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Use Colons for Lists

In this worksheet, students decide whether or not to use a colon at the beginning of a list.

'Use Colons for Lists' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Writing: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Curriculum subtopic:  Use Colons in Lists

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

A colon is a punctuation mark. It looks like this :

A colon is often used at the beginning of a bullet pointed list.

We need:

  • apples
  • pears
  • bananas
  • oranges
  • kiwi fruit

 

It can also be used in some other types of list, but not all lists.

 

The first of the following sentences needs a colon, but the second does not.

These are the people I am inviting to my party: Kate, Joe, Adil, Dwayne and Jamila.

I am inviting Kate, Joe, Adil, Dwayne and Jamila to my party.

 

So how can we decide whether we need a colon or not?

 

If the section of the sentence before the colon makes sense on its own, then we use a colon. If it doesn't make sense on its own, we don't use a colon.

'These are the people I am inviting to my party' makes sense on its own, but 'I am inviting' does not.

Which of the following sentences is correctly punctuated?

My favourite colours are blue, red and green.

My favourite colours are: blue, red and green.

Which of the following sentences is correctly punctuated?

The potion contained these ingredients: bats' tails, frogs' eyes and worms.

The potion contained these ingredients bats' tails, frogs' eyes and worms.

Which of the following sentences is correctly punctuated?

The colours of the rainbow are: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

The colours of the rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Which of the following sentences is correctly punctuated?

Joe's best friends are: John, Jake and Jim.

Joe's best friends are John, Jake and Jim.

Which of the following sentences is correctly punctuated?

Please buy the following items: bread, milk, sausages and butter.

Please buy the following items, bread, milk, sausages and butter.

Which of the following sentences is correctly punctuated?

I am studying these languages: French, German and Italian.

I am studying these languages, French, German and Italian.

Write out the following sentence, adding the correct punctuation.

 

(You will need to think about commas and full stops as well as colons.)

 

Sanjay's favourite foods are apples chocolate and sausages

Write out the following sentence, adding the correct punctuation.

 

These are the four seasons spring summer autumn and winter

Write out the following sentence, adding the correct punctuation.

 

Priya has been to Paris Rome and Madrid

Write out the following sentence, adding the correct punctuation.

 

Joey's presents included some wonderful things a bicycle a watch and some CDs

  • Question 1

Which of the following sentences is correctly punctuated?

CORRECT ANSWER
My favourite colours are blue, red and green.
EDDIE SAYS
Great effort! The first part of the sentence doesn't make sense on its own so we don't use a colon.
  • Question 2

Which of the following sentences is correctly punctuated?

CORRECT ANSWER
The potion contained these ingredients: bats' tails, frogs' eyes and worms.
EDDIE SAYS
Great work! This time, the first part of the sentence makes sense on its own so we do need a colon.
  • Question 3

Which of the following sentences is correctly punctuated?

CORRECT ANSWER
The colours of the rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
EDDIE SAYS
Super effort! The first part of the sentence doesn't make sense on its own. Remember we only use a colon if the first part of the sentence makes sense on it's own.
  • Question 4

Which of the following sentences is correctly punctuated?

CORRECT ANSWER
Joe's best friends are John, Jake and Jim.
EDDIE SAYS
You getting the hang of this now? 'Joe's best friends are.' Would not make sense on it's own. We do not need to use a colon, we use commas instead to separate the list.
  • Question 5

Which of the following sentences is correctly punctuated?

CORRECT ANSWER
Please buy the following items: bread, milk, sausages and butter.
EDDIE SAYS
Keep it up! In this example the first part of the sentence makes sense on its own so we can use a colon to introduce our list.
  • Question 6

Which of the following sentences is correctly punctuated?

CORRECT ANSWER
I am studying these languages: French, German and Italian.
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get it right? The first part of the sentence makes sense on its own so we can use a colon.
  • Question 7

Write out the following sentence, adding the correct punctuation.

 

(You will need to think about commas and full stops as well as colons.)

 

Sanjay's favourite foods are apples chocolate and sausages

CORRECT ANSWER
Sanjay's favourite foods are apples, chocolate and sausages.
EDDIE SAYS
'Sanjay's favourite foods are' doesn't make sense on its own so you don't need a colon. Nearly there well done!
  • Question 8

Write out the following sentence, adding the correct punctuation.

 

These are the four seasons spring summer autumn and winter

CORRECT ANSWER
These are the four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter.
EDDIE SAYS
'These are the four seasons' makes sense on its own so you need a colon to introduce the different months. Well done for excellent effort!
  • Question 9

Write out the following sentence, adding the correct punctuation.

 

Priya has been to Paris Rome and Madrid

CORRECT ANSWER
Priya has been to Paris, Rome and Madrid.
EDDIE SAYS
You got this! Remember if the first part of the sentence doesn't make sense on it's own you do not use a colon. 'Priya has been to' doesn't make sense on its own so you don't need a colon.
  • Question 10

Write out the following sentence, adding the correct punctuation.

 

Joey's presents included some wonderful things a bicycle a watch and some CDs

CORRECT ANSWER
Joey's presents included some wonderful things: a bicycle, a watch and some CDs.
EDDIE SAYS
'Joe's presents included some wonderful things' makes sense on its own so you need a colon. Great job!
---- OR ----

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