The semi colon looks like a comma with a dot over it. There are two good uses for these:
- to connect two strongly related independent clauses, with the second elaborating the first: I was beside myself; the cloning was successful.
- for separating items in a list (when the items already contain commas): The children demanded to be recognized, not patronized; to have chocolate ice cream at lunch, not just vanilla; and to have more play time.
Using it like a comma:
Wrong– I never got used to some of the food in Asia; particularly dog.
Right– I never got used to some of the food in Asia, particularly dog.
Using it after a complete sentence to introduce examples:
Wrong– Life can be summed up by two things; birth and death.
Right– Life can be summed up by two things: birth and death.