August 30, 2014

Punctuation: Semicolon

1) When each item in a series includes commas, a semicolon is used to separate the items.

  • The pilots were delighted that the owners approved the new contract, the one with the pay increase; accepted changes to the benefits package, changes that included vision care; and allowed pilots to fly small commuter jets.

2) The semicolon may be used to separate closely related independent clauses that are not connected by conjunctions.

  • The sun shone all day; it was a welcome sight.

3)Hence, however, indeed, moreover, still, therefore, thus are conjunctive adverbs. They belong to the second sentence and are not coordinating conjunctions. When used after a semicolon they are followed by commas.

  • Steve found it difficult to take advice; however, Bill found it easy to give.

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