Difference Between Comma and Semicolon

Comma vs Semicolon

Comma and Semicolon are two punctuation marks used in English language with difference. It should indeed be known that both are not one and the same punctuation. A comma is represented by the punctuation mark of ‘,’. On the other hand, a semicolon is represented by the punctuation mark of ‘;’.

A comma is used to separate various objects in a sentence as in the example ‘Francis bought a book, an eraser, a pencil and a sharpener in the stationery shop’. In this sentence, you can see that each word is separated from the next word by means of a comma. In other words, the punctuation mark of comma represents continuity.

On the other hand, a semicolon is used to separate two related sentences. Look at the following examples.

1. Angela came back from the shop; she kept the vegetables in the refrigerator.

2. Lucy entered into the room suddenly; she took her handbag and left in a haste.

In both the examples given above, you can see that a semicolon separates two small sentences. It is very interesting to note that the sentences that are separated by a semicolon are usually small in length. You can see from the examples given above that the sentences are indeed short in length. This is a very important observation to make when it comes to the application of a semicolon. On the other hand, comma also is used to show where there is a slight pause in a sentence or where there is an emphasis on a word.

It is also very important that the sentences that are usually separated by a semicolon are often related to each other. They should not be totally unrelated. In case, the sentences are unrelated then a semicolon should be substituted by a full stop. These are the vital and most talked about differences between two important punctuation marks, namely comma and semicolon.