The Thomas Hardye School

Weekly Literacy Focus

Week Eighteen

January 23rd 2017




A colon means "that is to say" or "here's what I mean." Colons and semicolons should never be used interchangeably. They can add sophistication to your written work.

There are two main rules that you should know:

Use a colon to introduce an item or a series of items. Do not capitalize the first item after the colon (unless it's a proper noun).

You know what needs to be done: practise.
You may be required to bring many things: sleeping bags, pans, utensils, and warm clothing.
I want the following items: butter, sugar, and flour.

Avoid using a colon before a list if it directly follows a verb or preposition that would ordinarily need no punctuation in that sentence.
Not recommended: I want: butter, sugar, and flour.
Recommended: I want butter, sugar, and flour.
Here is what I want: butter, sugar, and flour.

A colon instead of a semicolon may be used to join an independent clause (a clause that makes sense on its own) to a word, phrase or clause with the idea that the second element is to explain, expand or illustrate the idea of first clause.

Example: He got what he worked for: he really earned that promotion.
He became a vet: he couldn't stand to see animals suffer. 
He set up an animal clinic: there were none in his city.
More examples and quizzes to be found at:


Here's a handy video:


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To see other activities click on a title

Inverted Commas


Comma Splicing




A lot is two words


Short and long Vowels

Magic E


Plurals ending in Y

i before e

Homophones 1

Homophones 2

it and it's