Do I Need Semicolons In Javascript

Javascript Programming

As a JavaScript developer, I often find myself wondering about the necessity of semicolons in my code. Do I really need to use them? Can I get away with omitting them altogether? In this article, I will dive deep into the topic of semicolons in JavaScript and provide some personal insights and commentary along the way.

The Basics of Semicolons in JavaScript

In JavaScript, semicolons are used to separate statements. They serve as a way to indicate the end of a line of code. While JavaScript allows for the omission of semicolons in certain cases due to Automatic Semicolon Insertion (ASI), it is considered a best practice to use them consistently to avoid potential issues.

When a line of code does not end with a semicolon, JavaScript’s ASI feature automatically inserts one before the line break if certain conditions are met. However, relying on ASI can sometimes lead to unexpected behavior and bugs.

Consider the following example:

function myFunction() {
message: "Hello, world!"

Upon first glance, you might expect this code to return an object with a “message” property set to “Hello, world!”. However, due to ASI, a semicolon is automatically inserted after the “return” statement, causing the function to return undefined instead.

Benefits of Using Semicolons

While omitting semicolons may seem tempting to some developers, using them consistently offers several benefits:

  1. Clarity: Semicolons make code more readable by clearly indicating the end of a statement. This can help prevent confusion and improve code maintainability.
  2. Robustness: Explicitly adding semicolons helps avoid potential pitfalls and bugs that may arise from relying on ASI. It provides a level of certainty and reduces the likelihood of unexpected behavior.
  3. Compatibility: Not all JavaScript minifiers and parsers fully support ASI. By using semicolons, you ensure that your code can be safely minified and parsed by various tools and environments.

Personal Thoughts and Insights

As a JavaScript developer, I understand the allure of omitting semicolons to achieve a cleaner and more concise code style. However, after encountering subtle bugs caused by ASI, I have come to embrace the consistent use of semicolons.

While it may seem like a small detail, I believe that using semicolons is a responsible coding practice that promotes clarity and avoids potential pitfalls. It sets a good precedent and makes code more predictable, especially when working with a team or sharing code with others.


In conclusion, while JavaScript allows for the omission of semicolons in certain cases, it is advisable to use them consistently for the sake of clarity, robustness, and compatibility. By explicitly indicating the end of statements, semicolons help prevent bugs and improve code maintainability.

As a JavaScript developer, my personal preference is to include semicolons in my code. It may seem like a small detail, but I believe it is an important one that contributes to writing clean and reliable JavaScript code. So, next time you find yourself wondering if you need semicolons in JavaScript, my answer is a resounding yes!