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  1. #1
    RoseSpring's Avatar
    RoseSpring is offline Member
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    Default A colon or a comma?


    which one is the correct way ?

    She innocently answers: I dont know; I dont know.

    She innocently answers, I dont know; I dont know.

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: A colon or a comma?

    I would never use a colon to introduce direct speech that way, yet I seem to be see it more and more often. I'm not sure when that rule changed, nor how acceptable it is.

    You cannot go wrong with a comma there. (I do think a period is better than a semi-colon between the two "I don't know" statements, thought what you have is not incorrect.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: A colon or a comma?

    A comma, not a colon, usually precedes a conversation.

    There are only two main uses for the colon in everyday writing. Both require an independent clause, also known as a complete sentence, before the colon. The first use is when introducing a list, and the second is when introducing an explanation or example.

    Example: I need to pick up a few things at the grocery store: milk, bread, cheese, and juice.

    Example: After 10 hours of deliberation, the jury made its decision: the defendant was guilty.

    not a teacher

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