Questions tagged [colon]

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

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27
votes
5answers
30k 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 ...
23
votes
5answers
573k views

Punctuation for the phrase “including but not limited to”

When using the phrase "including but not limited to", how should it be punctuated? When used in the following (no punctuation): There are many activities including but not limited to running ...
17
votes
5answers
39k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
57k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

Should the first word after a colon be capitalized?

Should the first word after a colon be capitalized? Which of the following is correct? For example: This. For example: this.
14
votes
5answers
20k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between using a colon and a semi-colon to join two sentences?

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
512 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
8k views

Colons after a single word (e.g. “Example:”)

Everywhere I look, I seem to be finding examples of colons being used after a single word. "Examples: The dog is brown. The cat is white." "Recommended: Take this twice a week. Not recommended: ...
8
votes
2answers
31k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
3k 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
587 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
3k 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?
6
votes
1answer
320 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 into ...
6
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
580 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
5k 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?
4
votes
3answers
9k 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
4answers
2k 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
744 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 following ...
4
votes
4answers
18k 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
438 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 that, and ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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
2answers
35k views

What is the correct punctuation after “as follows”? [closed]

I am consistently confused by by the usage of "as follows", in particular, I don't know if I should end "as follows" with a period, or with a colon. Should I always use a colon, or can I sometimes ...
3
votes
1answer
564 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
434 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
664 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
6k views

Can I use a colon twice in one sentence?

Can I use a colon twice in a sentence? For example, I would like to punctuate the following sentence as shown: These are hugely important factors for S. Oliver Canada as we’re dealing with a brand: ...
3
votes
1answer
802 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
325 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
7k 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 Tuxtla ...
2
votes
5answers
330 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
36 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
1answer
174 views

Colon after 'Destination'

in a novel, if I write this at the start of chapter: Destination: New York. Destination New York. Should I use the colon or not?
2
votes
2answers
840 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, Mexican,...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

Em-dash vs colon: “Remind me: what's your name again?” or “Remind me—what's your name again?”

I have a sentence (and other sentences like it) in which I'm not sure what punctuation to use. Remind me—what's your name again? Remind me: what's your name again? Or is there something else ...
2
votes
2answers
699 views

Can a colon join sentence fragments for emphasis?

In this sentence, can a colon be used (after "zone") to put emphasis on the two fragments that follow it? Ex: His room was a chaos zone. Clothes haphazardly tossed across the bed. Books scattered ...
2
votes
1answer
3k 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
434 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
2k 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
1answer
2k views

What punctuation should follow after a list introduced by a colon?

The whole department: John, Jeff, Jean, and the accountant [?] were thrown into jail.
2
votes
2answers
218 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
1answer
775 views

On the punctuation for introducing a list with a non-independent clause and then proceeding to comment on items of that list

The grammar of the following sentences may not be correct, but you should be able to get the gist of how I want to structure the sentences. My question is how to make the sentences grammatically ...
2
votes
2answers
270 views

The use of colon in the sentence

I have a hard time understanding the use of the colon in the following sentence: Marriage is like a supermarket: easy to get into but hard to get out of. Is the part after the colon a list of two ...
2
votes
3answers
937 views

Should a colon be used following a dependent clause 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
4k 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: I'...
1
vote
1answer
865 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
406 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 are ...