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  1. #1
    jc.analyst is offline Newbie
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    Question usage of semi-colon (;)

    Hi,

    I have identified a relationship between A and B; C and D; E and F; G and H; and I and J.

    Usage of semi-colon (;) and 'and' - are they right? If I use comma (,) in the place of semi-colon, it gives me a wrong meaning as I found a relationship among A, B, C, etc.,

    Pls help. Thanks.
    Last edited by jc.analyst; 27-Feb-2013 at 11:21.

  2. #2
    JoelTC is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: usage of semi-colon (;)

    You're somewhat correct. Use of semicolons in sentences is tricky. You have to use a semicolon IF using a comma would change the meaning of the list BECAUSE the list contains commas within the list items. For example:

    "The three groups for this project will be: Bill, Mary, and Sue; Fred, James, and Paul; and Amy, Helen, and Chris."

    Your example doesn't necessarily require the use of a semicolon, because "A and B, C and D, E and F, G and H, and I and J" do not contain internal commas. However, a semicolon between each provides a stronger stop between each list item, which makes it a bit easier to read. So you're correct, but even so you don't need​ to use the semicolon.

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: usage of semi-colon (;)

    IMO, the semi-colon provides the needed clarity. Without it, it's possible (although admittedly unlikely) that the second relationship was between C and D, E and F.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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