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Colons (Continued)

In last week's Tip, I helped you understand how to use colons with lists. This week, I'd like to help you with other uses of the colon.

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. Nothing could calm him down.

Hed 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:

Due to the E-Newsletter's large readership, we are unable to respond to individual English usage questions.


Pop Quiz

Choose the correctly punctuated options below. Scroll down to view answers.

1A. Dear Mr. Ang;

1B. Dear Mr. Ang:

2A. The noise from the car collision suggested injuries: One of the drivers was taken to the emergency room with a broken arm. The other driver walked away from the accident scene with just a few scratches.

2B. The noise from the car collision suggested injuries: one of the drivers was taken to the emergency room with a broken arm. The other driver walked away from the accident scene with just a few scratches.


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Answers to Pop Quiz

1B.

2A.


Wordplay

Q: What do you call a chicken crossing the road?
A: Poultry in motion.

 

 


68 One-Minute English Usage Videos

English In A Snap: 68 One-Minute English Usage Videos FREE 

Learn all about who and whom, affect and effect, subjects and verbs, adjectives and adverbs, commas, semicolons, quotation marks, and much more by just sitting back and enjoying these easy-to-follow lessons. Tell your colleagues (and boss), children, teachers, and friends. Click here to watch.


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