Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

Colons in References, Times, and Titles

The Quick Answer
Colons can be used to divide the parts of references, titles, and times.

Using Colons as Dividers (in References, Times, and Titles)

Colons are useful to divide the parts of references, times, and titles. (They often make better separators than the alternative punctuation marks.)

Examples of Colons Used in References

Here is an example of colons used in a reference:
  • Learn Chapter XIV: Section 4: Paragraph 6 by tomorrow.
  • (Commas could have been used in this example.)

Examples of Colons Used in Titles

Here are two examples of colons used to separate main titles from subtitles:
  • "How To Get Your Own Way: Who's Manipulating You?"
  • "Grammar Rules: Writing with Military Precision"

Example of Colons Used in Times

Here is an example of a colon used to separate the hours from the minutes in a time:
  • The alarm clock is set for 07:30.
  • (0730 and 07.30 are also correct.)