How to Use Colons


Apostrophes     Brackets     Colons     Commas     Ellipses     Em Dashes     En Dashes     Exclamation Marks     Hyphens     Parentheses     Periods     Question Marks     Quotation Marks     Semicolons

Colons are fantastic tools for creating sentence complexity and variety. Colons are really good for writing complete thoughts and then adding to that thought with pithiness for rhetorical effect. They’re also good for introducing lists.

Colon Difficulty Ranking: 4/14 (somewhat difficult to master)
The most basic and common uses of the colon–to introduce a list or add to a main clause–aren’t too difficult to master. But the colon has been widely misused over the years and many people have created some bad habits. Plus, the colon has seven different uses, which is more than most punctuation marks. Practice with the colon to improve your sentence variety and learn the seven ways to use the colon and you’ll become a much stronger writer.