A semi-colon does the job of a comma with more clout. If you have a list of multi-word items and separating them with a comma seems weak, use semi-colons, like this:
1. We have instructed our lawyers to assess the value of the property at the date of purchase; to check the freehold status; to gain as much information as they can about the boundary to the east; and to come back to us a week from today.
Semi-colons with bullets. Some people like semi-colons at the end of each bullet and then a full stop after the last one. Personally, that strikes me as unnecessary, but it is certainly clear.
Semi-colons instead of conjunctions. You can join two short sentences, particularly if they are nicely balanced, with a semi-colon instead of a conjunction. So you can choose between this:
2. Marketing department is now on the top floor of this building; IT has moved to Surrey Street.
3. Marketing department is now on the top floor of this building and IT has moved to Surrey Street.
Become a better writer! Check your
knowledge of correct English. Sign up here for
a free piece of expert advice in writing skills every day for 17 days
Grammar to Go is your personal grammar specialist, ready to answer your questions wherever and whenever they arise. Here are some reasons for you to sign up now.
Believe it or not, access to Grammar to Go is completely free. Just
sign in and away you go.