8 Jul 2013

How to Use a Colon

[1] Lists
The colon is often used before a list of:
ingredients;
things to bring;
things to do;
and more. 
It is usually used for emphasis, when the list of items needs to stand out. It isn't always used for every list. Sometimes, when you've been running, leaping, jumping and swimming and more you won't use a colon because it stops the flow. In a way, that's its job: to stop the flow.

[2] To introduce a declaration, clarifying definition, saying or proverb.
For example:
Britain has a big problem: one minute it's hail, the next it's a heatwave.
It has often been said: fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
The Headmistress has decided: the catapulting of exercise books over the school wall is strictly forbidden.
Over the door was carved the words: et in arcadia ego.
The task is clear: Doctor Horrible must be stopped.
It is often thought: possession is nine tenths of the law. However, the law states: first in time has a superior claim.
Marx wrote: property is theft.

Now try these exercises:

We supply a wide range of items shoelaces string elastic bands bungee rope cheese strings and twine.

The Assassins' Code is clear the wearing of cloaks in any colour other than black or navy blue is prohibited.

The teachers uncovered a number of items from the students' secret hiding place a fully fitted hydroponic system a thousand young plants six bags of soil a hosepipe and a gardening textbook.

In the front of the book was written the words to my darling pumpkin.

Starting in the summer homework will be set every night for English Maths Geography History French RE and Music.

A chill ran up my spine when I heard the words those are not your trousers that you are wearing - please tell me that you didn't put the underpants on as well.

The principle must be obvious by now from the sublime to the ridiculous is only one small step.



Get Answers
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We supply a wide range of items: shoelaces, string, elastic bands, bungee rope, cheese strings and twine.

The Assassins' Code is clear: the wearing of cloaks in any colour other than black or navy blue is prohibited.

The teachers uncovered a number of items from the students' secret hiding place: a fully fitted hydroponic system, a thousand young plants, six bags of soil, a hosepipe and a gardening textbook.

In the front of the book was written the words: to my darling pumpkin.



Starting in the summer homework will be set every night for: English Maths Geography History French RE and Music.

A chill ran up my spine when I heard the words: those are not your trousers that you are wearing - please tell me that you didn't put the underpants on as well.

The principle must be obvious by now: from the sublime to the ridiculous is only one small step.