Bi- vs. Semi-

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These examples should help you use the two prefixes properly.

The magazine is published on a bi-monthly basis. (Every two months.)

Lawmakers are working on the state’s biennial budget.
(The budget period lasts two years. Note change in spelling.)

 

Semi-, on the other hand, refers to one-half of a time period.

We get paid on a semi-monthly basis. (That is, on the 15th and at the end of month. Do not confuse with bi-weekly, which is literally every two weeks.)

Enclosed is your semi-annual report for the period ending June 30, 2013.
(Note: Some sources also permit biannual in this usage.)

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Tom Fuszard, content writer, blog writing, pr writing, web copy

 

 

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