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I have doubt on semicolon and comma usage, should I swap their positions? Or should I put colon instead of semicolon?

Out of the major expenses incurred by the company, raw materials accounted for 46 percent of the total income, employee cost; nine percent, power and fuel; two percent, advertisement; one percent, interest; four percent, depreciation; four percent, tax; two percent, dividend; two percent and other expenses 20 percent.

I have a doubt about the way semicolon is used, for example:

employee cost; nine percent

I have used a 'comma' after nine percent and before 'power and fuel'. I have separated 'employee cost' 'power and fuel cost' and 'advertisement' cost with comma – am I correct in separating the content by comma and using the semicolon for depicting the percentage?

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  • The text is full of commas and colons. Will you please be more specific about what you need? About what you do not understand?
    – virolino
    May 22 '19 at 5:34
  • Unless you can give a specific example of punctuation usage that is of concern, this is akin to asking for us to proofread and rewrite your sentence (which is off topic). May 22 '19 at 7:55
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I did not read the sentence carefully enough from the beginning, sorry.

Comma is used when separating elements of the same statement.

The semicolon is used instead of a full stop, when total separation is not desired.

Therefore, in your case, you should switch the uses of commas and semicolons.


The statements should be:

(Out of the major expenses incurred by the company,)

raw materials accounted for 46 percent of the total income,

employee cost; nine percent,

power and fuel; two percent,

advertisement; one percent,

interest; four percent,

depreciation; four percent,

tax; two percent,

dividend; two percent

and other expenses 20 percent.

Therefore, it is obvious that the usage is not correct. You ended statements with a comma instead of a semicolon, and you joined elements inside the statement with a semicolon instead of a comma.

Please note that the first comma (inside the bracketed first line) is used properly.

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  • But, the edited sentence is similar to the my original sentence. for eg., your sentence reads - employee cost; nine percent, power and fuel; two percent,
    – jags
    May 23 '19 at 3:20
  • The edited sentence is exactly your sentence. I just wanted to help you see why the commas and the semicolons should be used in the opposite way.
    – virolino
    May 23 '19 at 6:12

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