Monday, July 03, 2006

Using the Colon

Use a colon

1). To introduce a list coming at the end of sentence

Her house has four rooms: a kitchen, a parlor, a bedroom, and a bath-room.

2). To introduce an example or an explanation related to something just mentioned

The miser had only one desire: to see his gold coins.

3). To introduce a quotation (usually of more than one line) in an essay

4). After the salutation in a formal letter

5). To seperate hours from minutes when the time of day is shown in numerals.

Misusing the Colon

Do not use a colon

1). After such as or including

All of the old gang were there, including : Mush Head, Beaver, Sparky, and Mole.- Incorrect colon use

2). Directly after a form of verb be

The three most popular composers of classical music, according to the poll, are : Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven.- Incorrect colon use

3). Between a verb and its object or between a preposition and its object.

The tourists went to: Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec.- Incorrect colon use