Questions tagged [colons]

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

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Lists. To colon or not to colon?

As a Spanish translator, I struggle with MANY Spanish sentences that include a preposition followed by a list of numbered (e.g.) activities. The lists can be long or short. An example would be: The ...
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Quotation marks vs colon & comma vs dash (dialogue)

I'm trying to write the following dialogue in one sentence and here's what I have: If she asks "Why?" tell her "Something came up." If she asks: Why?-tell her: Something came up. ...
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Colon, Semicolon, or Em-dash

Which of the following three are correct? I would recommend reading the footnotes wherever indicated: they're quite informative. I would recommend reading the footnotes wherever indicated; they're ...
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Use of colon to elaborate upon clause

I'm wondering if sentence structures such as the following are a valid use of the colon: I don't understand your second point: Is it not said that the sky is blue? As you can see, I'm using the ...
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When is it okay for a colon to precede a dependent clause that is not a list or example?

While browsing through an ACT study guide, I have encountered the following sentence (as part of a discussion of old signs seen along the highways): After all, there they are: advertising products ...
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What is the grammatical function of a list following a colon

My ten year old son asked the grammatical function of items in a list following a colon. Such as the sentence "There are three countries in North America: Canada, The United States, and Mexico." ...
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257 views

Can a colon be placed at end of page

I'm reviewing a book for a friend. He wrote the sentence, "Tom Smith relays the following anecdote about the his baby's first exposure to the zoo:" Then the page breaks and the anecdote is on the ...
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Comparison after colon; use "and" or "or"

does the following sentence make sense? In general, triple combinations are better than double: melphalan, prednisone and thalidomide (MPT); bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone (VMP); or ...
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Can colons and semicolons be interchangeable in joining independent clauses?

I understand that colons can join two independent clauses if the second independent clause expands on or explains the first. I understand that semicolons can join two independent clauses if they are ...
Golden Boy's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
359 views

Sentence fragment with Colon (Kurt Vonnegut)

I read this sentence from Vonnegut, and I was wondering whether this is a sentence fragment. He places a colon after a dependent clause, but aren’t colons allowed after independent clauses only? ...
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Is this a complete sentence? Using colons

The sentence I saw: "The eggs benedict should include the following ingredients: poached eggs, English muffins, bacon, and hollandaise sauce." But colons must follow an independent clause. So does ...
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"This leads to the question" followed by a comma or a colon

I am saying something along the lines of "this leads to the question, why does x happen" or "this brings up an interesting question, why does x happen" but I'm not sure if it ...
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Punctuation in a bulleted list, title and description

I'm making documention for a piece of software and I need to write multiple lists, namely menus and functions of the software. Currently items are formatted this way: • File ◦ New – ...
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Semicolon, comma, vs colon in list of size two

I have a sentence here. "The different types of switchgrass fall into two categories: upland and lowland." Can I replace the colon with a comma? Tonally, it sounds alright, but is it allowed ...
danishanish's user avatar
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Can I end a quote/dialogue with a colon?

If a character is introducing something, say, a PowerPoint presentation, how should I punctuate their speech? Can I use a colon? For example: "We have proof. Just take a look at this:" He ...
M. Nielsen's user avatar
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If there is no reporting verb, would you still use comma in these constructions?

Usually, after a reporting verb, there is bound to be a comma, but what if the constructions are as follow: As if waiting for me to say that one sentence, Cornelia followed up with a request, “Welp, ...
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Can I use a question mark for a list after a colon?

For example, After the incident, I was no longer sure who to blame: Ethan, Michael, or Jake? Or is there a better way to phrase this sentence?
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Is my use of a colon correct. If it is correct, is the sentence itself structured okay?

The traditional narrative is composed of two types of characters: dramatic characters, which are characters that see huge changes to their personality or core beliefs, and static characters, which are ...
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How do I introduce a quoted clause within an independent clause?

How do we introduce a quoted clause within an independent clause? For example, when talking about why we say, "John passes away or passed away." How do we write it in a sentence? My sentence ...
Umer Malik's user avatar
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How to punctuate and make concise a sentence that contains a list and then describes each item in the list?

How to punctuate and make concise a sentence that contains a list and then describes each item in the list? One possible structure of the sentence I would like to punctuate is: I do not have any ...
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colon followed by a question

I did some search on the Internet but am unable to get clarity on this. SET 1 Which of the following is correct? A) Have you: Ever purchased a blue car? Ever visited Hong Kong? Ever gone on a long ...
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Capitals after mdash

I would like to know if, in British English, if there is a question after emdash, do I need to start the question with a capital? for example —Do you know what this means? Also, what about a general ...
Manish 's user avatar
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Can I use a colon at the end of an incomplete sentence (see two example)?

