The colon

The colon expands on the sentence that precedes it, often introducing a list that demonstrates or elaborates whatever was previously stated.

  • There are many reasons for poor written communication: lack of planning, poor grammar, misuse of punctuation marks, and insufficient vocabulary.
  • He collected a strange assortment of items: bird's eggs, stamps, bottle tops, string, and buttons.
  • Peter had an eclectic taste in music: latin, jazz, country and western, pop, blues, and classical.
  • He had just one fault: an enormous ego.

The colon is also used to divide the hour from the minutes in writing a time in English.

  • 4:15 = "four fifteen"
  • 6:45 = "six forty-five"