Easy Learning

The colon ( : ) - Easy Learning Grammar

The colon indicates a break between two main clauses which is stronger than a comma but weaker than a full stop.A colon is used:
  • in front of a list
  • I used three colours: green, blue and pink.
  • Make sure you wear clothes made from natural fibres: cotton, silk and wool.
  • in front of an explanation or a reason
  • Nevertheless, the main problem remained: what should be done with the two men?
  • I decided against going away this weekend: the weather forecast was dreadful.
  • after introductory headings
  • Cooking time: about five minutes.
  • Start time: 10 o’clock.
  • in more formal writing, between two main clauses that are connected
  • It made me feel claustrophobic: what, I wonder, would happen to someone who was really unable to tolerate being locked into such a tiny space?
  • Be patient: the next book in the series has not yet been published.
  • in front of the second part of a book title
  • Farming and wildlife: a study in compromise
  • Beyond single words: the most frequent collocations in spoken English.
  • to introduce direct speech, especially in American English, or when the quotation is particularly long.
  • He said: ‘You owe me three dollars and twenty-five cents.’
  • The Health Minister said: ‘The NHS I.T. programme will mean that patients will get access to more comprehensive information to help them make choices.’

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