PUNCTUATION - The colon

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PUNCTUATION - The colon

Post  Vincent Law on Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:50 pm

PUNCTUATION - The colon:

Rule 1
Use the colon after a complete sentence to introduce a list of items when introductory words such as namely, for example, or that is do not appear.

Examples:
"You may be required to bring many items: sleeping bags, pans, and warm clothing."
"I want the following items: butter, sugar, and flour."
"I want an assistant who can do the following: (1) input data, (2) write reports, and (3) complete tax forms."


Rule 2
A colon should not precede a list unless it follows a complete sentence; however, the colon is a style choice that some publications allow.

Examples:
"If a waitress wants to make a good impression on her customers and boss, she should (a) dress appropriately, (b) calculate the bill carefully, and (c) be courteous to customers."
"There are three ways a waitress can make a good impression on her boss and her customers:
(a) Dress appropriately.
(b) Calculate the bill carefully.
(c) Be courteous to customers."
"I want an assistant who can (1) input data, (2) write reports, and (3) complete tax forms."


Rule 3
Capitalization and punctuation are optional when using single words or phrases in bulleted form. If each bullet or numbered point is a complete sentence, capitalize the first word and end each sentence with proper ending punctuation. The rule of thumb is to be consistent.

Examples:
"I want an assistant who can do the following:
(a) input data,
(b) write reports, and
(c) complete tax forms."

"The following are requested:
(a) Wool sweaters for possible cold weather.
(b) Wet suits for snorkeling.
(c) Introductions to the local dignitaries."


OR

"The following are requested:
(a) wool sweaters for possible cold weather
(b) wet suits for snorkeling
(c) introductions to the local dignitaries"


NOTE: With lists, you may use periods after numbers and letters instead of parentheses.

"These are some of the pool rules:
1. Do not run.
2. If you see unsafe behavior, report it to the lifeguard.
3. Have fun!"


Rule 4
Use a colon instead of a semicolon between two sentences when the second sentence explains or illustrates the first sentence and no coordinating conjunction is being used to connect the sentences. If only one sentence follows the colon, do not capitalize the first word of the new sentence. If two or more sentences follow the colon, capitalize the first word of each sentence following.

Examples:
"I enjoy reading: novels by Kurt Vonnegut are among my favorites.
Garlic is used in Italian cooking: It greatly enhances the flavor of pasta dishes. It also enhances the flavor of eggplant."


Rule 5
Use the colon to introduce a direct quotation that is more than three lines in length. In this situation, leave a blank line above and below the quoted material. Single space the long quotation. Some style manuals say to indent one-half inch on both the left and right margins; others say to indent only on the left margin. Quotation marks are not used.

Example:
"The author of Touched, Jane Straus, wrote in the first chapter:

Georgia went back to her bed and stared at the intricate patterns of burned moth wings in the translucent glass of the overhead light. Her father was in “hyper mode” again where nothing could calm him down.

He’d been talking nonstop for a week about remodeling projects, following her around the house as she tried to escape his chatter. He was just about to crash, she knew."


Rule 6
Use the colon to follow the salutation of a business letter even when addressing someone by his/her first name. Never use a semicolon after a salutation. A comma is used after the salutation for personal correspondence.

Example:
"Dear Ms. Rodriguez:"

http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/colons.asp
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Re: PUNCTUATION - The colon

Post  Vincent Law on Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:52 pm

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Re: PUNCTUATION - The colon

Post  Vincent Law on Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:48 pm

Teaching about grammar colon usage is a very useful. Lessons on grammar colon usage can come in handy if administered correctly because in the long run when students learn the correct grammar colon usage along with other punctuation rules, students will inevitably be better writers. There is a need to recognize how to correctly use a colon early on in the learning process. If students do not learn how to effectively use colons then they will end up just putting colons everywhere or nowhere at all.

How to Use Colons Correctly?

Many people tend to use colons incorrectly. For some odd reason, many people may equate the colon as an interchangeable symbol that can be used in place of a comma. Unfortunately this is not true. A colon is not an interchangeable symbol for a comma and should never be used or thought of as such.

More often than not you may see colons used in formal business letters in the greeting. For example, when writing “Dear Sir or Madam” in a formal business letter then you should use a colon after the word “Madam” instead of a comma. This is the standard rule, and it should always be followed.

Many people make the mistake of using a colon in the middle of an independent clause when they should use the colon at the end of the independent clause. An independent clause should be a complete idea. So you could not say “All dogs must get: food, water, and healthcare.”

This is not the correct way to use a colon because the part of the sentence before the colon does not illustrate a complete thought. Instead, you would need to say something to the effect of, “There are three things that every dog needs: food, water, and healthcare.” Now you can see how the part of the sentence prior to the colon is a complete idea therefore it is an independent clause.

Rules of Grammar Colon Usage

There are six key rules regarding colon usage that should always be referred to and followed.

- Colons should be used after a sentence when introducing a list of items.
- Colons should never come before a list unless the colon is following a sentence.
- Use a colon in a complete sentence following a bulleted list.
- Use colons between two sentences if and only if the second sentence illustrates the first. If there are two sentences that follow the colon, then capitalize the first word of each sentence. If there is one sentence following the lead sentence then you should not capitalize the first sentence.
- You should use a colon to introduce a quotation that is more than three lines long. You should not use quotation marks and you should single space the quotation and indent from the left margin only.
- You should use a colon following a greeting (also known as a salutation) in a business letter. It does not matter if the you are using the person’s first name, you should always use a colon if the letter is a formal business letter. If the letter is a personal letter, then either a colon or comma is appropriate.


The grammar rules for using a colon are pretty simple and straightforward. All you need to truly remember is that a colon is not a comma nor is it interchangeable for a comma. Keep in mind when you should always use a colon for example when writing a business letter or noting a direct quote. Keep the rules on colon usage handy so that when you are writing you can easily refer to it.

Knowing when to use a colon is one of the easiest grammatical lessons to remember. If you practice frequently you will soon discover how to use a colon correctly. Many people tend to use a colon incorrectly when it is easy to use a colon effectively. All it takes is time and practice to better equip yourself with the rules of learning and grammar usage of colons.


http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/punctuation/grammar-colon-usage.html
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