Semicolon Rules

Define Semicolon
  • A punctuation mark represented by: ;
  • Used to link two closely related ideas (sentences)
  • Used to indicate a pause, longer than a comma but shorter than a period
Rule 1
  • Linking together two VERY closely related ideas
    • Both ideas have to be complete sentences
    • example:  I went to the store; unfortunately, it was closed.
  • Don't use semicolons with conjunctions (and, or, but, for, yet...)
    • If you need to pause with a conjunction, use a comma
    • example: Our lunch tasted horrible, but we still ate it.
Rule 2
  • Link two closely related ideas that already have punctuation (colon, dash, or comma) in them
    • example:  As the weeks go by, the weather gets colder; soon winter shall come.
Rule 3
  • Use as a 'Super Comma'
    • When the items you're listing have commas in them
    • This usually happens when talking about people, places, or dates
    • example:  We traveled to San Francisco, CA; San Diego, CA; and Brooklyn, NY

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Fun Fact
The word “alphabet
comes from Alpha & Beta.


  • Last week we hiked the trails in Bear Mountain, NY; Cold Springs, NY; and Poughkeepsie, NY.
  • We have an office in Manhattan, NY; San Francisco, CA; and London, England.
  • I am traveling on Wednesday, the 12th; Thursday, the 13th; and Friday, the 14th.
  • One day I am going to visit Barcelona, Spain; Berlin, Germany; and Manhattan, New York.
  • Renting a car is complicated; there are a lot of rules you need to follow.
  • I had a great workout; it made me feel very alive!
  • It's really cold outside; winter is around the corner.
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