The Grammar Guide Colon Punctuation Rules: Grammar Guide Can I use a colon before a conjunction?

Can I use a colon before a conjunction?

Can I use a colon before a conjunction?

You never use a colon (:) before a conjunction. Sometimes, a conjunction can be proceeded by a comma (,). In rare instances, a writer might choose to use a semi-colon (;).

Conjunctions are words that link other words, phrases, and clauses together.

There are three main kinds of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, and subordinating conjunctions.

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions are words like but, and, or, yet, and so. They join together two parts of a sentence that have equal grammatical rank.

  • I would eat pizza and mozzarella sticks for lunch.

Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions are pairs of conjunctions like either/or, neither/nor, and not only/but also.

  • I would like to eat either pizza or Chinese food for lunch.

Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions join independent and dependent clauses. Subordinating conjunctions can show a cause and effect or a contrasting relationship.

  • Although I wanted to go out for dinner, I stayed home and cooked.

Conjunctions may be used with a comma, but they are never used with a colon.