The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Affordable pricing from £10/month

Revise Your Punctuation: Colons and Semi-Colons 1

In this worksheet, students revise colons, semi-colons and other punctuation for lists and quotations.

'Revise Your Punctuation: Colons and Semi-Colons 1' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Grammar and Vocabulary

Curriculum subtopic:  Extend and Apply Grammatical Knowledge

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Colons and semi-colons can both be used in lists, but in different parts of the sentence.

 

A colon is used to introduce a list if the first part of the sentence makes sense on its own.

I have three best friends: Neela, Josie and Karla.

 

If the first part of the sentence doesn't make sense on its own then a colon is not used.

My three best friends are Neela, Josie and Karla.

 

Semi-colons can be used to separate items in a list if the items consist of more than one word.

I need to buy two tins of tomatoes; a leg of lamb; a sack of potatoes; and three pints of milk.

On our cruise we went to Athens, Greece; Naples, Italy; Malaga, Spain; and Nice, France.

 

Commas could be used instead for the first example above, as the list would still be easy to understand. However, if commas were used in the second one it would look like eight different places instead of four.

 

A colon can also be used to introduce a quotation or direct speech if the first part of the sentence makes sense on its own.

My nanna has a favourite saying: "Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves."

 

Again, a colon should not be used if the first part of the sentence does not make sense on its own. A comma is used instead.

My nanna says, "Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves."

 

Semi-colons are never used to introduce speech or quotations.

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

 

We need to take: a drink, a packed lunch and a raincoat.

correct

incorrect

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

 

I have three favourite authors; JK Rowling, Jacqueline Wilson and Anthony Horowitz.

correct

incorrect

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

 

I will never forget the last thing my grandad said to me: "I am proud of you."

correct

incorrect

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

 

The United Kingdom has four capital cities: London, England; Edinburgh, Scotland; Cardiff, Wales; and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

correct

incorrect

Read the following sentences and decide which are correctly punctuated.

 

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


2) The colours of the rainbow are red; orange; yellow; green; blue; indigo and violet.

sentence 1

sentence 2

both are correct

Read the following sentences and decide which are correctly punctuated.

 

1) The police found a wallet, a gold watch, some jewellery, a cigarette box and a pearl necklace.


2) The police found a wallet; a gold watch; some jewellery; a cigarette box and a pearl necklace.

sentence 1

sentence 2

both are correct

Read the following sentences and decide which are correctly punctuated.

 

1) The menu included several dishes: roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, served with roast potatoes; battered cod, served with chips and peas; and chicken and ham pie, served with baked beans.

 

2) The menu included several dishes: roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, served with roast potatoes, battered cod, served with chips and peas and chicken and ham pie, served with baked beans.

sentence 1

sentence 2

both are correct

Read the following sentences and decide which are correctly punctuated.

 

1) Peter said: "Hurry up or we'll miss the train!"


2) Peter said, "Hurry up or we'll miss the train!"

sentence 1

sentence 2

both are correct

Rewrite the following sentence, punctuating it correctly.

 

We are inviting five people to the party Josh Mikey Sarah Amira and Harry.

Rewrite the following sentence, punctuating it correctly.

 

Jacob said where are you?

  • Question 1

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

 

We need to take: a drink, a packed lunch and a raincoat.

CORRECT ANSWER
incorrect
EDDIE SAYS
A colon should not be used as the first part of the sentence (We need to take) does not make sense on its own.
  • Question 2

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

 

I have three favourite authors; JK Rowling, Jacqueline Wilson and Anthony Horowitz.

CORRECT ANSWER
incorrect
EDDIE SAYS
The list should be introduced by a colon, not a semi-colon.
  • Question 3

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

 

I will never forget the last thing my grandad said to me: "I am proud of you."

CORRECT ANSWER
correct
EDDIE SAYS
This example is correct as the first part makes sense on its own.
  • Question 4

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

 

The United Kingdom has four capital cities: London, England; Edinburgh, Scotland; Cardiff, Wales; and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

CORRECT ANSWER
correct
EDDIE SAYS
The semi-colons help to show that there are four items in the list, not eight.
  • Question 5

Read the following sentences and decide which are correctly punctuated.

 

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


2) The colours of the rainbow are red; orange; yellow; green; blue; indigo and violet.

CORRECT ANSWER
sentence 1
EDDIE SAYS
The list only contains short words so semi-colons are not necessary.
  • Question 6

Read the following sentences and decide which are correctly punctuated.

 

1) The police found a wallet, a gold watch, some jewellery, a cigarette box and a pearl necklace.


2) The police found a wallet; a gold watch; some jewellery; a cigarette box and a pearl necklace.

CORRECT ANSWER
both are correct
EDDIE SAYS
Semi-colons could be used here as the items in the list consist of more than one word. However, the list is still easy to understand if commas are used.
  • Question 7

Read the following sentences and decide which are correctly punctuated.

 

1) The menu included several dishes: roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, served with roast potatoes; battered cod, served with chips and peas; and chicken and ham pie, served with baked beans.

 

2) The menu included several dishes: roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, served with roast potatoes, battered cod, served with chips and peas and chicken and ham pie, served with baked beans.

CORRECT ANSWER
sentence 1
EDDIE SAYS
We need to use semi-colons here because the items on the list already contain commas. The second version is very confusing!
  • Question 8

Read the following sentences and decide which are correctly punctuated.

 

1) Peter said: "Hurry up or we'll miss the train!"


2) Peter said, "Hurry up or we'll miss the train!"

CORRECT ANSWER
sentence 2
EDDIE SAYS
A colon should not be used here because 'Peter said' does not make sense on its own.
  • Question 9

Rewrite the following sentence, punctuating it correctly.

 

We are inviting five people to the party Josh Mikey Sarah Amira and Harry.

CORRECT ANSWER
We are inviting five people to the party: Josh, Mikey, Sarah, Amira and Harry.
We are inviting five people to the party: Josh, Mikey, Sarah, Amira, and Harry.
EDDIE SAYS
A colon is used because the first part of the sentence makes sense on its own. A comma is not normally used before 'and' in a list, but it is not wrong to put one in.
  • Question 10

Rewrite the following sentence, punctuating it correctly.

 

Jacob said where are you?

CORRECT ANSWER
Jacob said, "Where are you?"
Jacob said, 'Where are you?'
EDDIE SAYS
A comma is needed after the word 'said'.
---- OR ----

Sign up for a £1 trial so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Start your £1 trial

Start your trial for £1