Is the semicolon used properly? [closed]

Is this the correct way to use a semicolon?

I sent my samples to UC Berkley; I was not given the opportunity to actually collect data.

Answer

Yes. One of the uses of a semi-colon is to connect two independent clauses, that is, two clauses that could each have been their own sentence.

Basically, when you have two clauses that can be separate sentences, you have three grammatically valid choices:

(a) Make them two sentences.

I sent my samples to UC Berkley. I was not given the opportunity to actually collect data.

(b) Connect them with a conjunction, sometimes preceded by a comma.

I sent my samples to UC Berkley, but I was not given the opportunity to actually collect data.

(c) Connect them with a semi-colon, as in your example.

I sent my samples to UC Berkley; I was not given the opportunity to actually collect data.

Option (a) tends to separate the two ideas, to put a break between them. Options (b) and (c) bring them together more, to imply more of a connection.

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