The colon is principally used to offer an explanation or definition of a preceding statement.
The use of the colon is fairly simple to master: it is used to identify an explanation.
The Colon and the Dash
A colon can be used instead of a dash to make writing more formal.
- The use of the colon is fairly simple to master – it is used to identify an explanation.
- The use of the colon is fairly simple to master: it is used to identify an explanation.
Note: a colon is more formal. A dash should only be used in less formal writing or in specific cases where the dash is appropriate.
Examples of Using The Colon
- The miners went on strike: they were fed up with low pay.
- It was a lovely day: Sunny, warm and not a drop of wind in the sky
- Aunty Brown’s Christmas pudding was a rather interesting recipe: hazelnuts, bananas and pears.
- I’ve made up my mind: I’m going to read the entire works of William Shakespeare.
Using Semicolon for a Definition
- Semicolon: a piece of punctuation used to join two related phrases.
- English grammar: a system of rules to be followed in all cases, except where you can get away with variations.
Capitalisation of Letters after a colon.
In British English, the letter after a semicolon is usually not capitalised; however, in American English it often is. It is important to be consistent.