Useful Tips on Colon Usage

It is a well-known fact that good writing consists of different elements of punctuation being one of them. Proper punctuation is a sign of a good and skilled writer, as using of punctuation marks can even change the meaning of the sentence. In this article, we will talk about one of the punctuation marks, which is a colon, and provide you with helpful tips on its usage in a sentence.
Colon is a punctuation mark which consists of two dots situated one above the other. Some people tend to confuse it with a semi-colon, which is a different punctuation mark, which serves a different purpose.

Simple Rule of Using Colon

Colon is generally used in such cases:

Introduction of a List

It is normally used before the objects listed. For example:
There were two things I did not like about him: arrogance, and lack of intelligence.
My cat like only three things: eating, sleeping, and sitting on my laptop.

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Before an Explanation

Use a colon in case you want to explain some statement made in the first part of the sentence.
When I feel down, I listen to the music: it makes me feel better.
Do not drink too much before going to bed: you will have a sleepless night.

To Make Emphasis

In case you provide some explanation or description of a person or an object and want to make an emphasis on something, you can use a colon. Normally, the word you want to stress is placed at the end of a sentence, preceded by a colon.
There is a phrase in American English to describe a person who does not want to do anything: lazy bone.

Introduction of a Quotation

If you want to introduce a quotation, you should place a colon before it.
Albert Einstein once said: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
Colon is also used when more than seven words follow the main sentence.
My mother’s comment on a mess in my room was quite clear and short: “You clean it up immediately or you will be punished.”

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Separation of Titles and Subtitles

In this case, the usage of the colon can be represented by such example:
Batman: Hero or Just a Guy Wearing a Mask?
DC or Marvel: What Studio is Better?

For Stating Time

Colon, in this case, is used to separate minutes and hours. For example:
3:00 p.m.
15:45 a.m.
11:10 a.m.

To Refer to Bible Passages

If you are referring to some extracts from the Bible, you will normally use a colon to separate verses and chapters.
Matthew 17:20
Psalm 126:6

Colon Replaces Comma in Formal Letters after the Salutation

In formal letters, it is recommended to use a colon after salutation instead of a comma.
Dear Mr. Jones:
Dear all:
Ladies and Gentlemen:

These are the general rules of using colon is sentences. In case you need more information about punctuation marks, you can always look for it online.

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