Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

A Comma is Not a Colon

Posted by Michael Dickens on May 19, 2009

It’s about time people stopped using commas when they meant colons or semicolons.

A comma is used to separate two sentence fragments, or items in a list. It is NOT used to begin a list.

“Get three items at the grocery, milk, eggs, and sausage.” WRONG! Correct usage is like this:

“Get three items at the grocery: milk, eggs, and sausage.”

Colons are used when the part after the colon supplements the part before. Semicolons are used when two complete sentences are similar enough to be put in one sentence; it is used when the sentence could be over, but there’s more to say.

For more information, see on commas.


One Response to “A Comma is Not a Colon”

  1. LRFLEW said


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