# Lesson video

In progress...

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to another lesson with me, Ms. Chu.

In this lesson, we are going to be exploring the functions of a colon.

A colon, a very strong punctuation, form of punctuation.

It's got a dot at the top and a dot at the bottom over each other like this.

But what is the function or the functions of a colon? We will find out in this lesson.

I know that you're super excited to know what colons are used for, but before we get into that, you need to get the things that you need.

You need an exercise book or paper, pen or pencil, and to have your colon part of your brain switched on.

Then let's look at the uses of a colon, several.

And the best bit, putting our colon knowledge into practise.

What's our writing warmup for today? Well, we have looked at this before, parenthesis.

Do you remember what parentheses are? A parenthesis is a word, or a phrase, or a sentence that is put in writing as extra information, or an afterthought.

If the parenthesis is taken away, the sentence would still make sense.

Do you remember what types of parentheses there are? We have brackets.

Dashes.

Commas.

Brilliant! Because you've already had to go before in our previous lesson, I would like you to now just go straight in.

Use parentheses, so you can choose brackets, what was the second one? Just checking that you were listening.

Yep, dashes.

What was the third one? Excellent, commas.

You can choose one of those or you do all three in three separate goes and I'd like you to use parentheses or parenthesis to punctuate this paragraph or sentence.

Pause the video and read it through.

Charles Darwin's book about his adventures in South America called "Journal of Researchers," later called the "Voyage of the Beagle," became one of the world's bestselling travel books.

If you use brackets, this is where it should have gone.

After called "Journal of Researchers," brackets, later called the "Voyage of the Beagle," became one of the world's bestselling travel books, because that's the bit that we are giving extra information about.

And then if you've used dashes, that's where it would go.

And commas, that's where that would go.

Now, let's see if we took that bit out.

Would it still make sense? Let's read it.

Charles Darwin's book about his adventures in South America called "Journal of Researchers" became one of the world's bestselling travel books.

Yes, it still makes sense.

For you, what are the uses of a colon? Now that we're all warmed up, we can now go into the main part of the lesson.

Why, why, why, why would we use a colon? There it is there, you can see it, the two dots like that.

Why do we use this? 'Cause it makes writing clearer and more sophisticated.

Number one, you can use a colon to introduce a list of something.

If you're listing objects, ideas, people, or things that you need, you use a colon.

You've got to remember though, when you do use a colon, you cannot use capital letter after the colon unless it is a proper noun.

Let's look at the example.

Charles Darwin spent five weeks exploring and collecting lots of interesting things, colon.

What were the interesting things that were going to list? Plants, comma, reptiles, comma, birds, fish, insects, shells, and mammals.

So I've got my colon and I've got my small p, not my capital P.

Remember, it's not a full stop, it's a colon unless obviously, it's a proper noun.

Or some other thing to remember is you should have a main clause before the colon.

Even if you're introducing a list, it should have a main clause.

Remember, a main clause is a verb.

Main clause has a verb.

Charles Darwin spent five weeks exploring and collecting lots of interesting things.

Good, I've got verbs in there, brilliant.

So my list would make sense.

What's another use of a colon? You can use a colon to, drum roll, separate two main clauses where the second cause explains the first clause.

What does that mean? Let's have a look.

Here's an example, we have a second clause explains the first clause.

At first, the Galapagos looked a bit boring, colon, the islands were surrounded with hot black rocks, stubby shrubs and black beaches.

So my second clause that comes after the colon, the islands were surrounded with hot black rocks, stubby shrubs and black beaches.

Does that explain the first clause? Let's see.

The first clause says, "At first the Galapagos looked a bit boring." Ah, it does.

So it's explaining why it's boring.

It's saying it's because it had black rocks, stubby shrubs and black beaches.

So when you first.

If you're someone who's just first landing on the Galapagos, you might think it's a bit boring, and then those are the reasons why.

Great.

Oh, you can also use a colon to emphasise a phrase or a single word at the end of a sentence.

Hmm.

Have you seen this happen before? If not, we can have a look at it now.

For emphasis: Charles had a few months to get ready for the trip of a lifetime, colon, South America.

Okay, so it's emphasising the last part of that sentence.

So the trip of the lifetime is South America.

And, oh, wait a minute.

I've got my colon and I've got my capital S.

Didn't I say before that I'm not allowed to use a capital letter? Let's read.

You should not use a capital letter after a colon, oh, unless it's a proper noun.

Phew, South America is a proper noun, so we're all good there.

Let's do some practise, colon practise, Which one uses the colon correctly? Hmm.

Is it this one? This one or this one? Pause the video, read through, check.

Well done if you chose this one.

Charles Darwin liked to collect lots of things, and then we're introducing the list, colon, and then the start of the list: plants, reptiles.

Amazing! Again, which is used correctly? Which sentence uses the colon correctly? Charles Darwin was the first to draw a "Tree of Life," a diagram showing how one type of living thing can evolve from another.

Pause the video and read through and just check it.

Yes! If you chose this one, you are correct.

Charles Darwin was the first to draw a "Tree of Life," and then the colon because we're explaining what a "Tree of Life" is.

It's to explain the first clause.

What do you think? Charles Darwin is known mainly for one thing, the theory of evolution.

Pause the video and read through and see which one you think is correct.

Yes, it's this one.

Charles Darwin is known mainly for one thing, colon, the theory of evolution.

Now I would like you to identify by the colon how it's been used in this example.

Non-fiction writing comes in three main forms, colon, newspaper reports, biographies, and leaflets.

Is it to introduce a list? Is it to introduce an explanation? Or is it to add emphasis? Point to the right word.

Yes, it is to introduce a list.

We are listing newspaper reports, biographies, and leaflets.

Why has the colon been used in this example? There is one similarity between Charles Darwin and Jane Goodall, colon, they were both pioneering scientists in their field.

Is it to introduce a list, is it to introduce an explanation, or is it to add emphasis? Point to the correct use.

There was one similarity between them.

Yep, and it's they were both pioneering scientists in their field.

Why has a colon been used here? Charles Darwin wrote "The Origin of Species," colon, one of the most important works of scientific study ever published.

Is it to introduce a list, to introduce an explanation, or to add emphasis? Hmm.

Point to the right one.

It is to introduce an explanation.

We're explaining what "The Origin of Species" is.

It's one of the most important works of scientific study ever published.

Amazing! We have come to the end.

You've learnt so much about colons today.

You are a colon expert.

Amazing! You have completed the lesson.

If you'd like to tell a parent or a carer all about colons, then please do so.

And I look forward to teaching your next lesson.

Bye!.