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Between Independent Clauses
Unless the independent clauses of a compound or compound-complex sentence are joined by a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, nor), use a semicolon to separate them. An independent clause is one that could stand alone by itself as a sentence.
When the dependent clauses are joined by accordingly, however, therefore, nevertheless, or some other conjunctive adverb, use a semicolon before the conjunctive adverb and a comma after it.
If the independent clauses are joined by a coordinating conjunction and one or more of the clauses contain internal commas, use a semicolon before the conjunction if necessary to prevent misreading. Otherwise, use a comma before the conjunction.
In A Series
When one or more items in a series are punctuated with commas, use semicolons between the items in the series.
Before Namely, That Is, or a Similar Expression
Use a semicolon before and a comma after namely, that is, for example, or a similar expression used to introduce explanatory words, phrases, or clauses appearing as afterthoughts at the end of a sentence.
If the explanatory expression occurs within a sentence, however, use a comma before and after the introductory expression and after the explanation itself unless the explanation is punctuated with commas. If the explanation is punctuated with commas, use dashes or parentheses to set off the entire explanation, including the introductory word or phrase.
If the expression introduces an appositive, however, use a comma before and after it and after the appositive itself.
©Division of Business,
Economics & Mathematics, WVUP, 2011.
Steve.Morgan@mail.wvu.edu ;Business Division Office: