Quick Answer: When Should You Not Use A Colon?

Do you need a colon before a bulleted list?

If the text introducing your list is a complete sentence, it should end with a colon.

If it’s a fragment, forget the colon and jump straight into the list.

Numbers or bullets.

If your action items need to take place in a specific order, use a numbered list rather than bullets..

What are some examples of semicolons?

Examples of Semicolons: Joan likes eggs; Jennifer does not. The cat slept through the storm; the dog cowered under the bed. Semicolons are also used in a sentence when something stronger than a comma is needed.

When should you use a colon?

The colon is used to separate two independent clauses when the second explains or illustrates the first. In such usage, the colon functions in much the same way as the semicolon. As with the semicolon, do not capitalize the first word after the colon unless the word is ordinarily capitalized.

When should a semicolon be used examples?

Use a semicolon before such words and terms as namely, however, therefore, that is, i.e., for example, e.g., for instance, etc., when they introduce a complete sentence. It is also preferable to use a comma after these words and terms. Example: Bring any two items; however, sleeping bags and tents are in short supply.

Do you use a colon or semicolon for a list?

Colons (:) are used in sentences to show that something is following, like a quotation, example, or list. Semicolons (;) are used to join two independent clauses, or two complete thoughts that could stand alone as complete sentences.

What three things can a colon be used for?

5 Rules of Colon UsageUse a colon to introduce an item or list, if the list comes after a complete sentence or independent clause. … Use colons between two sentences if the second sentence emphasizes or illustrates the first. … Use a colon to introduce a bulleted or numbered list. … Use a colon to introduce extended quotations.More items…

How do you use semicolons in a list?

Use a semicolon between items in a list or series if any of the items contain commas. There are basically two ways to write: with a pen or pencil, which is inexpensive and easily accessible; or by computer and printer, which is more expensive but quick and neat.

How many spaces should you have after a colon?

two spacesA. One space after a colon. There is a traditional American typing practice, favored by some, of leaving two spaces after colons and periods. This practice is discouraged by the University of Chicago Press, especially for formally published works and the manuscripts from which they are published.

Do you use quotes after a colon?

Introduce the quotation with a complete sentence and a colon. … This is an easy rule to remember: if you use a complete sentence to introduce a quotation, you need a colon after the sentence.

When should you not use a colon to introduce a list?

Rule 2. Avoid using a colon before a list if it directly follows a verb or preposition that would ordinarily need no punctuation in that sentence. Not recommended: I want: butter, sugar, and flour. Recommended: I want butter, sugar, and flour.

Can you use a colon after a verb?

A colon should not separate a noun from its verb, a verb from its object or subject complement, a preposition from its object, or a subject from its predicate. To illustrate, here is one of our sentences from above rewritten incorrectly. … To write this sentence correctly, the colon should be removed.

Can you use a semicolon and a colon in the same sentence?

Colons and semicolon in the same sentence Colons and semicolons can be used in the same sentence, but they are each used for different purposes. Examples: … In this example, the colon is used to introduce the cities. Semicolons are used to separate each city and state from the next city and state in the list.

Can you use a colon for a list of two things?

Use the semi-colon to separate items in a list when one or more items contain a comma. (These examples use a colon to introduce items in the list.

How do you separate complicated items in a list?

It is usual to use commas to separate the items in a list. However, when the list items themselves contain commas, you can “outrank” those commas by using semicolons as the separators for your list items.

How do you introduce a question with a colon?

Use a colon at the end of a complete statement to introduce a question. Example: The primary question is this: Should we give up or keep working diligently toward our goal? Use a colon to separate a title from its subtitle. Use a colon after the salutation in a formal letter.

Why use a colon instead of a comma?

Rule: Also use the semicolon when you already have commas within a sentence for smaller separations, and you need the semicolon to show bigger separations. … Rule: A colon is used to introduce a second sentence that clarifies the first sentence.

How do you not use a semicolon?

DO NOT use the semicolon in the following cases: To introduce a list (use a colon instead). Between complete sentences joined by and, nor, but, or, yet, so (coordinating conjunctions). Between a dependent clause and the rest of the sentence.