Is the following sentence missing semicolons or commas? If so, where?: Mark played the viola professionally for many years and he now conducts a community orchestra.
A comma is needed before and .
When to put a comma?
1st rule is to remember FANBOYS which stands for For-And-Nor-But-Or-Yet-So. These are the coordinating conjunctions.
From the given sentence, there is a coordinating conjunction and.
2nd rule is to check if what comes after any of these coordinating conjunctions is a clause. A clause has a subject and verb on it.
From the given sentence, the subject after the coordinating conjunction and is he and the verb is conducts.
3rd rule is to put a comma before the coordinating conjunction if it is followed by a clause.
When to use a semicolon?
A semicolon is a softer version of a period. What does it mean? It means that you can use a semicolon in place of a period but only to a closely related two sentences.
From the given sentence, since the two sentences are closely related, you can also use a semicolon on it.
Here's how: omit the and.
Mark played the viola professionally for many years. He now conducts a community orchestra.
Mark played the viola professionally for many years; he now conducts a community orchestra.
See the difference?
I hope this helps.