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It is grammatically acceptable to say the following?

Don't forget, they could be tricking us.

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2 Answers 2

If you regard the don't forget as an interjection (therefore not an integral part of the sentence), it is grammatical:

Don't forget, they could be tricking us.

Note that in order for it to be acceptable, the part after the comma must be a complete sentence by itself (they could be tricking us). In a sentence like Don't forget your book, in which your book is not a sentence by itself, there should never be a comma (*Don't forget, your book).

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I don't think that's a valid use of a colon. Feasibly you could have an exclamation mark instead of a comma to give more emphasis to "Don't forget", but this seems to me a reasonable summary of correct use of the colon, and I don't see OP's sentence fitting any case there. –  FumbleFingers Jan 26 '12 at 1:40
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@FumbleFingers Try Rule 4 in that list. Though I still disagree with your understanding of colon usage, I took back the part about the colon, since I don't in fact consider it better than the comma. –  Daniel Jan 26 '12 at 1:48
    
#4 is the nearest applicable, I agree - but I think in this sentence the comma does the job perfectly well. My rule 7 (which isn't there!) is don't use a colon if a comma will suffice. I see the #4 colon as a "weaker" version of a full stop - if you can't actually replace it with a full stop it's probably inappropriate. Anyway it's gone in your answer. –  FumbleFingers Jan 26 '12 at 4:19

I'd prefer a colon here, e.g.:

Don't forget: They could be tricking us.

Perhaps an em-dash:

Don't forget — they could be tricking us.

A comma could be used here, as in the original example, but if feels loose.

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Conventionally, an em dash has no leading or trailing space. It is the en dash which should have space around it. You could instead just write “dash”, as either dash will do. –  MετάEd Jan 26 '12 at 16:06

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