Using a colon to write a list

Example: Kurlansky, M.

colon punctuation

If a complete sentence follows a colon, as in the previous example, authorities are divided over whether to capitalize the first word. I could NOT do this: I went to the grocery store today; I bought a ton of fruit; apples, grapes, and pears were all on sale.

You can sometimes use a dash to help readers see that certain words are meant as an introduction or conclusion to your sentence. One reason might have to do with style: the three short sentences sound kind of choppy or abrupt.

semicolon examples list

You can use a colon to connect two sentences when the second sentence summarizes, sharpens, or explains the first. Some of the main ways a colon can be used are shown below.

These examples use a colon to introduce items in the list.

using a colon to write a list
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5 Rules of Colon Usage