Introduce Formal Statement
Use the colon to introduce a formal statement, an extract from a passage, or a speech in a dialogue:
Remember the rule: A colon may be used to introduce a statement.
I now quote from the committee's ruling: "As we stated before . . . ."
When you introduce a multisentence quotation with a phrase, which is not a complete sentence, use the colon:
According to Mr. Smith: "The government goofed again. It failed to review the matter."
If the quotation has only one sentence, use a comma after the introductory phrase:
According to Mr. Smith, "The government goofed again."
Use the colon to introduce all block quotations:
Mr. Jackson said:
We must now decide the issue once and for all. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and so on.
Use the comma, however, to introduce quoted statements in dialogue:
Jane said, "See Spot run!"
Previous: Introducing a List Next: Colons with Quotation Marks