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Introducing Statements or Quotations

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  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips
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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 . . . ."

Multisentence Quotation

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."

One-Sentence Quotation

If the quotation has only one sentence, use a comma after the introductory phrase:

According to Mr. Smith, "The government goofed again."

Block Quotation

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

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