EnglishClub
Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub
English Club : Learn English : Writing : Punctuation : Colon

Colon

coloncolons

The job of the colon is simple: to introduce.

1. Use a colon to introduce a list:

  • There are three countries in North America: Mexico, the USA and Canada.
  • We can see many things in the sky at night: the moon, stars, planets, comets, planes and even satellites.

2. Actually, you can use a colon to introduce a single item, especially when you want to emphasize that item:

  • We were all waiting for the hero of the evening: John.
  • There is one thing that he will not accept: stupidity.
  • The job of the colon is simple: to introduce.

3. Use a colon to introduce direct speech or a quotation:

  • He stood up and said loudly: "Ladies and Gentlemen, please be seated."
  • John whispered in my ear: "Have you seen Andrea?"
  • As Confucius once wrote: "When words lose their meaning, people lose their freedom."

4. Use a colon to introduce an explanation:

  • We had to cancel the party: too many people were sick.
  • There is no need to rush: the meeting will be starting one hour late.

5. Use a colon to introduce examples, as shown above. For example, item 1 above reads "Use a colon to introduce a list" and ends with a colon followed by two example sentences.

Privacy & Terms | Contact | Report error
© 1997-2014 EnglishClub