The semicolon is probably the most misunderstood piece of punctuation ever. ChanteSez don’t use it unless you’re 100 percent sure on its proper placement.
The most appropriate use for a semicolon is to group items within a list, and the list should follow a colon. For example:
- I went grocery shopping today and picked up several things: from Kroger, deli meat, bread, mayonnaise, baby spinach and tomatoes; from Trader Joe’s, some wine, cheese, and chocolate-covered almonds; and from Aldi, graham crackers, bread crumbs and garlic bread.
The other most common use for a semicolon is as a “link” in a sentence when “and,” “but” or “for” are absent. An example:
- You could tell that the vocalist practices her instrument as much as any lauded pianist; the audience’s response proved it.