Thursday, March 28, 2013

When to Use a Colon

A colon is a very useful punctuation mark that has only a only a few specific uses.

Be sure to have a good reason when you use one in your writing. 

Use a colon:

  • To separate hours from minutes (2:30) and show ratios (5:1)
  • To punctuate the greeting in a business letter (Dear Madam:)
  • To separate chapter from verse in the Bible (John 3:16)
  • To join two independent clauses, if you wish to place emphasis on the second clause. (Use this one sparingly. It is easy to get it wrong.)
  • At the end of an independent clause to show that a list, an appositive or a quotation is to follow.
For more practice with punctuation visit my store and click on the Punctuation, Capitalization, and Usage Skills Computer Quiz.  This quiz is a quick 20 sentence review or tutorial of the proofreading skills that are tested on many standardized tests. This quiz requires minimal teacher involvement. 

Have a great day!
Photo and signature Charlene Tess

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