Am I using the semicolon correctly in this sentence?

As a child who was aware that things like a boat can be made out of paper, I was enamored by the idea, and when I had internet access at my home, an origami rose caught my eye; I was fascinated by it, it was beautiful and complex—however, this was an advanced model, difficult for a beginner like me, yet, I decided to follow the instructions provided.

I have read a couple guides to using semicolons online, and the most useful was from Merriam-Webster, and based on that, I feel I am not in the wrong here, but I am not sure either, so expert advice is appreciated.

Thank you!

  • It looks proper to me, i.e., in this usage, between two independent clauses. (The main other use being between items in a series that have internal commas within an item); it's clear, expository writing. Aug 28, 2022 at 23:51
  • Semi colon use is rarely done right and it is even less frequently necessary. If in doubt, just use a full stop and start a new sentence. Aug 29, 2022 at 9:47

1 Answer 1


It's correct, but a bit stylistically heavy. One reason is that it's directly followed by a comma splice, which, in a manner of speaking, gives the lie to it.

It also comes somewhere near the midpoint and then is followed by a syntactically convoluted sequence. More typically, a semicolon is used as an elegant way to conclude or restate a sentence without a pesky conjunction:

"When private property is abolished there will be no necessity for crime, no demand for it; it will cease to exist." —Oscar Wilde

Or to link two sentences that have a logical relationship that a period would too brusquely interrupt:

"I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works." —Oscar Wilde

By the by, your "yet" should not have a comma after it (a conjunction should only be followed by a comma if said comma encloses an aside), and the pairing of "however" and "yet" as a double contradiction is also awkward.

If I had to rewrite your sentence while still using a semicolon, I might write:

When I became aware as a child that things like boats could be made out of paper, I was enamoured with the idea. Once I'd gotten Internet access at home, I discovered an origami rose that caught my eye. I was fascinated by it; it was beautiful and complex. It was an advanced model, difficult for a beginner like me, yet I decided to make it by following the instructions I'd found.

Of course, there are other places one could put it and other ways to break up these sentences, but again, this is an attempt to avoid stylistic "cumbersomeness".

  • Well said. I didn't feel it was the most appropriate use, but couldn't have said why. Aug 29, 2022 at 0:51

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