This article explains when to use a semicolon along with helpful usage rules and examples.
What Is a Semicolon?
A semicolon is a type of punctuation mark that separates items within a sentence. It’s useful in many different contexts.
To Separate Items in a Series
Generally, you should use commas to separate items in a series. However, when at least one of the items contains commas, then use semicolons instead to separate the items from each other.
With Independent Clauses and Conjunctions
Use a semicolon between independent clauses that are joined by a conjunction if at least one of the clauses contains commas.
With Independent Clauses Alone
Use a semicolon between independent clauses whose ideas are closely linked if the clauses are not already joined by a conjunction.
With Independent Clauses and Conjunctive Adverbs or Transitions
Use a semicolon between independent clauses that are joined by either a conjunctive adverb such as consequently, furthermore, however, instead , or therefore or a transition such as as a result , for example , or in fact .
Check out our free, printable SemiColon Worksheets!