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Rules for Using the Colon | Net Writing

Rules for Using the Colon

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.

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#1 Rules for Using Semicolon | Net Writing on 01.14.11 at 11:58 am

[...] Rules for using colon [...]