"Select potential plumbers, carpenters, and repairmen on the basis of their ability to meet specified requirements, including quality requirements."
Definitely a comma.
A semicolon is used to separate two closely related sentences. In other words, you can remove a semicolon, replace it with a period, and remain grammatically correct. The same is not true with a comma.
Semicolons are not common in English. If in doubt, you probably shouldn't use one.
Another person answered while I was writing my answer and made the distinction of an independent clause. Where I said "two closely related sentences" above, it would, in fact, be more correct to say "two independent clauses".
i would think it would be a semicolon.
Leave it as is.
I would keep the comma, but I also think it would be fine without it. I think either way it's correct punctuation, but not with the semi-colon
first of all if that woman that answered already is a high school english teacher, why is she not at school right now - but I think she is right
It looks to be right just how it is right now. I am a legal assistant (not an expert on grammar, but you wrote it just like I would have). There are some really good websites on the Internet that you can refer to. Just type in "Grammar tutorial" in the search field.
You'd use a comma, what I call the comma of emphasis, i.e. saying more about the requirements. You would use a semi-colon if you were joining independent clauses. However, "including quality requirements" is not an independent clause, because it doesn't have a verb.
Keep the commas. There is no clause of sufficient independence to require a semicolon to separate it from the main sentence.
Commas vs. Semicolons in Compound Sentences
Brought to you by the Purdue University Online Writing Lab at http://owl.english.purdue.edu
A group of words containing a subject and a verb and expressing a complete thought is called a sentence or an independent clause. Sometimes, an independent clause stands alone as a sentence, and sometimes two independent clauses are linked together into what is called a compound sentence. Depending on the circumstances, one of two different punctuation marks can be used between the independent clauses in a compound sentence: a comma or a semicolon. The choice is yours.
Use a comma after the first independent clause when you link two independent clauses with one of the following coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet. For example:
I am going home, and I intend to stay there.
It rained heavily during the afternoon, but we managed to have our picnic anyway.
They couldn't make it to the summit and back before dark, so they decided to camp for the night.
Use a semicolon when you link two independent clauses with no connecting words. For example:
I am going home; I intend to stay there.
It rained heavily during the afternoon; we managed to have our picnic anyway.
They couldn't make it to the summit and back before dark; they decided to camp for the night.
You can also use a semicolon when you join two independent clauses together with one of the following conjunctive adverbs (adverbs that join independent clauses): however, moreover, therefore, consequently, otherwise, nevertheless, thus, etc. For example:
I am going home; moreover, I intend to stay there.
It rained heavily during the afternoon; however, we managed to have our picnic anyway.
They couldn't make it to the summit and back before dark; therefore, they decided to camp for the night.
For more information about compound sentence patterns, see the Purdue OWL handout, Sentence Punctuation Patterns at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/g...
You can try an exercise on using commas and semicolons in compound sentences at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/g... with a separate answer key at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/g...
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A semicolon is when you are connecting two complete sentences together as one sentence so you need a comma. Including quality requirements is a phrase not a sentence.
leave it as it is
The semicolon is used to separate independent clauses, most often used for a list of things. There is more going on then a need for semicolons here. The comma between "carpenters" and "and" needs removing and the use of the word requirements is repetitious. Maybe better is "specified requirements including those for (or "that of") quality." No semicolons, less commas.
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