I think comma is a better choice instead of the semicolon in the following text. Isn't it?

Faulkner’s starting point is Burge’s "acceptance principle"; according to which, a person is entitled to accept as true something that is presented as true and that is intelligible to him, unless there are stronger reasons not to do so.(Source)

  • Yes, the comma is better since the part following the semicolon relies on the part prior to the semicolon. Also it looks like you have an extraneous apostrophe in your quoted text.
    – Andrew
    Apr 26, 2018 at 19:27
  • Source please. Please cite your source when asking about a piece of text. If you can link to an online version of the text, that is even better.
    – James K
    Apr 26, 2018 at 21:32
  • @JamesK Cited, though I am not sure if you can have access to the article too. The article has a lot of more semicolon used in the same way before "according to which". So it is not just a typo.
    – Sasan
    Apr 27, 2018 at 10:38

1 Answer 1


A semicolon may be used to join two closely related independent clauses. The rule here is that both the group of words that comes before the semicolon and the group of words that comes after it should form complete sentences sharing a close, logical connection. In other words, you can check the use of semicolon by writing the two sentences separately, ending with a full stop. If each of them independently is a fully complete sentence, then the use of the semicolon is correct.

In the cited sentence, what comes after the semicolon doesn't make clear sense as a standalone sentence, starting with "According to which…", so the use of the semicolon in the full sentence, to me, seems utterly unjustified which I can't say about the use of a comma instead of it.

(The source)

By the way, the link you provided doesn't lead to the cited sentence.

  • The sentence is part of the article in the linked address.
    – Sasan
    Apr 27, 2018 at 18:30

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