The Day I Finally Understood How to Use Semicolons in English

It took me over 10 years of reading and writing to make sense of them

Photo by But Never Dull on Unsplash

I keep finding semicolons in books but never use them in writing. I don’t understand them.

Today, for the first time, I felt I needed one.

I was writing a post for a client. I typed, “Trust me. This book is like no other.”

I looked at the sentence and thought, “Full stop? No. Semicolon!”

But I wasn’t sure, so I asked ChatGPT.

“Trust me. This book is like no other.” — The period emphasizes each sentence individually. It creates a slightly stronger pause between “Trust me” and “This book is like no other,” making each statement stand out on its own.

“Trust me; this book is like no other.” — This suggests a closer connection between the two sentences, emphasizing that the second sentence is a continuation or a result of the first. It provides a softer pause than a period.

I was right!

Over a decade to get here 😅.

Fabio Cerpelloni is an English language teacher, writer, author, and podcaster from Italy. You can find out more about him and his work by clicking on his glass of beer in the photo.