Colons

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Colons

  1. Use a colon after a clause which introduces a formal list. Do not use a colon unless the words preceding the list form a complete statement.
    • His favorite poets are these three: Shakespeare, Milton, and Zappa.

      (Note this incorrect example. His favorite poets are: Shakespeare, Milton, and Zappa.)
  2. Use a colon after a statement which calls for explanation or amplification.
    • One thing accounted for his amazing success: hard work.
    • The children asked Santa for just one thing: toys, lots of toys.
  3. Use a colon after expressions introducing a long and formal quotation.
    • The principal rose to his feet and said these words: "We have gathered today as parents, faculty, and administrators to welcome our new students."
  4. Use a colon after the formal salutation of a letter, between the hour and minute figures in time designations, between a chapter and verse reference from the Bible, and between a title and sub title.
    • Dear Sir:
    • 8:59 A.M.
    • John 3:16