40

The comma is enough as the second clause "I was right" is independent. Commas are used before conjunctions (but, and, yet, or, so, etc.) when the two clauses they are coordinating can stand as independent sentences. The semicolon is used when the first clause contains commas. I knew going in that the orange, marzipan and chilli flavor component of ...


31

There are three and a half different ways to use however*. This one needs a semicolon. The first is using it as a conjunctive adverb. In this sense the meaning of however is that the independent clause that follows counters the independent clause before it (denying it, giving a caveat, stating something as true that we would not expect considering the first ...


24

End punctuation for captions is ultimately a house style issue. I would certainly expect a caption containing more than one complete sentence to have end punctuation. But sentence fragments are subject to idiosyncratic handling. At the magazine where I work, for example, we would leave unpunctuated a fragmentary caption consisting solely of a manufacturer ...


18

As others have said, it's a matter of stylistic choice. The semicolon style is very formal. Personally, if I was using the semicolon style, I'd go all the way and put an italicised "and" after the penultimate item and a period after the last item, like this: The items on today's agenda are: item 1; item 2; and item 3. The idea behind ...


16

The semicolon in the sentence in question does not connect two independent clauses, so it is used in the wrong place. Semicolons help us connect closely related ideas when a style mark stronger than a comma is needed. http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/Semicolons.html Rules for Using Semicolons A semicolon is most commonly used to link (in a ...


15

They are both right. As is I knew going in that the orange flavor component of the cake was going to be lacking. And I was right. Your examples are both compound sentences. There are two independent clauses, joined by a conjunction (and) and separated by punctuation (either the comma or the semicolon). The comma is a softer break, the semicolon, a more ...


13

The park has some bears, many deer (which are quite friendly, like to eat camp food, and watch visitors) and other animals, most of which live in the trees.


11

These days it's a matter of style. In my news room, if the list comprises items that are sentence fragments, each item requires a semicolon except the last one, which is terminated with a full stop. If the items are full sentences, each is treated as such - leading capital and trailing full stop. This is a little old-style, and some style guides do away ...


10

This is from Larry Trask’s 'Guide to Punctuation': The semicolon (;) has only one major use. It is used to join two complete sentences into a single written sentence when all of the following conditions are met: (1) The two sentences are felt to be too closely related to be separated by a full stop; (2) There is no connecting word which ...


9

The semicolon is indistinguishable from a full stop in speech, i.e, language. Hence its use is purely stylistic, applicable to the technology of writing, not language. And certainly not grammar. In writing a semicolon is a handy piece of artifice that can be made to serve a writer's purpose, like any other tool. One of the purposes a writer may have is ...


9

A comma seems fine. A quick look at google books shows that commas are common here, though sometimes there’s no punctuation at all. I found one case of parentheses, but not a single semicolon. The Economist’s advice on semicolons is to use them: to mark a pause longer than a comma and shorter than a full stop. Don't overdo them. So, it’s seems that ...


8

This is often called the "super-comma" function of the semicolon: it acts as a higher "level" of comma to separate list items when at least one of the items contains a comma. The general rule is to use the semicolons as you would use commas with ordinary list items: I arrange [X], co-ordinate [Y], and write [Z]. I arrange interviews through phone and ...


7

You end up with something like The park has: some bears; many deer, like roe deer which are quite friendly, like to eat camp food, and watch visitors — also fallow deer which are timid; and other animals, most of which live in the trees. That would work, but it's awkward and although a dash seems to work, you can really only have one of those and ...


7

A comma is fine here, and neither a semicolon nor a full stop would be out of place as don't worry and it won't hurt much are both independent clauses. It's a matter of style. As the link mentions, joining two independent clauses with a comma is considered a comma splice, but don't worry is... je ne sais quoi. For this particular sentence, I don't believe ...


