The semicolon ( ; ) is a symbol which is commonly used in English language which is generally used to separate two main (independent) clauses of a sentence when those clauses are not already joined by coordinating conjunction like and, but, or, neither, nor, for, and yet.

Rule 1:

A semicolon separates main (independent) clauses of a sentence that are joined by conjunctive adverbs like thus, however, consequently, therefore, accordingly, besides, and moreover. For example:

  • I do best in subjects that relate to science; consequently, I plan to major in science next year.
  • He is taking six courses this semester; however, he has given up his part-time job and will have more time to study.
Rule 2:

A semicolon separates items in a series when parts of the items are already separated by commas. The reason is that without the semicolon, the main parts be indistinguishable. For example:

The winners were John, first; Bill, second; Tom, third.

Rule 3:

A semicolon is always placed outside quotation marks. For example:

Lay the “Appassionata Sonata”; play it with feeling of this time.

Rule 4:

A semicolon appear next to in parentheses is always placed after the closing parenthesis. For example:

The advanced math course intrigues me ( with the possible exception of geometry); basketball practice, however, intrigues me more.

Rule 5:

Semicolons are used in poem. For example:

  • There was a roaring in the wind all night;
  • The rain came heavily and fell in floods;
  • But now the sun is raising calm and bright;
Rule 6:

To link principal clause and linking clause more quickly, semicolon is used. For example:

  • Wise men love truth; fools shun it.
  • Come early; go early.
  • Honesty is the best policy; it inspires us with greater confidence.
Rule 7:

Semicolon is used where verb has not been given. For example:

  • She will succeed; you, never.
  • I like fish; my brother, chicken.
  • He received a pen; I, a watch.
  • Wise men learn by other men’s mistake; fools by their own.
Rule 8:

In such construction where comma has already been used, other part of the sentence connected by semicolon. For example:

He was a brave, large hearted man; and we all honoured him.

Rule 9:

Semicolon is used in a sentence starting by alternative conjunction. For example:

  • I met him as he was leaving the station; otherwise I should not have met him on that day.
  • I do not agree to what you propose; for I have no confidence in a man like you.
Rule 10:

Semicolon is used to separate big coordinate clauses if such clauses do not start with conjunction. For example:

Honesty is the best policy; it inspires us with great confidence; it makes a man frank in dealing.

Rule 11:

The semicolon is a lesser stop than the full stop. It is used between grammatically complete sentences and is not followed by a capital letter. It is often found before and, but, or. For example:

He also told me about his aunt; but that is another story.

Rule 12:

Semicolon is used to separate sentences which are closely connected in thought where a full stop would be too complete the break. For example:

The family is going for a picnic; father carries the rugs; mother, the food; and the children, the rest of the other things.

Rule 13:

After conclusion of the inquiry, a report shall be prepared and it shall contain-

  • the articles of charge and the statement of the imputations of misconduct or misbehavior;
  • the defence of the Government servant in respect of each article of charge;
  • an assessment of the evidence in respect of each article of charge;
Rule 14:

The following penalties may, for good and sufficient reasons and as hereinafter provided, be imposed on a Government servant, namely:-

  • censure;
  • withholding of his promotion;
  • recovery from his pay of the whole or part of a any pecuniary loss caused by him to the Government by negligence or breach or orders;
  • withholding of increments of pay;
Rule 15:

All citizens shall have the right-

  • to freedom of speech and expression;
  • to assemble peacefully and without arms;
  • to form association or unions;
  • to move freely throughout the territory of India;
  • to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India;