A quick primer on semicolons

Whether you are utterly baffled by this handy yet underused punctuation mark or simply would like a refresher, this guide can help.

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Another way to think about the semicolon is as a stand-in for the comma and conjunction combination (replacing “, and” or “, but“). The phrases on each side of the semicolon must be independent clauses (i.e., complete thoughts), and no conjunction is required. For example:

Semicolons are likewise used when joining two independent clauses with a conjunctive adverb, such as however, indeed, or therefore (i.e., any word/phrase that would be considered an introductory clause in a standalone sentence):

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