A semicolon can be supplied to connect two very closely related independent rule (parts of a sentence that could likewise stand as different sentences).

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Semicolons are likewise used to different list items the contain internal punctuation such together commas and dashes.


The film was shot in numerous stunning locations, consisting of a castle in Heidelberg, Germany; the good Mosque—also well-known as the Mezquita—in Cordoba, Spain; and a quaint village in Undredal, Norway.

The semicolon is often defined as a punctuation mark that is stronger than a comma and weaker 보다 a complete stop, yet it is no interchangeable with other punctuation marks.


Connecting live independence clauses

An independent i is a grouping of words with a subject and a verb that have the right to stand as a complete sentence top top its own. A semicolon point out a break in between two live independence clauses while signaling a close relation between them.


Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of every time; he holds 28 medals, 23 of which room gold.

An easy method to check if your semicolon is grammatically correct is to shot replacing it through a period.


Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of every time. That holds 28 medals, 23 of which room gold.

The sentence is equally grammatically exactly if we separation it right into two sentences. Because the two clauses convey closely related content, the semicolon is one appropriate selection to attach them.

Separating items in complex lists

Items in a list are usually separated through commas.


Our holiday itinerary in London consists of a walk follow me the canal, part musicals in ~ the theatre, and a an intricate meal in ~ a restaurant.

However, if the items us contain commas (or other punctuation such as dashes), semicolons room used rather of commas to divide them. This helps readers keep track that the department between the complicated items within the list.


The spies would take trip by land, in the dare of freight trains; by sea, in the surprise smuggling compartments of vendor vessels; and by air, in the guise that stewards and also stewardesses.
Our vacation itinerary in London contains taking a long, leisurely walk along the canal; see the musicals The Lion King, The book of Mormon, and also Wicked; and treating ourselves come a an elaborate meal at a restaurant.

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Common semicolon mistakes

Semicolons are often perplexed with various other punctuation marks. Pay fist to wherein you put them, and remember that semicolons are not interchangeable through commas or colons.

Semicolon whereby a comma need to go

It’s crucial to keep in mind that a semicolon isn’t simply a “stronger” variation of a comma. Castle have various grammatical functions, and using castle interchangeably regularly results in errors.

The journal would not even consider the short article without a effectively formatted referral list; which it did no have.The journal would not even think about the article without a properly formatted referral list, which the did not have.

Remember the a semicolon connects two independent rule that room able to stand as complete sentences on their own. In the over example, the dependent clause “which that did not have” cannot form a complete sentence on its own, therefore it should be join to the key clause through a comma.

Comma where a semicolon have to go

A associated mistake is utilizing a comma instead of a semicolon to sign up with independent clauses. This create an error called a comma splice.

The professor is at this time on sabbatical, she is in Italy researching because that her publication on Renaissance ivory carvings.The professor is currently on sabbatical; she is in Italy researching because that her publication on Renaissance cream color carvings.

Both parts of the sentence room independent clauses, therefore a comma alone is not sufficient to join them. Instead, they need to be separation into 2 sentences, joined through a semicolon, or joined v a conjunction.

Semicolon where a colon should go

Semicolons and colons watch similar, yet they have different functions. One more common failure is utilizing a semicolon whereby a colon need to go. Semicolons separate items in ~ a list, if a colon precedes and also introduces a list.

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He took three things on the hike; his lunch, his binoculars, and his trusty walking stick.He took three points on the hike: his lunch, his binoculars, and also his trusty wade stick.