If you also wondered what is the actual purpose of using semicolon is, other than making your text look fancy then here is your chance, read the rules so you feel like a genius next time you see it.

Semicolon definition:

Semicolon is actually a punctuation mark (;)used for indicating a pause, typically between two main clauses.

Here’s a breakdown of the basic rules for using semicolons:

1. Joining independent clauses:

  • A semicolon can be used to connect two independent clauses (sentences that could stand alone) without a coordinating conjunction (like “and”, “but”, “or”). This shows a closer relationship between the clauses than just using a comma.
  • Example: “The rain poured down; the wind howled.”

2. Separating items in lists with internal commas:

  • When you have a list where each item contains commas, use semicolons to separate the items for clarity.
  • Example: “We visited museums, art galleries, and historical sites; tried local cuisine; and even attended a traditional dance performance.”

3. Replacing commas with conjunctive adverbs:

  • You can use a semicolon before a conjunctive adverb (like “however”, “therefore”, “moreover”) that joins two independent clauses. However, remember to place a comma after the conjunctive adverb.
  • Example: “The movie was long; however, it was well worth the watch.”

Additional points:

  • Do not use a semicolon directly after a dependent clause (a clause that cannot stand alone).
  • Don’t overuse semicolons; if a comma or period works better, use them instead.

Here are some resources that you might find helpful:

For more such posts visit: