What do I use a semicolon for?

The elegant and under-appreciated semicolon has just two uses: instead of a comma, it separates long items in a list (but not in dot-point lists); it also can be used in place of (not as well as) and or but to join together two short sentences into a longer sentence. (In technical terms, a semicolon can be used in place of a coordinating conjunction to create a compound sentence.)

While this generally means you should not use and after a semicolon, this is not a blanket ban.  If you are using semicolons to separate items in a list, you may choose to have and after your final semicolon.

There is a growing trend to use dashes as mid-sentence punctuation. Try using a semicolon instead; just remember, when using the semicolon to join sentences, what appears on either side of it should be a sentence (or full clause, with a subject and finite verb).

Semicolons could be used as art but this is not their main use

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