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

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15
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5answers
16k 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
4answers
11k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
368 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Capitalization After Colon

Should the first word after a colon be capitalized? "For example: This." OR "For example: this."
8
votes
3answers
9k 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
5answers
116k 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 ...
6
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
370 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
1answer
142 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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
415 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
2answers
6k 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
828 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
285 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
355 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
3k 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
3answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
691 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
845 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?
3
votes
1answer
275 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
3answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
87 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
67 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
211 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
256 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
15 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
85 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
2k 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
145 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
0answers
407 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
1k 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
287 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
352 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
1answer
130 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
202 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
626 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
2answers
76 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
208 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
250 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
62 views

Is the following sentence correct? A statement followed by a list. Should I use a colon? [closed]

Is the following sentence correct? "My main priority as a tutor has always been to help the learner feel at ease, with me, with themselves and with their own abilities." I feel like there should be ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

“Problem: solved.” or “Problem, solved.” or “Problem—solved.”

How should one correctly achieve the flow of this short sentence through the use of punctuation? Problem. Solved. In my specific example, I'm writing about how to restore creativity lost to the ...
1
vote
1answer
161 views

Must an independent clause follow a colon (if it's not a list)?

I wrote this sentence: The unregulated internet we are accustomed to won out over another vision for the World Wide Web: a tightly controlled, "government-sponsored broadband network that ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

Should I use a semicolon or a colon to introduce a question at the end of a sentence? [duplicate]

Which of the following is punctuated correctly? My question for you is: how do I do that? My question for you is; how do I do that? Or should it be something different altogether?
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Capitalization in direct speech without quotation marks

My question has been largely answered in the discussion linked to below. However, one question remains: in mid-sentence hypothetical direct speech without quotation marks, what is preferable ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Where, if anywhere, should the colon/semi-colons go in this sentence? [closed]

Details about the costs (if any) of starting up the service and maintaining it, spreading awareness and gaining a user base, timelines, or counsel on any other challenges you faced and think might ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Can a colon be preceded by a conjunction or: Is the title of Dr. Strangelove okay?

The full name of the movie often called "Dr. Strangelove" is Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. I find it odd that there is a colon after a conjunction like "or." ...