Thank you for your help. Examples are provided below. Example A. Some people feel they must...: Prove their worth all the time. Put others down all the time. Example B. The pairings were as ...
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The use of colon in the middle of a sentence

Please let me know whether the below sentence is grammatically correct. I like 3 subjects: English, Mathematics, and Science, but the first one is always my favorite subject. The reason for raising ...
Kumar Lakshmanan's user avatar
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215 views

Can I Use Two Colons in This Sentence?

Conversely, the substitution effect moves in the opposite direction: as the price of breakfast cereal rises, so does its opportunity cost: other goods become relatively cheaper and thus more ...
Ryan Walter's user avatar
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Why this clause is dependent?

While preparing for my SAT, I encountered the following sentence: "According to a survey analysis, veterans returning to the University of Illinois had 6 one “predominating request”: an efficient ...
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Should you use quotation marks when transcribing an interview in which the speakers are identified before each quote?

I apologize if the title is unclear, as I couldn't find a great way to phrase this. What I'm asking is, which of the following would be correct? Interviewer: Good morning, thank you for joining me. ...
will1howell's user avatar
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To make this sentence clearer shall I use a colon?

In the following sentence as an example, the speaker meets two strangers that happen to be a fox and a cat. As he turned a corner, he came face to face with two strangers, a fox and a cat. Should the ...
rantingsw3de's user avatar
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Captialization after a colon

Should I captialize the word after a colon if its a dependent clause? For example You are banned: violating our Terms and Services. OR You are banned: Violating our Terms and Services. Which one ...
vincent's user avatar
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59 views

Use of semi colon or colon?

So I want to make a sentence presenting a list first and asking a question about it at the end. But I am confused whether semi colon should be used or colon should be used. I am of the view that colon ...
Romantic Electron's user avatar
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Is a semicolon or colon needed after "including"?

Previous research has identified four individual factors which appear to predict this including**;** need to feel loved, need to be loved and self-esteem. Thanks everyone!
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Use of Comma and Colon

I have been given the following section, and I need to identify the grammatical errors. Hawthorne physically set this short story in the town of Milford. It is a common setting for Hawthorne: a New ...
Jhilly Dasgupta's user avatar
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624 views

Colon or Semicolon for ‘I’m Sorry’

I was wondering whether using a colon is incorrect if I used it as follows: I’m sorry: I only saw your message this morning. My logic for using the colon rather than the semicolon is that the ...
msr62837's user avatar
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221 views

Does a colon go before or after parentheses?

For example, Shopping (At Whole Foods): Shopping: (At Whole Foods) Which one is right?
The EmploYee's user avatar
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colon or dash? punctuation

Please suggest the correct punctuation at points 1, 2 and 3 in the following sentence: If you had to write an article, for example, reporting on events in any institution which cares for people (...
highvit's user avatar
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1 answer
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A colon or a comma in alternative questions

Which punctuation mark should be used before the second part of the alternative question? Should it be a colon or a comma? Eg: What do you like best: pears or apples? or What do you like best, pears ...
Victor's user avatar
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175 views

Using a colon after a single word

I write instructions for our assembly lines. Frequently, I need to call their attention to something that is not a step, but that they need to know. My usual way of doing this is to write, "Note: Do ...
Jbee's user avatar
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385 views

What is the most appropriate punctuation in the example sentences: colon, semicolon, or other?

First off, I apologies for the redundancy of this question. I am aware that there are already several questions dedicated to the use of colons and/or semicolons. However, non of the questions I saw ...
Peter's user avatar
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2 answers
148 views

Colon versus separate sentences

They do not hesitate in bending the truth however they see fit to their cause. At times they are rigorous and precise; at times they just play dumb. versus They do not hesitate in bending the ...
blackened's user avatar
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1 answer
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Using of colon ( : ) and comma ( , ) in a sentence

I have the following situation: Person1: Please check my website if it looks good. Here's the link: http://example.com. Person2: I checked your website: http://example.com, and it looks good. ...
user1764381's user avatar
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2 answers
458 views

A semi-colon before a "comprised of" list, or a new sentence?

I'm writing something along the lines of The service is comprised of two parts; detailed tracking, and logging. Should I employ the semi-colon, as above, or is a colon more appropriate? Or should ...
Dave's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Colon Use or Not

I listened to the song. It went: The man in the hat is crazy. The man in the hat is.... Should there be a colon after 'went'? Or not?
postasguest's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
414 views

Colon or semicolon?

We need help with colons and semicolons - and we need the definitive answer here, with examples. Here is my example: There is hardly any reason to be happy in the DPRK: the people are the most ...
mscola1975's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
69 views

Use of comma and dash

Which is correct? Please explain this? The system works by making ice at night, when lower power usage means energy is cheaper and lower temperatures require less power to freeze water. The system ...
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