The Semicolon.

You can separate two clauses without using a conjunction by using a semicolon. The semicolon or semi-colon ; is a punctuation mark that separates major sentence elements. A semicolon can be used between two closely related independent clauses, provided they are not already joined by a coordinating conjunction.

Rihanna releases a lip gloss; people buy it.
Michael Jordan puts out some new trainers; people buy them.

An independent clause contains one subject/predicate pair and expresses a complete thought.

Music makes my life worth living.

A simple sentence is made up of only one independent clause:

Music makes my life worth living.

A run-on sentence is made up of two or more independent clauses that are not joined correctly or which should be made into separate sentences. A run-on sentence is defined by its grammatical structure, not its length.

Incorrect: My favourite band is in town they are performing now.
Correct: My favourite band is in town. They are performing now.
Correct: My favourite band is in town, and they are performing now.


A comma splice is the incorrect use of a comma to join two independent clauses.

Incorrect: I love classical music, it makes me feel joyful.
Correct: I love classical music because it makes me feel joyful.
Correct: I love classical music; it makes me feel joyful.


A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses that are correctly joined by a comma plus a coordinating conjunction or by a semicolon:

Music means a lot to me, and certain songs bring wonderful memories to mind.

A comma plus a coordinating conjunction can connect independent clauses correctly. There are seven coordinating conjunctions (sometimes remembered by the acronym “fanboys”):

for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so

A complex sentence contains one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses. The dependent clause begins with a subordinating conjunction:

I always think of summer whenever they play that song.