16 votes

Semicolon usage in this sentence

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 ...
mahmud k pukayoor's user avatar
8 votes

Semicolon followed by a dash;—What is it?

A modern discussion of compound points Following the lead of Nicholson Baker in a review of M.B. Parkes's Pause and Effect published in The New York Review of Books, Keith Houston, Shady Characters: ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
8 votes
Accepted

Is a comma splice always a mistake?

Is it more accurate to call punctuation rules 'traditions' or 'conventions'? To my mind, the word "convention" refers to a shared practice that was adopted to serve some perceived practical ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
7 votes

“… , however; …” [instead of] “… ; however, …”

Each has a different meaning: It was all a facade, however; every Bloke and every Avaran knows that Martin would destroy them all whenever he decided to finish his conquest. This means that ...
geokavel's user avatar
  • 751
6 votes

Semicolon usage in this sentence

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 ...
Austin Burbridge's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Rule of punctuation when a principal sentence is followed by two or more subordinate sentences

I certainly wouldn't ever punctuate in that way nor, I should hope would I ever write in such a tortuous manner. It either needs to be bullet-pointed, or else written as a piece of prose, with ...
WS2's user avatar
  • 64.7k
5 votes

Is there an "Oxford semicolon"?

The Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition (2010) discusses serial semicolons in two places—at 6.19, within a section headed "Series and the Serial Comma": 6.19 Using semicolons instead ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
5 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to use a semi colon within a list?

It is acceptable to use semi-colons in a list. However, the semi-colon is a stronger separator than a comma, so your example is effectively making a list which separates the items like this (which ...
Mynamite's user avatar
  • 7,743
4 votes
Accepted

Does a period, semicolon, comma, or nothing go there?

A Google search for "He's quite dead. I assure you." (which as expected shows more hits than the "I'm" version, if not many more) only gives examples of your versions B and A. Comma splices are not ...
Edwin Ashworth's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

And vs semicolon

It's not a matter of grammar; in your example, and fails to indicate the contrast between the first part and the second part. Replace it with another conjunction, but, and it works: People were no ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 14.5k
4 votes

Shoot first, ask questions later - Semicolon or comma

The idiom refers to snap-judgment action, quickness of resolve. Of your three punctuation choices: comma, semicolon, or em-dash, the comma exerts the least amount of force towards slowing the reading ...
lumbrjak's user avatar
  • 509
4 votes

Is a comma splice always a mistake?

The comma splice is incorrect according to styling guides in general, but styling guides don't apply to works of fiction in general. A fiction author is free to take poetic license at his or her own ...
R Mac's user avatar
  • 3,598
4 votes
Accepted

Which punctuation is best for connecting the latter longer clause in this sentence, or is the comma splice okay?

According to Huddleston & Pullum (2002), when only is used in this way (to mean "but"), it behaves in some respects like a coordinator and in some ways like a preposition with a clausal ...
alphabet's user avatar
  • 18.5k
3 votes

However and semicolon

A semicolon could only be used here if the word "however" was the beginning of a new independent clause. Since both sentences have only one independent clause each, it would be appropriate to instead ...
Margaret's user avatar
  • 156
3 votes

How does one correctly use a semicolon?

Semicolons as signals of calibrated pauses The semicolon flourished during an era when many authorities on punctuation argued that the comma, the semicolon, the colon, and the period existed primarily ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
3 votes

Semicolon or dash?

Personally, I don't think that either a semi-colon or an en-dash is appropriate in your examples. I would use a colon or an em-dash. (I also don't think that an en-dash v. and em-dash is an American ...
TrevorD's user avatar
  • 12.2k
3 votes
Accepted

Is this a correct usage of a semicolon?

You need a colon to connect an introductory statement to a conclusion: To my right was a painting called Red Blue, and that’s just what it was: a large cobalt blue canvas with a single red stripe ...
Mick's user avatar
  • 9,420
3 votes

How do you punctuate an if/then when both the "if" and the "then" are implied?

You could use a colon to separate the two short sentences, because you are stating the antecedent and then the logical conclusion of an implied if..then rule, completing a "Hypothetical syllogism" by ...
CODePIECE's user avatar
3 votes

Is the use of a semicolon in the sentence 'The south sided with the King; the north with the usurper.' correct?

I would use a comma, not a semicolon in the example you are providing. As user Edwin Ashworth was suggesting in his comment, often it is intuitively correct to use a comma instead of a semicolon. The ...
Obiwan KeNoobi's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Comma or semicolon to separate a list from 'which'

I think you've mostly answered your own question: a comma always goes before 'which'. More rigorously, The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition, section 6.22) has Nonrestrictive relative ...
Peter Schilling's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Comma or semicolon before "see [reference]"

My main publishing client these days has a strict style guideline for dealing with cross references that do not require footnotes: put the cross reference in parentheses as a complete sentence ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
3 votes

What is the correct punctuation usage for 'thus' in this sentence?

They believe technology serves humankind by empowering us with access to information and the ability to spread that useful information, thus enriching our lives. The word "thus" in this sentence ...
R Mac's user avatar
  • 3,598
3 votes
Accepted

How to understand the use of the semicolon in the sentence?

It's a misuse of the semicolon as a complex-list delimiter. Sometimes semicolons will be used to separate list components that are grammatically more complicated, especially those including commas ...
Robusto's user avatar
  • 152k
3 votes

Semicolon error after 'limits'?

Semi-colons are used (among other reasons) as a replacement for the full stop (period) when the two independent clauses (phrase with a subject + predicate) are related in thought and given equal ...
EMoisky's user avatar
  • 94
3 votes
Accepted

Semicolon as Super-comma

Yes, this is correct. In fact, using mere commas between independent sentences is generally advised against. You have a number of independent sentences there, so semicola are the way to go. An ...
Cerberus - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Shoot first, ask questions later - Semicolon or comma

Ah, the dreaded comma splice. That's what happens when you have two independent clauses, no coordinating conjunction, and a comma—the weakling of punctuation marks—trying to separate them. The ...
Tinfoil Hat's user avatar
  • 17.1k
3 votes

Semicolon before “therefore” to join two clauses?

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.
harada's user avatar
  • 216
3 votes

When I use a name or mention a person/character at the beginning of a sentence before referring to them via a pronoun, do I use a comma or semi-colon?

This is left dislocation, but with the conjunction and at the start of the sentence (as it often is in informal writing). This structure takes a comma, not a semicolon: Since Haj Ross's 1967 ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 66.4k
3 votes

Three joined independent clauses

You can simplify the sentence by omitting 'living'. IMO the sentence can be written with a single comma. Life at sea on a tiny sailboat is tough, but the sea provides a lot of free food and I don't ...
Weather Vane's user avatar
  • 21.1k

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