How to use a colon?

Punctuation Rules
October 16, 2015 – 08:02 am
How To Use A Colon In A

A colon implies "that is to say" or "here's the reason." Colons and semicolons must not be used interchangeably.

Rule 1a. make use of a colon to present a number of items. Usually do not capitalize the initial item after the colon (unless it is an effective noun).

You are required to deliver many things: resting bags, pans, utensils, and cozy clothing.
I would like the following products: butter, sugar, and flour.
I need an assistant who can perform some following: feedback information, compose reports, and total tax forms.

Rule 1b. a money letter generally speaking does not introduce a term, term, or incomplete sentence following a colon.

He got exactly what he struggled to obtain: a promotion
He got what he worked for: an advertising that paid an increased wage.

Rule 2. avoid a colon before a listing with regards to right employs a verb or preposition that could normally require no punctuation in that sentence.

Not advised: I want: butter, sugar, and flour.
Recommended: Needs butter, sugar, and flour.
Here's what i would like: butter, sugar, and flour.

Not recommended: I've heard of greats, including: Barrymore, Guinness, and Streep.
Advised: I've seen the greats, including Barrymore, Guinness, and Streep.

Rule 3. whenever detailing things one after another, one per range, following a colon, capitalization and ending punctuation tend to be optional when using single terms or phrases preceded by letters, numbers, or bullet points. If each point is an entire sentence, capitalize 1st word and end the phrase with proper closing punctuation. Usually, there aren't any hard-and-fast rules, except be constant.


I want an assistant who is able to perform some following:

  1. input information
  2. write reports
  3. complete tax forms

Listed here are requested:

  • Wool sweaters for possible cold weather.
  • Wet suits for snorkeling.
  • Introductions to your regional dignitaries.

These are the pool guidelines:

  1. Cannot run.
  2. If you see hazardous behavior, report it into lifeguard.
  3. Do you bear in mind your bath towel?
  4. Enjoy!

Rule 4. A colon in place of a semicolon may be used between separate conditions when the 2nd sentence describes, illustrates, paraphrases, or expands on the first sentence.

Example: He got what he struggled to obtain: he really earned that promotion.

If a whole phrase employs a colon, as in the previous example, authorities are divided over whether to capitalize the initial word. Some writers and editors believe that capitalizing a total sentence after a colon is definitely advisable. Other people advise against it. However other people consider it as a judgment call: If what follows the colon is closely related to what precedes it, there's no necessity for a capital. However, if what follows is a broad or formal declaration, many authors and editors capitalize 1st word.

Example: recall the old saying: Be careful everything you want.

Rule 5. Capitalize the first word of a whole or full-sentence quote that follows a colon.

Sample: The number made an announcement: "you're all keeping for supper."

Rule 6. Capitalize initial word after a colon if information after the colon needs several full phrases.

Instance: Dad gave us these principles to reside by: strive. Be honest. Constantly appear punctually.

Rule 7. If a quotation contains several sentences, many authors and editors introduce it with a colon rather than a comma.

Example: Dad often believed to myself: "work tirelessly. Be honest. Constantly arrive timely."

Rule 8. for longer quotations introduced by a colon, some design guides tell indent one-half inch on both remaining and right margins; other individuals say to indent only from the remaining margin. Quote scars aren't utilized.

Example: the writer of Touched, Jane Straus, published in the first chapter:

Georgia went back to the woman bed and stared at intricate patterns of burned moth wings inside translucent glass associated with the overhead light. Her daddy was in "hyper mode" once more in which absolutely nothing could soothe him down.

Rule 9. make use of a colon without a comma to check out the salutation in a company letter, even though handling somebody by their first name. (Never use a semicolon after a salutation.) A comma is used following the salutation in more casual correspondence.

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