1. Never use semicolons to introduce a series.
The following people will moderate this discussion; Nina, Adam, Lindsey, and Trace.
The following people will moderate this discussion: Nina, Adam, Lindsey, and Trace.
2. Never use semicolons to link independent clauses with dependent clauses. (Click here to view the post discussing the difference between independent and dependent clauses)
As soon as I saw the look on his face; I knew it was bad.
As soon as I saw the look on his face, I knew it was bad.
3. Do not overuse semicolons. If used too often, they become a distraction or, in some cases, a hindrance to the reader. Overuse leads to tedious, flat, or even choppy writing. Don’t be afraid of the semicolon, but do use it sparingly. If incorporated properly, it can strengthen your sentence structure and give you variety. Otherwise, it can and *will* be a detriment to your writing.
Remember: Semicolons are only used to link independent clauses or to separate items in a series.
This wraps up the final post in the five-part semicolon series. Thank you all so much for reading. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comment box below. As a reminder, I do take requests for future "Grammatically Yours" posts. Email me or leave a comment below if you have a grammar concept that you would like me to address.
Day One: Introduction to Semicolons
Day Three: Linking Closely Related Independent Clauses
Day Five: Common Misuses of Semicolons <you are here>