Results: The Common Colon

A big thanks to all my readers who posted their answers to the question: “In which ways may a colon be used?”

Everyone who posted had at least one correct answer, but the winner of this round goes to Becca Gresko who had four correct answers.  Mad props and a fist bump to you, madam!

Here are five main ways to use a colon:

1.  Use a colon to emphasize or expand on a statement in a sentence.  This includes giving special attention to a piece of information or introducing a list.

Ex.  I finally decided on a name for my new puppy: Grizzly.

Ex. When I went to the zoo last week, I saw all of my favorite animals: lions, tigers, and bears.  Oh My!

2.  Use a colon in the salutation of a business letter.

Ex. Dear Attorney Bob Loblaw:

3.  Use a colon to separate the hour and minute when using numerals to show time.

Ex. I woke up this morning at 6:00 a.m.

4.  Use a colon to separate the title from a subtitle in a book.

Ex. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

5.  Use a colon to separate the chapter and verse when referencing a religious text.

Ex.  Exodus 20:12 or Deuteronomy 21:18-21

(My two favorite scriptures to use as examples in class.)

That’s Not All, Folks

Of course, the colon is a fairly flexible punctuative writing organ, so there are other acceptable uses as well, such as:

Introducing a quote in reference

Ex.  It was Mahatma Ghandi who said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Writing ratios in mathematics, science, and music notation

1:5 (one out of five)
4:4 (four four time)

Thanks for reading this installment of: “Are You Smarter Than a Sixth Grader?”


One thought on “Results: The Common Colon

  1. Can’t wait for the next one. Man, I wish we had teachers like you when we were in school. You sound awesome…. Okay, Coach Collins was cool… but that’s pretty much it.

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