October 11, 2011
- Links main clauses
- Separate items in a list
- I drink coffee; he drinks tea.
- wrong: Although I drink coffee; he drinks tea
- because “although I drink coffee” is a subordinate clause
Dickens’s most memorable characters include Uriah Heap, an unctuous clerk;
Sloppy, a gifted mimic; and Dick Swiveller, a failed playboy.
- appositive phrase: “an unctuous clerk, a gifted mimic, a failed playboy”
- use semi colons to separate items in the list when each item contains internal punctuation (the
comma that separates the appositive phrase from the noun it renames.) Internal punctuation is
when a comma is used not to link another point or phrase but it links something related to the
- I and my family went to the Bighead River, which was muddy; the Beaver Valley
Motel, which was overpriced; and Raper’s Park, which was unfortunately named.
- Use a colon to introduce a list, appositive phrase or quotation.
- Use a colon after a main clause
-List: The daily routine should include the following: three scotch-and-sodas, fifty
cigarettes, and ten cups of coffee.
-Appositive: My roommate was guilty of two of the Seven Deadly Sins: sloth and
- because it’s an appositive phrase we know we can use a comma to introduce the
appositive element. If the appositive appears at the end of the sentence you can also use
- Quotation: when the word group introducing the quote is a main clause
- Consider the words of the typical English graduate student: “Welcome to
-Dickens’s most memorable characters include the following: Uriah Heap, an
unctuous clerk; Sloppy, a gifted mimic; and Dick Swiveller, a failed playboy.
How Not to Use the Colon
- Some important punctuation marks are: the comma, the colon, and the semicolon.
- “Some important punctuation marks are” is not a main clause, so it can’t have a colon
-The quiz will consist of: questions related to punctuation.
- Neither one of the word groups is a main clause.
- The preposition “of” can not be separated from its object.
- No colons after prepositions.
- I love WR2121; however, the textbook seems like it was written for high-school
- The important info in a sentence should appear in the main clause, the ideas of secondary
importance in a subordinate clause
- Two main clauses:
- Grandmother lost her sight. Her hearing sharpened.
- Both can stand alone as grammatically complete sentences but we want to link them.