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Semicolon

Use a semicolon:

  • To separate the independent clauses in a compound sentence not joined by a conjunction:
    Only two seats were left; we needed three.
    The situation is hopeful; the storm may lift soon.
  • To separate two independent clauses, the second of which begins with an adverb such as however, consequently, moreover, and therefore:
    We waited an hour; however, we couldn't hang around indefinitely.
  • To separate elements already punctuated with commas:
    Invitations were mailed to the various professors, associate professors, and assistant professors; the secretary of the department; and some of the grad students.

See also: The Semicolon: Love Child of the Comma and the Period


Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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