Use a semicolon to separate items in a series if some of the items already contain commas and more commas would create confusion: "Attending the meeting were President Sally Jones; Secretary Wilma Mays; and our most outstanding student, Jane Smith." When the individual items in a series are long or possibly a sentence themselves, they are usually separated by semicolons: "Among the committee's recommendations were: increase the school day by sixty minutes for all junior high school and high school students; do away with all school holidays other than national holidays for all grades to include kindergarten classes; require teachers to spend every other weekend at school if all their students do not have passing grades."
Practice What You've Learned
Each sentence below contains a series of items (some containing commas) that can be correctly separated by a semicolon. Insert a semicolon in each sentence by clicking between the words where you desire a semicolon to be.