Public Works and Government Services Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional Links

Search TERMIUM Plus®

7.23 The Semicolon, Co-ordinate elements

Semicolons may be used in place of commas to separate parallel elements in a series if these elements are complex or contain internal punctuation, or if greater emphasis is desired:

  • Genesis 2:3; 4:15, 7; 5:9–14
  • Nature is often hidden; sometimes overcome; seldom extinguished.

Even a series of parallel subordinate clauses may be separated in this manner, provided that the resulting punctuation is not apt to confuse the reader.