Tips from the Professor

Semicolons can feel a little confusing because sometimes they’re used to separate items in a series, as mentioned on the previous page, but they are really nothing like a comma. In terms of sentence structure, they can separate independent clauses, just like a period.

If you have the habit of using a semicolon like a comma, it’s important to work to break that habit. When you edit your writing, it’s a good idea to circle all of the semicolons you have used. Then, ask yourself why each semicolon is there. If you’re using it like a strong comma, you’ll need to revise.

The following video from the Grammar Professor can help you if you continue to struggle with semicolons.

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