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Teacher Tips and Answers

Using Colons

telecope

A colon (:) draws readers' attention to what comes after it. Use a colon to introduce a list.

To sketch the stars, I gathered some supplies: a telescope, paper, pencils, and a flashlight.

The words before the colon must form a complete sentence.

Incorrect—I hope to: gaze at the moon, draw its craters, and find the Orion Nebula.

Correct—I hope to do three things: gaze at the moon, draw its craters, and find the Orion Nebula.

Use a colon to introduce a formal quotation.

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