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SAT

Unit 11: Lesson 3

Writing: Grammar

Colons | Quick guide

What's on the test?

Tips and strategies

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  • blobby green style avatar for user 2022teebreneyin
    Do you always have to separate lists with a colon?
    (0 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Hecretary Bird
      You don't. You can seperate lists from the rest of the sentence with a whole lot of things, or nothing at all. For example, you could say "To make my secret breakfast recipe, I'll need waffles, bananas, and yogurt.", which doesn't have anything separating the list from the rest of the sentence. The rule for a colon is that you only need it if the part before the list can stand on its own. In the previous example, a colon would look silly because "To make my secret breakfast recipe, I'll need" isn't a complete thought. Instead, you could have said "I'll need three things for my secret breakfast recipe: waffles, bananas, and yogurt."
      (25 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user yangj
    what about '-'? Will the dash be on the SAT?
    (5 votes)
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  • male robot donald style avatar for user AJ Fisher
    How is using a colon correct on the first question?
    (5 votes)
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  • leafers sapling style avatar for user Thea
    Would "Wide-spread vaccination can functionally eliminate the dangers of many diseases: polio, measles, and tetanus." be correct since "such as" is not included?
    (1 vote)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Hecretary Bird
      In my opinion, it's perfectly fine to have that sentence without a "such as" before the colon. All colons do is say "take note of this following bit", and one way they do so is by introducing lists of examples. It's pretty commonly understood that polio, measles, and tetanus are all diseases, so adding the "such as" wouldn't really serve much of a purpose in the sentence, as the colon implicitly does everything it's doing.
      (5 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user ELIJAH359
    Do you always have to separate lists with a colon?
    (1 vote)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
    • primosaur tree style avatar for user Harsha
      You don't. You can separate lists from the rest of the sentence with a whole lot of things, or nothing at all. For example, you could say "To make my secret breakfast recipe, I'll need waffles, bananas, and yogurt.", which doesn't have anything separating the list from the rest of the sentence. The rule for a colon is that you only need it if the part before the list can stand on its own. In the previous example, a colon would look silly because "To make my secret breakfast recipe, I'll need" isn't a complete thought. Instead, you could have said "I'll need three things for my secret breakfast recipe: waffles, bananas, and yogurt. (Credit to Hecretary Bird)
      (2 votes)