Using semi-colons instead of commas
In certain circumstances, the semi-colon can perform the same functions
as the comma.
Semi-colons can be used instead of commas to separate items in a list
when those items already contain commas; for example:
The development of poverty in the third world can be
linked to several factors, some of which include: the change to the production
of cash crops after the upheavals of slavery and the need for a substitute
income; the cultural heterogeneity
and consequent political instability
of newly formed nation states, resulting from the arbitrary imposition
of borders by colonial powers; and,
more recently, unscrupulous
lending by developed nations, leading to crushing debt burdens.
Of those recommendations suggested by the Space Team,
a Quality Improvement Team, the following were progressively implemented
in 1997: a large compactus was installed on the top floor to house less
frequently used items; the office,
and its associated equipment,
was relocated from the first floor to the ground floor
; and indexes
and less frequently used items were transferred to the compactus.
Semi-colons should also be used instead of commas before
like therefore, however, for instance, for example, in contrast and
in addition. Some examples are provided below:
This compares favourably with other organisations
for example, Queensland University of Technology reported 73% usage in
1996 and the University of Sydney Library reported 80% usage in 1995.
Long term memory has a vast storage capacity
however, the storage capacity of working memory is more limited.
In connectionist or network models of processing, processing
occurs along many dimensions simultaneously
; in contrast, the use
of a computer metaphor dictates serial processing.
This use of connective words such as however is not to be confused with
their other use in sentences such as:
During the 1970s, however, evidence from the
field of problem solving emerged indicating short term memory was involved
in information processing not just information storage.
From this perspective, therefore, the gender
relations and gender hierarchy that existed before the Second World War
in Australia are viewed as natural as opposed to unnatural.
In these sentences, the connective word is bounded only by commas because it is
interrupting the flow of the sentence, not introducing a new independent clause
as in the previous examples.
Comments and questions should
be directed toUnilearning@uow.edu.au