Colon examples

The next examples show how to use a colon to introduce a list:

There are three countries beginning with Z: Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The nightclub played many different types of music: rock, hip-hop, electronica, indie and even soul.

These following examples show how to use a colon just to introduce a single item:

The role of the colon is simple: to introduce.

We knew who would be first in the race: speedy Steve.

The next examples show how a colon can introduce speech:

She grabbed the microphone and asked: “Is there a doctor in the house?”
Kate whispered in my ear: “Haven’t you got a PhD?”

As Julius CaesarĀ once said: “We came, we saw, we conquered.”

Further examples show the colon used to introduce an explanation:

He asked why I hadn’t said hello: I hadn’t seen him.

Don’t bother coming over anymore: I’m not feeling well enough to meet up.

Read more about how to use the colon.

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10 thoughts on “Colon examples

  1. “Across all focus groups, the transitional ages of 16-25 constituted the majority of the conversation regarding age groups, with one exception: the parents-based focus group focused on middle school aged children ranging from 10 to 16 years the most.”

    Would a colon or semicolon be more appropriate here? I don’t often see two large complete clauses separated by a colon, however, in this case the second clause is the ‘exception’.

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