Colons - Definition, Usage, and Examples

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Colons

Colons - Definition, Usage, and Examples


What are colons (:)?


Colon (:) is a punctuation mark : used chiefly to direct attention to matter (such as a list, explanation, quotation, or amplification) that follows



Colons Usage

Colons Usage A

Use a colon to mean “note what follows.”

(1) Use a colon before a list of items, especially after expressions such as the following and as follows.


EXAMPLE The duties of this job are as follows: help unload the delivery trucks, sweep the aisles, and stack items on the shelves.


(2) Use a colon before a long, formal statement or quotation.
EXAMPLE Then he addressed the crowd: “Many of you here have become discouraged. You feel that no one cares that this power plant is polluting your water and your air. Don’t give up, though. Together we are making progress, and together we will shut this thing down!”

Use a colon before a statement that explains or clarifies a preceding statement.               
EXAMPLE Ahmed left before the rest of us: He had to be there early to help with the costumes.

Colons Usage B

Use a colon in certain conventional situations.
(1)   Use a colon between the hour and the minute.
EXAMPLES  5:30 P.M. today 6:55 A.M.

(2) Use a colon between chapter and verse in Biblical references.
EXAMPLES John 3:16 Colossians 3:2

(3) Use a colon between a title and a subtitle.
EXAMPLES Star Wars:Return of the Jedi Ishi:Last of His Tribe

(4) Use a colon after the salutation of a business letter.
EXAMPLES To Whom It May Concern: Dear Ms. Aya:


Colons Usage Summary

1-Use a colon to mean “note what follows.”
EXAMPLE You need to shop for several items: brown shoelaces, a quart of milk, five or six carrots, and a tube of toothpaste.


2-Use a colon before a statement that explains or clarifies a preceding statement.
EXAMPLE Suddenly, Ali screamed:There were fire ants all over her feet.

3- Use a colon in certain conventional situations. 
EXAMPLES 9:30 P.M. Matthew 2:13 Dear Sir:

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