punctuation mark that separates major sentence elements

A semicolon is a punctuation mark. It looks like this: ;

A semicolon

Use in English change

In the standard English language, a semicolon has only two uses. First, to connect two independent clauses into a single sentence. For example: "I could tell that it was getting late; it was growing darker by the second." The second use of a semicolon is to separate items in a series when the items contain parenthetical elements within themselves. For example: "The following crewmembers were on the bridge: James T. Kirk, captain of the Enterprise; Mr. Spock, first science officer; Mr. Sulu, helmsman; Mr. Scott, engineer; and Dr. McCoy, chief medical officer."

A semicolon is also used with a conjunctive adverb when joining two clauses. In reality, this is the same as the first rule, but it looks different enough to sometimes cause concern.

For example: "huzaifa, context in which all life exists; consequently, it is more than a political issue."

Use in Computer Programming change

A semicolon is sometimes used in programming. In programming languages such as C, semicolons are used to separate logical statements.

int main() {
  int x, y;
  x = 1; y = 2;
  printf("X + Y = %d", x + y);
  return 0;