Questions related to the use of the colon (":") in English.

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18
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4answers
16k views

Is it proper to use a colon followed immediately by a hyphen?

I have seen some writing where people have a list or a figure in writing and they will write something like this: The information is provided in Image 3:- Is that correct? Is this a British ...
16
votes
5answers
28k views

Punctuation after “P.S.”

Somewhere in the craggy quagmire of my memory, I seem to recall that the nuns of my grade school days taught me that a P.S. (post script) is followed by a colon, i.e. P.S.: Alas, the periods after ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Colons and semi-colons

I've seen a few questions on this site relating to semi-colons, which I believe I correctly understand, but what I'm not as clear about is colons. For example: The man ate the apple; it tasted ...
12
votes
5answers
226k views

Punctuation for the phrase “including but not limited to”

This is my first question on this stack exchange. I'm hoping this kind of question is welcome here, and excuse my ignorance, but my confusion evident below is exactly why I am a Software Engineer ...
11
votes
5answers
7k views

Spaces around a colon

In a recent test, I fixed a feature and I was given the document back because it was pointed out the following was not correct. Name: Sandy Corporation I was asked to do this Name : Sandy ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Capitalization After Colon

Should the first word after a colon be capitalized? "For example: This." OR "For example: this."
11
votes
3answers
392 views

Does this sentence make proper use of the semicolon and colon?

I have the following sentence: Relationships once so convoluted and beyond me were now clear: Pain became love; betrayal, loyalty; nonchalance, care. What I'm trying to accomplish is list ...
11
votes
5answers
16k views

Sentences ending with both a colon and a question mark

How should sentences that end with both a colon and a question mark be formed? Two examples are below, both questions, but one in which the colon presents a piece of information and the other in which ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Understanding appositives and the use of the m-dash ( — )

My understanding of a dash is that it sets off a lengthy appositive, but can also be used to introduce a summary. Consider the following passage from Stephan Jay Gould: If evolution worked ...
6
votes
2answers
390 views

Usage of colon in English writing

It seems colons are used more restrictively in English than in my native language (German), so I'm having a bit of trouble with it. Do you think the use of the colon in the following sentences is ...
6
votes
2answers
14k views

Period or colon? [closed]

Say, I have the following sentence: "The Gaussian Sobolev spaces are as expected defined as follows" and then you do a definition environment after. The question is: how do you end "as follows"? With ...
6
votes
1answer
154 views

Using “?:” after a question

I find myself using the dual punctuation marks "?:" when I want to say "I have a question about the thing that follows". For example: Is it possible for the following sentence to be translated ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

A colon after “following”

When I reference to the next sentence or sentences using the term following, is the preferred way to use a colon or a full stop? An example: Consider the sentence 'I wash the clothes'. Replacing ...
5
votes
1answer
447 views

Confusion between colon and dash

For example, take a look at the following sentence: There’s nothing to see — no one can handle you, dear. What are the general guidelines?
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Punctuation to introduce a list: comma vs. colon vs. nothing

Which of these sentences is written correctly? Angela has three brothers, Mark, Adam, and Ryan. Angela has three brothers: Mark, Adam, and Ryan. Angela has three brothers Mark, Adam, and ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

Colon use when introducing a list split across sentences

I understand that a colon should be used to introduce a list: We required three ingredients: eggs, milk and butter. However, what happens if there is a full stop between list elements? We ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Colon usage in English

I have always thought that colons were used to clarify, expand, provide evidence for the preceding sentence, or show an example. I have heard that this is not true. (Truly, it is a shame if it is so: ...
4
votes
2answers
394 views

Proper punctuation of “John’s last words were ‘———’ ” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I punctuate around quotes? When attributing a quote to someone, you put a comma before the quote: John said, "———" But is the comma still used in the ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why ; is called semicolon and what is its history? [closed]

Semi- is a Latin prefix meaning "half" and colon is another punctuation. Should I therefore say that semicolon is a halved colon?
4
votes
3answers
133 views

Rule of punctuation when a principal sentence is followed by two or more subordinate sentences

I put below a text I found in a written reply I came across: "...in the Audit Report, it is stated that we did not rebut the Draft Audit Report (DAR). The actual fact is otherwise: we had prepared ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

What is a correct punctuation for a sentence starting with “One more thing”?

In the following sentence what would be the correct punctuation One more thing don't tell anyone about our conversation. Should "One more thing" be separated by comma, dash or colon? Or perhaps ...
4
votes
1answer
375 views

Can a colon split a verb and the rest of the predicate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Punctuation to introduce a list: comma vs. colon vs. nothing Is this use of a colon incorrect? I wrote an application whose features included: doing this, doing ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the rules on when to use commas, colons, semicolons and dashes?

What are the rules on when to use commas, colons, semicolons and dashes?
3
votes
2answers
933 views

Punctuation following an interruption with a dash

I am not sure what the correct punctuation to use when ending a clause that was introduced with a dash when the next character in the main sentence is a punctuation mark. Take the following contrived ...
3
votes
1answer
356 views

Colon between “that is” and formal definition

Is it appropriate to use "that is" followed by a colon when defining something formally? I have the following example: Let γ be the set of groups that hold variables accessed by C, that is: γ ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

punctuation if dash introduces question-sentences

He worried--why X; what will happen if Y? It seems that this construction expresses the idea best, but it creates a few punctuation questions. Should the first semicolon be question-mark? Is there ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Correct colon and semi-colon usage?

