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Use Colons Correctly: Adding Further Information

In this worksheet, students practise using colons in sentences where further information is provided.

'Use Colons Correctly: Adding Further Information' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Writing: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Curriculum subtopic:  Punctuate Independent Clauses

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Colons can be used to punctuate sentences where the second part explains or illustrates the first part.

It wasn't easy: the questions were all at level 5.

 

In this example, using two separate sentences or a conjunction would also be correct.

It wasn't easy. The questions were all at level 5.

It wasn't easy because the questions were all at level 5.

 

However, using a comma to join the clauses would not be correct.

It wasn't easy, the questions were all at level 5. (wrong)

 

Using colons in this way is also a way of emphasising a point.

Sid is particularly well known for his greed.

By rewriting this sentence with a colon, Sid's greed can be highlighted.

Sid is particularly well known for one thing: his greed.

Read the following sentence and decide whether it has been correctly punctuated or not.

 

I love swimming: I go to the pool at least once a week.

correct

incorrect

Read the following sentence and decide whether it has been correctly punctuated or not.

 

The weather forecast was wrong: they said we would have snow but it just rained.

correct

incorrect

Read the following sentence and decide whether it has been correctly punctuated or not.

 

Peter's fishing trip was successful, he caught five perch.

correct

incorrect

Read the following sentence and decide whether it has been correctly punctuated or not.

 

Katie has only one thing on her mind: she wants to win.

correct

incorrect

Read the following sentence and decide whether it has been correctly punctuated or not.

 

It's midnight and I'm only interested in one thing at the moment: sleep!

correct

incorrect

Which of the following sentences are correctly punctuated? Tick two boxes.

There is one thing you should know about my dog. He's fierce.

There's one thing you should know about my dog: he's fierce.

There's one thing you should know about my dog, he's fierce.

There's one thing you should know about my dog he's fierce.

Which of the following sentences are correctly punctuated? Tick two boxes.

He knew only one thing mattered. To escape.

He knew only one thing mattered: to escape.

He knew only one thing mattered, to escape.

He knew only one thing mattered, and that was to escape.

Which of the following sentences are correctly punctuated? Tick two boxes.

I only know one thing about liver: it tastes disgusting.

I only know one thing about liver it tastes disgusting.

I only know one thing about liver. It tastes disgusting.

I only know one thing about liver, it tastes disgusting.

Rewrite the following sentence using a colon instead of the conjunction 'because'.

 

Liam was exhausted because he hadn't slept at all the night before.

Rewrite the following sentence using a colon instead of the conjunction 'because'.

 

Mum told me not to worry about the test because she would go and talk to my teacher.

  • Question 1

Read the following sentence and decide whether it has been correctly punctuated or not.

 

I love swimming: I go to the pool at least once a week.

CORRECT ANSWER
correct
EDDIE SAYS
Well done! The second clause provides more detail about the information in the first clause, so the colon is correct.
  • Question 2

Read the following sentence and decide whether it has been correctly punctuated or not.

 

The weather forecast was wrong: they said we would have snow but it just rained.

CORRECT ANSWER
correct
EDDIE SAYS
You got this! Again, the second clause gives more detail about the first, so the colon is correct.
  • Question 3

Read the following sentence and decide whether it has been correctly punctuated or not.

 

Peter's fishing trip was successful, he caught five perch.

CORRECT ANSWER
incorrect
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get it? There should be a colon instead of the comma. Remember we use a colon when the second clause gives more information about the first. Well done keep going!
  • Question 4

Read the following sentence and decide whether it has been correctly punctuated or not.

 

Katie has only one thing on her mind: she wants to win.

CORRECT ANSWER
correct
EDDIE SAYS
Great work! This is correct as the second clause gives more information about the first.
  • Question 5

Read the following sentence and decide whether it has been correctly punctuated or not.

 

It's midnight and I'm only interested in one thing at the moment: sleep!

CORRECT ANSWER
correct
EDDIE SAYS
You getting the hang of this now? This is correct because the second clause does not make sense on it's own. It relies on the first and gives us more information. You can do this!
  • Question 6

Which of the following sentences are correctly punctuated? Tick two boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
There is one thing you should know about my dog. He's fierce.
There's one thing you should know about my dog: he's fierce.
EDDIE SAYS
A tricky one! But the first two options are correct. This is because we can use colons to emphasise a point. In this example we are highlighting that the dog is 'fierce'. The clauses can also make sense as two separate clauses using a full stop.
  • Question 7

Which of the following sentences are correctly punctuated? Tick two boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
He knew only one thing mattered: to escape.
He knew only one thing mattered, and that was to escape.
EDDIE SAYS
Great effort! In this example, using two separate sentences does not work because the second clause, 'to escape', is not a sentence in its own right.
  • Question 8

Which of the following sentences are correctly punctuated? Tick two boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
I only know one thing about liver: it tastes disgusting.
I only know one thing about liver. It tastes disgusting.
EDDIE SAYS
Here we need to use a colon or a full stop. The second clause is giving us more information about the first and we are highlighting a point to the reader.
  • Question 9

Rewrite the following sentence using a colon instead of the conjunction 'because'.

 

Liam was exhausted because he hadn't slept at all the night before.

CORRECT ANSWER
Liam was exhausted: he hadn't slept at all the night before.
EDDIE SAYS
Nearly there well done! Remember we can use a colon in place of a connective if the second clause relies on the first. The second clause would not make sense on it's own.
  • Question 10

Rewrite the following sentence using a colon instead of the conjunction 'because'.

 

Mum told me not to worry about the test because she would go and talk to my teacher.

CORRECT ANSWER
Mum told me not to worry about the test: she would go and talk to my teacher.
EDDIE SAYS
You got this! In this example we can replace the connective with a colon. The second clause is giving us more information about the first and can not be a stand alone sentence.
---- OR ----

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