About the colon and the often underrated semicolon
June 2021: Do you know the difference between colon and semicolon?
A colon often precedes an example, an explanation, a list or a quotation.
In Danish usage, a colon is only followed by a capital letter, if you have a full sentence, whereas in English, a colon is normally followed by a lowercase letter. This, however, depends on the style guide you’re using.
|DK||Sprogservice tilbyder: sproglig revision, oversættelse og sproglig sparring.|
|UK||Language Services offers: language revision, translation and linguistic feedback.|
|DK||Inden kildeteksten indleveres til Sprogservice, skal du kontrollere følgende: Om teksten er færdig og om den fungerer i forhold til målgruppen?|
|UK||Before submitting your source text to Language Services, you must check the following: is the text final and have you adjusted the text to the target audience?|
Semicolons are not used that often, but we at Language Services are huge fans of the punctuation mark. A semicolon is a pause double that of the comma but not as final as the full stop. You can use it to link two independent clauses that are closely related in thought.
A semicolon is followed by a lowercase letter.
- It is important that you submit the text in due time; the originally agreed deadline may otherwise be postponed.
You can also use a semicolon between items in a list or series if the sentences are long and contain commas.
- Remember to run a spellcheck before you submit the text; check that the text is adjusted to your target audience; and that the text is final, which will prevent subsequent revisions.