Usage of Colon (:)
The Colon [:] A colon is generally a punctuation mark of introduction, signaling 'look ahead', rather than of separating or stopping things.   It is used: a.  To introduce a list: I suggest the following for promotion: Enid Brown, Peter Scott and John Reid. Use a colon (without a following dash), not a semicolon, to introduce lists. b. To introduce direct speech: He said: "I don't give a damn". A comma could be used instead of the colon. c. To introduce an explanation, expansion or summary of the first part of a sentence: There were two problems: his small income and her taste for luxury. d. Colons are used in proportions and ratios: a 3:1 ratio and in expressing time: 10:25:45 (45 seconds past 10.25 am). e.  There are some occasions when either a colon or a semicolon could be used to join two sentences, but choose a colon if the second one expands, explains or summarises the first one, with the colon signaling 'look ahead!': Eg.At last he told us Peter's secret: the old tramp had been extremely wealthy, but had gambled his fortune away.

#### Summary

The Colon [:] A colon is generally a punctuation mark of introduction, signaling 'look ahead', rather than of separating or stopping things.   It is used: a.  To introduce a list: I suggest the following for promotion: Enid Brown, Peter Scott and John Reid. Use a colon (without a following dash), not a semicolon, to introduce lists. b. To introduce direct speech: He said: "I don't give a damn". A comma could be used instead of the colon. c. To introduce an explanation, expansion or summary of the first part of a sentence: There were two problems: his small income and her taste for luxury. d. Colons are used in proportions and ratios: a 3:1 ratio and in expressing time: 10:25:45 (45 seconds past 10.25 am). e.  There are some occasions when either a colon or a semicolon could be used to join two sentences, but choose a colon if the second one expands, explains or summarises the first one, with the colon signaling 'look ahead!': Eg.At last he told us Peter's secret: the old tramp had been extremely wealthy, but had gambled his fortune away.
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