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The colon

The colon

A colon is what you put in a sentence before a list or an explanation of something. However, it can only come after an independent clause.

The colon

You can also use a colon to separate an independent clause from a quote that it introduces:

In his famous paper on vegetable soup, Marcus raised this point: "If we don’t eat enough vegetables, they will get lonely."

Scripts for plays or movies use a colon after every person’s name to indicate what that person should say. No quotation marks are usually used.

ALEXIS: Don’t go John! I need you here with me.

JOHN: But I have to go Alexis. If I don’t, I’ll never forgive myself.

ALEXIS (angry now): Well fine. I’ll be better off without you anyway.

JOHN (sad): So be it. I hope you have a good life.