Elements of Style

Section 1, Rules 7-11

7. Colons introduce particulars, appositives, an amplification, or a quotation

  • Colons follow independent clauses
  • Closely related to the clause it follows
  • Does not separate a verb or a preposition
  • May join two independent clauses
  • Also performs other specific funtions
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This not That

This

I need five ingredients for the cookies: flour, butter, milk, eggs, and sugar.

Not That

I need five ingredients: for the cookies, flour, butter, milk, eggs, and sugar.

Some Practice

Insert a colon where applicable

1. My boss said he expected me in his office at 1245 sharp.

2. My house is unusually quiet today I know I will be getting a lot of work done.

8. Use a dash for abrupt breaks or specific interruptions in a sentence

Dashes may:

  • Provide a summary or a long list of renamed nouns
  • Act "Stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses" (9).
  • Indicate a sudden change in tone or thought
  • Substitute another form of punctuation when their function is insufficient within the sentence

Some Examples

Examples

*1. His first thought on getting out of bed–if he has any thought at all–was to get back in again.

2. All of my schoolwork–physics, history, calculus, and french–was strewn across my bedroom floor when I fell asleep last night.


Side note: Dashes may be omitted when they disrupt the flow of the writing too much.

9. THE NUMBER OF THE SUBJECT DETERMINES THE NUMBER OF THE VERB

-When words intervene between the subject and the verb, the number does not change

-The linking verb agrees with the number of the subject


Keep it Plural When:

-The relative clause is the subject and it has "One of," or something similar

-"None" suggests more than one thing


Remains Singular When:

-There is the use of the words; each, either, everyone, everybody, neither, nobody, someone

-Certain clichés because they are so inseparable

-Compound subjects are qualified by each or every

-Other nouns are connected to it by, "with, as well as, in addition to, except, together with, and no less than."

-None means "no one" or "not one"

Identify the mistake(s) in the following sentence:


Ryan as well as Natalie are worried about the quiz

10. USE THE PROPER CASE OF PRONOUN

-Personal pronouns, and "who", will change form as they function as a subject or object

-Use the simple personal pronoun as the subject


-A pronoun in comparison is nominative if it is the subject of a state or understood verb.


-The possessive case of pronouns is used to show ownership. The adjectival for is "your." The noun form is "of yours."


-The present participle as a verb takes the objective case



Examples:

1. The football team beat Porter Ridge by more than they beat Myers Park.

2. The teacher took him out of class for not wearing a nametag and sent him to the lady who enforces the rules.

11. A PARTICIPAL PHRASE AT THE BEGINNING OF A SENTENCE MUST REFER TO THE GRAMATICAL SUBJECT

-Participial phrase preceded by a:

-conjunction

-preposition

-nouns in apposition

-adjectives

- or adjective phrases

Come under the same rule if they begin a sentence.



Correct the following:


Without the definitions of the words, the questions were impossible for me.