Semicolons [ ; ]
1) Use the semicolon in place of a period to separate two complete sentences where the conjunction – and, but, for, or, nor, so, or yet – has been left out.
- Contact me next week; I will tell you what you need to know then.
- I have paid my dues; therefore, I expect all the privileges listed in
But: do not use a semicolon in front of words such as therefore and however if they do not connect two complete sentences or if they are used as conjunctions.
- I would, therefore, like to hear your client’s response by the end of the week.
- I would be happy, however, to provide you with copies of correspondence between my client and your client.
2) Use the semicolon to separate parts of a series when one or more of the parts contain commas.
- The Board consists of members from Stockholm, Sweden; Tokyo, Japan; and Santiago, Chile.
- The financial reports were for Q1, 2004; Q2, 2005; and Q4, 2006.