Grammar, Punctuation, and Style 2.10 Punctuation - Colon (:)
A colon is used in a sentence to introduce a list or draw attention to information that follows. Colons are also used between the number in time.
A colon is used to introduce a list. Examples:
Here's what I want you to do: grab my bag, warm up the car, and take me to the station.
When you go to the exam, take these items: paper, pencil, and an eraser.
After a salutation
A colon may be used after the salutation of a business letter. Examples:
Dear Ms. Davidson:
Dear Mr. Johnson:
Between numbers in time
A colon is used between the parts of a number which indicates time. Examples:
The race begins at 1:30 P.M.
The train will arrive at 6:42 P.M.
As a formal introduction
A colon may be used to introduce an important quotation in a serious report, essay, or news story. Examples:
President Lincoln concluded the Gettysburg Address with these famous words: ''.....a government of the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.''
Directions: Choose if each sentence is punctuated correctly or incorrectly. Write two more examples for each of the punctuation rules given above. As a homework, read a book and find sentences containing colons.