I thought of this while walking and wanted to write it down. I would like to know if I am using punctuation correctly in this sentence-- particularly the use of the colon and semi-colon. And please ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I use two colons in a sentence?

Can I use two colons in a sentence? A typical example would be something like the following: Note: I have substantial experience with the following languages: Python, Java, C++, and Perl. I have ...
2
votes
5answers
272 views

Should there be a comma or a colon here?

His latest album is Foo featuring his band, Bar. His latest album is Foo featuring his band: Bar. Which is the more appropriate way to punctuate the sentence?
2
votes
1answer
219 views

Semi-colon or colon?

I'm writing a descriptive piece, and can't figure out whether this is grammatically correct, or whether I ought to place a semi-colon between "entry" and "crooked": "As I walked in using the cobbled ...
2
votes
1answer
22 views

“It is the god-given given that must be accepted because it cannot be changed.” vs a colon

Is the difference purely stylistic, or is there a slight change of meaning in using one form of over the other? "It is the god-given given that must be accepted because it cannot be changed," as ...
2
votes
2answers
152 views

Using colon at end of a list

Although I do not know the name of the rule, I do understand that a colon is typically used to elaborate on a single thought or idea. For example: "I love all types of burritos: Californian, ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Interchangeability of “--” (dash) and “:” (colon)

Let me cite two examples, one using "--" (dash) and the other using ":" (colon): John has three sisters -- Sita, Mita and Rita. John has three sisters: Sita, Mita and Rita. Grammatically, ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

A trail of colons

I find I often, when writing, want to string colons together. Here is a recent example: These two moments would be likely candidates for retelling: they both connect the people of San Andrés ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Are em dashes acceptable in lists?

I often see lists written as follows (using em dashes to elaborate a list item): Item 1—explanation for item 1 Item 2—explanation for item 2 Is this generally correct, or are colons preferable?
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Usage of commas and colon in sentence containing lists, and additional clauses

I've used this site to my benefit in the past, and now I have my own question. I have looked through some of the answers (although I admit not every one as I am short on time) and cannot find what I ...
2
votes
3answers
72 views

Is it improper to use a colon and then another colon in the same sentence?

Can you use more than one colon in a row? Examples: He follows one moral maxim: the Golden Rule: treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. Jane lives in an one-story house: a ...
2
votes
2answers
178 views

Is it okay to use a colon within a bulleted list?

Question 1: Are colons allowed in a list? Business writing skills: data entry, email, presentation and press release writing. Question 2: Should there be only one and in a sentence?
2
votes
3answers
58 views

Should a colon be used to introduce a quote? [duplicate]

Doing some editing and came across a sentence in which a colon is used to introduce a quote. Is the colon justified in this case? SENTENCE ENDS: ...wearing a T-shirt that says: "When the going ...
2
votes
0answers
564 views

Can I write a colon after punctuation? [closed]

I often write a list after writing "e.g." and I want to follow it by adding a colon to show the start of a list, particularly before a bullet pointed list. How should I punctuate this (assuming it is ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Use of colon when addressing someone

When addressing someone in an email (I understand grammar rules are pretty loose in this medium), should the sentence after the colon start with a capitalized letter? For example: Example A: ...
1
vote
1answer
430 views

What is the correct punctuation to use in this case?

If I have a sentence like: The royal family is extremely rich: The sled that pulls the princess is shaped like a golden swan, the celebrations last 3 days, and the bride and groom walk under a ...
1
vote
4answers
382 views

What, in this context, is wrong with using the progressive tense?

In just a couple of years, low-carbohydrate diets have accomplished what the government has failed to do in decades of trying: convince the public that refined grains are bad and whole grains ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

Using colons and semi-colons in dialogue

I've often heard writers say they don't like using colons and semi-colons in dialogue specifically and I don't often see colons and semi-colons in dialogue, but sometimes it just seems like it's by ...
1
vote
1answer
217 views

Punctuation for lists

I have a sentence like this: As you can see, there are two projects "project1" and "project2", where the latter uses the global wrapper functions defined in "project1" project. My question is ...
1
vote
3answers
807 views

What is the proper use of the semicolon in nested clauses?

I do a lot of technical writing where I feel that it is appropriate to clarify some technicality. I often produce nested clauses and sub-clauses but I am unsure about the proper use of the semicolon. ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

When listing things like goals, do you use semicolon or colon?

For this project, I have two goals: make it more efficient, and give it more exposure. There are two goals I want to accomplish; I want to make it more efficient and give it more exposure. ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

When should I capitalise the first inital after a colon?

I've read a few question and answers on this topic but, to make assurance doubly sure (as it were), here goes. Is the capitalisation correct in the following two instances? Chapter 7 examines ...
1
vote
1answer
427 views

Is using a colon before a table of values correct?

Is it correct to use a colon before a table? For example: The required configuration is provided in the table below:
1
vote
2answers
274 views

Is this correct English? What should one do when you're supposed to have *two* punctuations at *one* position?

This is the first sentence of which ground-breaking document: "The importance of a Web page is an inherently subjective matter, which depends on the readers interests, knowledge and ...