It is safe to write either "Because ..., ..." or "... because ...". However, sometimes I find that if one sticks to the rule of no-comma-before-because, then the whole sentence gets extremely long. For example, instead of writing

The sequence is not convergent because there is no real number $l$ such that for every $\epsilon > 0$ there is an $N \geq 1$ such that $|x_{n} - l| < \epsilon$ for all $n \geq N.$"

to me it looks better to write

The sequence is not convergent; because there is ...".

I thus wonder if it is a common American usage to use the sign ";" to separate the sentences. For example, is it legitimate to write "I am healthy; because everyday I get up early."?

  • 3
    A couple questions: (1) What makes you think Americans would punctuate this differently than Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, or writers in the UK? (2) What is this no-comma-before-because "rule" you speak of? Here's one reason to use a comma; here are five more.
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 9:06
  • you could drop the 'because' and it still makes sense with a semi-colon. Do you have an example of a long sentence with no commas?
    – JMP
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 9:33
  • 2
    Your title asks about since, but it doesn't appear in your question. Please clarify. Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 10:02
  • @JonMarkPerry: Yes, they are mathematical ones. When one writes up a proof, often times one seems to encounter this issue...
    – Yes
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 10:51
  • 1
    @Chou It's perfectly reasonable to close a vague/without-sufficient-context question. It's obvious a sentence in, presumably, a Math.SE post caused your confusion. Why not provide it here?
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


Semicolons are normally used to combine two complete sentences, so you shouldn't use a semicolon before "because". The long part of your sentence is what comes after "because". Adding a comma or a semicolon won't help that.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .