1. In a long list
2. Instead of a full-stop when the next sentence links, or instead of a comma + conjunction
In a long list
In a long list, a semi-colon makes it a lot easier to see the different parts of the list.
He loves everything about her: her hair; her clothes; her eyes; her nose; even the boyfriend that she chose.
I have never forgotten his stupid rules: never trust a man with a beard; never trust a woman with a beard; never listen to your parents; always listen to your doctor; and never eat anything that is blue.
Instead of a full-stop
Sometimes two sentences can be turned into one sentence (if they are related) by adding a semi-colon. Semi-colons can also replace conjunctions (but, and, so, etc.).
The sun shone through the fog; it was still too cold for him.
He’s going to be a doctor; he’s going to medical school next year.
Put semi-colons into these sentences:
1. There were 3 rules in the house: on school nights everyone has to be in bed by 11pm, everyone has to do part of the chores, and nobody can watch the TV for more than 2 hours a day.
2. I was going to tell her, but I couldn’t. She just looked so sad.
3. Sometimes money can be a curse. People who have it can find everyone wants their attention.
4. The summer of 1999 was an odd one: Dave broke his leg playing football, Philip then broke his arm rock-climbing, and finally Anna broke her promise by kissing Dave.