A colon can also be used before a quotation in running text, especially when the quotation is lengthy; or when it is a formal statement or a statement being given special emphasis; or when a full independent clause precedes the colon. Howling in frustration, he stabbed downwards again and again…the steak was just too tough to cut. Rule 5. Avoid using a colon before a list if it directly follows a verb or preposition that would ordinarily need no punctuation in that sentence. Use an ellipsis to imply either a pause in the sentence or that something has been omitted for one reason or another. Sign up to receive the FREE weekly GrammarBook.com E-Newsletter. https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-colons-and-semicolons-in-sentences.html, https://style.mla.org/colons-how-to-use-them/, https://archives.cjr.org/language_corner/how_to_use_the_colon.php, https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/journalism_and_journalistic_writing/ap_style.html, https://apastyle.apa.org/learn/faqs/colon-use. They’d shoot him at dawn (and probably fricassee him, too): an ignoble end for such a renowned rooster. Delivered to your inbox! ), "But why limit it, then, to wet weather?" YES: I still need many items for my party: appetizers, desserts, silverware, and dishes. The list or series can also be composed of phrases: Mabel's reply was emphatic. References It you’re listing items line by line, you should use … Recommended: I've seen the greats, including Barrymore, Guinness, and Streep. Copyright by Jane Straus/GrammarBook.com. Do not capitalize the first letter of the second clause if it is not a complete sentence. Still others regard it as a judgment call: If what follows the colon is closely related to what precedes it, there is no need for a capital. Last Updated: September 12, 2019 I have several plans for my immediate future: First, I’m going to win the lottery. Mabel's response is unknown, which is just as well: the fact is that we've got nothing more to say about colon use in prose. Example: "Masha had three options: She could cry. For example -- Carrots are a good source of vitamins: They promote healthy vision. Instead, you would write, "The TV is next to the bookcase; the couch is flanked by two end tables.". wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. You may use a colon after an independent clause and before a list of items. Use a colon to introduce an extended quotation. But while a colon is formal, a dash is quick and casual, almost startled in its mannerisms. They give :00 as an exception, since it is not necessary to include a colon if the minutes are not specified. 'Include' is a better word choice here than 'are'. The clause following the colon is in apposition to "this" (which is a pronoun referring to "the crux of it all," if we're going to get technical about it). Note that what follows the colon is not capitalized, but it could be. That's from A Tramp Abroad.". Mabel the Cat was adamant that Harry recognize the usefulness of umbrellas for all wet weather: as protection against rain, sleet, and snow. And here's an example in which a full independent clause precedes the colon: Harry, nonplussed, lunged toward a non sequitur. As in the case of script dialogue, a colon suffices to show that a quotation follows. Consider these examples: "I went to the store and bought a lot of fruit: peaches, apricots, grapes, kiwis, and nectarines. I’m an award-winning playwright with a penchant for wordplay. A colon can introduce a regular quotation or a block quote, but it should not be used when quotations fit into the syntax of the sentence. Sir Neibold’s letter to his lady begins: “Fair Lady, I regret to inform you that I have suffered a permanent change of address…”. I want the following items: butter, sugar, and flour. Connect a full sentence with a list using a colon. Can a colon be used to link several sentences related to each other? Short tempers, pilfered wigs, and broken china: the weekly bridge game was becoming an increasingly tense affair. Before we begin, here’s one writ-in-stone rule to remember. In this guide, we’ve added some descriptions of how the Chicago Manual of Style, MLA Style Guide, APA Style Guide, and the Associated Press Style Guide handle colons differently. "Oh Harry," replied Mabel, "a similar object that protects against sun has another name altogether: parasol. Short tempers, pilfered wigs, and broken china: the weekly bridge game was becoming an increasingly tense affair. Whistleblower changes tune, again, president-elect If you see unsafe behavior, report it to the lifeguard. While in most correspondence, the salutation is followed by a comma, business letters follow it with a stately colon: The Homeowners Association has voted against your proposal to include junked cars in our approved list of “Lawn Decorations and Amenities.”. Here, the clause following the colon restates what precedes it. Examples: R.H. Postmaster is the bestselling author of Six Feet Plunder: A Practical Guide to Grave Robbing. According to Mark Twain, anyway: 'We might have made the summit before night, but for a delay caused by the loss of an umbrella. I'll keep it short. There are three types of muscle in the body (and they are): cardiac, smooth, and skeletal. When listing items one by one, one per line, following a colon, capitalization and ending punctuation are optional when using single words or phrases preceded by letters, numbers, or bullet points. Your email address will not be published. Here are a few additional guidelines given by different style manuals that might help you think about the colon. Example: Remember the old saying: Be careful what you wish for. As a clause—it has its own subject and verb and could in fact function alone as its own sentence, albeit a sentence of the question variety—it certainly looks like something that can start with a capital letter, but whether it does or not is simply a matter of style.