Grammar and Punctuaton: Punctuation
A colon is like an equal sign: it means that what comes after the colon explains or results from what comes before the colon. In the same way, the colon also announces what follows: a list, a quotation, or a qualification.
The meeting included the following administrators: the Provost, her assistant, and the Associate Dean.
The new $40 million library could not have been built without the generosity of a devoted alumnus: the money was a gift from Paul Barret, Jr.
A semicolon connects two independent clauses that have similar ideas or content and are not otherwise joined by a comma with a coordinating conjunction. Be especially careful with semicolons, as misusing them can result in fragments.
Rhodes is a top liberal arts college; it consistently ranks in the first quartile of colleges nationwide.
A comma is used to separate terms in a list, to separate a long introductory phrase or dependent clause from the main clause, to separate a non-restrictive clause or incidental phrase, and to separate independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction (and, but, yet, or, nor, for).
The meeting included the Provost, her assistant, and the Associate Dean.
Rhodes College’s lush, Gothic campus is appealing to prospective students.
With the Lynx Lair renovation complete, students will enjoy a pub
The library, you will be amazed to hear, cost $40 million to build.
Rhodes is a top liberal arts college, and it consistently ranks in the first quartile of colleges nationwide.