7

While not always appropriate, bulleted lists naturally take care of the nesting problem. In addition, they help individualize the reading experience by allowing the reader to drill down into interesting areas while skipping others. The park has: bears grizzlies, which number in the tens Attacks are much rarer than the media would lead ...


7

1) Yes, it's fine. Semicolons are OK wherever there is a full stop intonation; they indicate that "there is still some question about the preceding full sentence; something needs to be added", as Lewis Thomas puts it. 2) "No;" is called an Utterance. As you point out, it's not a clause -- no subject, no verb, etc. -- much less a sentence. But it does ...


7

One of the uses for the semicolon is to express equivalence. When two sentences express the same thought in different words, from a different perspective or with nuanced variance in meaning, a semicolon is often a good choice. I am no advocate for people who flout the law; I cannot condone the activities of criminals. That could easily be two separate ...


7

The comma is correct. The semicolon would be correct if the first clause was a complete sentence, but it is not. It includes "not only," which calls for a linking word, such as "also." ("This not only produces higher success rates, it also increases....") If you were to leave out "not only," the semicolon would become correct (but you would also lose the ...


7

Write what sounds natural. I like changing the verbs and joining with commas: There were many cases of animal suicide in the paper: a duck drowning itself after the death of its companion, a school of dolphins beaching itself for no apparent reason, a deer throwing itself from a cliff to avoid being eaten by hunting dogs. The list went on and on.


6

There's a lovely and beautifully self-demonstrating description of how punctuation marks work stylistically in Lewis Thomas's little piece on Punctuation. Here's the paragraph on semicolons: I have grown fond of semicolons in recent years. The semicolon tells you that there is still some question about the preceding full sentence; something needs to be ...


6

Although both are independent clauses, a colon is the more appropriate choice here because a compound list follows the initial proclamation and serves to support its assertion.


6

I think I'd use a colon or a dash instead of a semicolon. It's being followed by a list, after all; but it's not wrong, just not optimal. As for the list itself, it's not parallel enough. Parallel constructions reduce understanding effort and make things clearer to listeners and readers. The four things in the list need to have more parallel structures, ...


6

Yes, a semi-colon (;) is half a colon (:) above a comma (,). You Have a Point There. A Guide to Punctuation and its Allies (PDF) by Eric Partridge says: As THE name semicolon, half a colon, indicates, the semicolon comes historically after the colon; but in practice it is more important—at least, in the sense of being more popular. If anybody uses one ...


6

I would definitely use a comma. A semi-colon joins two related sentences and you have only one, albeit long, sentence. If you do do "their heads were crooked" then you do have two sentences, but I would use a period, not a semi-colon. I don't know your experience with English, but rarely do you need a semi-colon. If you have 2 sentences, a period works.


6

There are no upper limits on how many semicolons you can use; in fact, there aren't set limits on the number of adjectives you can use to describe a noun, or the number of clauses that can be attached to another relative clause, either; grammar doesn't normally prescribe such limits; leave it to the legal profession to stretch the boundaries of sensibility, ...


6

The semicolon is not used correctly. The Chicago Manual of Style explains (emphasis mine) — In regular prose, a semicolon is most commonly used between two independent clauses not joined by a conjunction to signal a closer connection between them than a period would. The sentence does not contain two independent clauses. It has a single, main ...


5

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest, on no more evidence than my own inattentive impression, that @Billare is right: your premise is wrong. Pages 143 ff. of this show that dashes, ellipses and the like were more common in the past than you might think. But they showed up most often in relatively ephemeral works—those which are least likely to ...


5

The usage of both semicolons and commas is OK, if you have a list of simple sentences like in your question. There were four people who wanted to go on a trip: Jack because he was bored, Jill because she was tired of her monotonous life, John Doe because he wanted to get a flower for Jane Doe and Jane Doe because she was hoping for some surprise. ...


5

No, you don’t want a semi-colon there. A comma will do. Whom is grammatical, but so, too, would who be in an informal context.


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