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10.1.5. Semicolon

Use a semicolon rather than a comma to combine two sentences into one without a linking conjunction. There should be no space between the semicolon and the preceding word, letter or number:

The committee dealing with the question of commas agreed on a final text; the issue of semicolons was not considered.

When items in a series are long and complex or involve internal punctuation, they should be separated by semicolons for the sake of clarity:

The membership of the international commission was constituted as follows: France, 4, which had 3 members in 2001; Germany, 5, whose membership remained stable; and Italy, 3, whose membership increased from 1 in 2001.

See Section 5.7 for the use of semicolons in lists.

Last updated: 22.4.2015
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