Colons provide your readers a breath in the form of a pause.

This is one of the most abused and misused forms of punctuation center to the English language. Colons are used to clarify what is meant by the writer. They are a form punctuation that help us introduce an item or series of them. The main objective with their use is to present the information in a much more digestible manner for your readers or audience. The words that follow a colon generally are not capitalized, but if a complete sentence follows the colon capitalization is appropriate to be used. Avoid using colons if they are to be followed by a preposition or verb because it will not flow in an ordinary sentence.

Much confusion surrounds the use of colons versus semi-colons. This is because they look very similar but have very different uses. The colon is meant to offer a pause in the reading, usually to introduce related information. The pause adds a sense of a dramatic effect which can impact how your words are valued by your audience. Rather than a simple pause, a semicolon offers a hard stop to the reader. The semicolon is often used to join two clauses that are more commonly separate sentences. In affect semicolons produce a longer overall sentence.

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Printable Colon Worksheets

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Colon or Semicolon?

Read each sentence below. Does it use the correct punctuation? Write correct or incorrect on the line. Then, rewrite the incorrect sentences on the back of this page, using the correct punctuation.

When to Use a Colon

To introduce a list, when the list follows an independent clause. To introduce a quotation when the quotation is not part of an independent clause. To introduce an explanation when the explanation follows an independent clause.

Colons and Semi-colons

Correct each sentence by adding a colon or a semi-colon where needed.

The Colon

Add a colon to each sentence where needed. Write the number of the rule that applies on the line.

7 Ways to Use a Colon

Add a colon to each sentence where necessary.

Writing with Colons and Semi-colons

Write 5 original sentences using colons or semi-colons. Follow the prompts below.

Colon vs. Semicolon

Read each sentence below. Does it use the correct punctuation? Write correct or incorrect on the line. Then, rewrite the incorrect sentences on the back of this page, using the correct punctuation.

Colon or Semicolon?

Read each sentence below. Does it use the correct punctuation? Write correct or incorrect on the line. Then, rewrite the incorrect sentences on the back of this page, using the correct punctuation.

When to Use Semi-colons

Read each sentence below. On the line, write the letter of the function that the semicolon is serving in each sentence.

Pairs of Sentences

Combine each pair of sentences using a colon or semi-colon.

That's Missing Something

Read each quotation. Then rewrite the sentence, using a colon.

Semicolons and Conjunctive Adverbs

A semicolon can be used to separate two independent clauses that are joined by a conjunctive adverb. Write an original sentence for each conjunctive adverb given below. Use a semicolon.

Smash'em Together

Combine each pair of sentences into a single sentence, using a colon.

Correct Me!

Add or delete colons or semi-colons or write "no correction."

Commas, Colons, and Semi-colons

Select the correct punctuation mark from inside the parentheses.