Kendra Whitmire, Writer and Tutor
In addition to linking two closely related independent clauses without a conjunction, semicolons are also used for lists that already include commas. For example, if you are writing a sentence that lists cities and states, you would write the list as follows: Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Miami, Florida. The semicolons make the division between items on the list clearer.
The only other time that a semicolon is used is when you link two independent clauses with conjunctive adverbs or a transitional phrase. Examples of conjunctive adverbs include therefore, however, although, and indeed. A transitional phrase would be something similar to "for example," "in other words," and "as a result."
An example sentence that uses semicolons due to conjunctive adverbs is as follows: I love to go swimming; however, I do not get to swim much because I do not live near a pool. An example using a transitional phrase would be this sentence: I have a lot of reading still to do for school; as a result, I have to skip band practice tonight.