How to Use a Semicolon

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The semicolon is a valuable ingredient in any recipe. With a dash of this super-comma, you'll add that zesty flavor that every delectable paper needs.


  1. Write one complete statement. This is your independent clause.
  2. Write another complete statement that relates to the first.
  3. Place the semicolon right after the last word of the first statement. The second statement follows immediately after the first. The semicolon joins the two statements together.
  4. Semicolons are used to bring two separate but closely related statements together into one complete sentence. It can either join two sentences into one, or may be used as a super-comma in a complicated list.
  5. Also, use semi colons to connect items in lists or multiple clauses which contain commas, much in the same way we use ' ' around a quotation which is inside another quotation. Otherwise, it can look very confusing with so many commas all over the place.
  6. Examples:
    • The vegetables will add nutrition to this tasty treat; plus, they contribute delicious flavoring.
    • We bought plenty of food; there was enough food to feed the whole school.
    • The cook wanted to add a little pizazz and spice to the dishes; as a result, the hearty food eaters were feeling hot, hot, hot.
    • New York City, New York; Los Angeles, California; and Chicago, Illinois are the three most populated cities in America.




  • Semicolons must be used between two sentences.
  • The second sentence is usually an afterthought which regards to the first.
  • Try to keep the clauses as closely related as you can.
  • Use semicolons instead of periods to show a closer relationship between the sentences.
  • Use conjunctive adverbs following the semicolon for some added flavor and to make it more interesting. Conjunctive Adverbs include however, moreover, indeed, therefore, otherwise, meanwhile, furthermore, instead, besides, and consequently.
  • If your sentence doesn't look right to you, it probably isn't. Follow your instincts. However, this may not be as follows all the time!


  • Beware of the dreaded conjunctions and, for, so, but, nor, and yet, as they will ruin your recipe
  • Remember, it goes, independent clause (first sentence), semicolon, optional conjunctive adverb, then second independent clause.

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