to make it independent but I feel like the vibe of the sentence would change?

please help and thank you!

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  • The semicolon works there, but so would a period.
    – Robusto
    Nov 5 '20 at 21:16
  • @Robusto Isn't it true that most semicolons can be replaced with periods? It's just a matter of how closely related you think the two clauses are.
    – Barmar
    Nov 5 '20 at 22:08
  • @Barmar: Some semicolons can't be replaced by a period, such as those that demarcate complex list entries. But in the main you are right. These days I only use a semicolon when the two independent clauses express an equivalence or an outcome I wish to bind together especially firmly. And half the time I end up changing it to a period anyway.
    – Robusto
    Nov 5 '20 at 22:49
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Therefore can be used in an independent clause, so your sentence structure is fine as it is. As you said, a semicolon can join essentially any two independent clauses into one sentence.

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