Browse Definitions :

Semicolons and complex lists

Writing for Business

Which is correct?
An MRP system should satisfy three objectives: ensuring that materials and products are available for production and delivery; maintaining the lowest possible level of ___________ planning manufacturing activities, delivery schedules and purchasing activities.
a. inventory and
b. inventory; and

Answer: b

Explanation:
In a list of complex items, the semicolon helps clarity by clearly identifying the separate items in the list — that’s why it’s used instead of a comma between the items, as well as why it’s used along with the conjunction and before the last item. The general rule is to use a semicolon to separate list items if one of your items already contains a comma and to use one before the conjunction if the items are complex.

Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty offers more information about the uses of semicolons.

Follow us on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

Dig Deeper on Writing for Business

Networking
  • What is wavelength?

    Wavelength is the distance between identical points, or adjacent crests, in the adjacent cycles of a waveform signal propagated ...

  • subnet (subnetwork)

    A subnet, or subnetwork, is a segmented piece of a larger network. More specifically, subnets are a logical partition of an IP ...

  • secure access service edge (SASE)

    Secure access service edge (SASE), pronounced sassy, is a cloud architecture model that bundles together network and cloud-native...

Security
  • What is exposure management?

    Exposure management is a cybersecurity approach to protecting exploitable IT assets.

  • intrusion detection system (IDS)

    An intrusion detection system monitors (IDS) network traffic for suspicious activity and sends alerts when such activity is ...

  • cyber attack

    A cyber attack is any malicious attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer, computing system or computer network with the ...

CIO
  • What is a startup company?

    A startup company is a newly formed business with particular momentum behind it based on perceived demand for its product or ...

  • What is a CEO (chief executive officer)?

    A chief executive officer (CEO) is the highest-ranking position in an organization and responsible for implementing plans and ...

  • What is labor arbitrage?

    Labor arbitrage is the practice of searching for and then using the lowest-cost workforce to produce products or goods.

HRSoftware
  • organizational network analysis (ONA)

    Organizational network analysis (ONA) is a quantitative method for modeling and analyzing how communications, information, ...

  • HireVue

    HireVue is an enterprise video interviewing technology provider of a platform that lets recruiters and hiring managers screen ...

  • Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI)

    Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) is a U.S.-based credentialing organization offering certifications to HR ...

Customer Experience
Close