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English - S2 Homework (Advanced) Use of the Colon

S2 English homework. Exercise 18.

Use of the Colon

Copy the following note into your jotter.

Colons and semi-colons are used in the same way as full stops and commas to mark a pause when speaking. If you imagine that each punctuation mark has a certain length of pause then the order would be comma, semi-colon, colon and full stop, with comma being the shortest pause and full stop being the longest.


How Colons are used

1.A colon (:) nearly always introduces or leads into something that is to follow.

E.g. He said: ”I'll eat my hat.”

2. A colon is used to break up a sentence when the second half of the sentence explains what has gone before.

E.g. She finally discovered what was wrong: her sister had failed her driving test.

3. Colons can also be used to introduce lists.

E.g. She would need to buy supplies: pens, pencils, paper and glue.


Write out the following sentences and insert a colon where appropriate.

1.  Remember the saying “A stitch in time saves nine.”

2.  Many people wear uniforms to work policemen, nurses, traffic wardens, bus drivers and school children.

3.  The actor read aloud “To be, or not to be that is the question.”

4.  At last he told us everything he had been involved in the most horrific crime.

5.  She bought all the ingredients sugar, eggs, milk, butter and flour.

6.  He said “That is the last straw!”

7.  The teacher promised “There will be no bullying in this school.”

8.  She understood now he had died.

Mrs D. Thomson