The "rule" goes too far. Your example sentence is correct.
Student or Learner
I have read that colons should only be used to introduce a list if they are preceded by a complete sentence. That rule seems OK to me, but I came across this example, which is marked as correct, on a well-known website:
We have taken a vacation in the following countries: Philippines, China, Thailand, and Hong Kong.
To my mind the opening clause contains a subject and a predicate, but I don't see how it can be considered complete; after all, it requires the list to make sense, surely.
Can anyone shed any light please?
Thanks in advance.
Thanks for the reply, but I'm still a little stumped because of the following claims.
Two websites state that the following sentences are correct as regards their colon usage, *and* that the first clause in each of them is complete:
For their anniversary they went to the following places: Aruba, St. Martin, Jamaica, and the Bahamas.
To make clam chowder you need the following: minced clams, milk, potatoes, and onions.
Grammar Girl's favorite hobbies are the following: skiing and reading.
How can anyone claim that, 'For their anniversary they went to the following places', 'To make clam chowder you need the following', and 'Grammar Girl's favorite hobbies are the following' are independent clauses/complete sentences that could each end in a period?
Thanks in advance.
The rule says the first clause must be independent. How can I over-read it? If the first clause needs the text that follows the colon to make it complete, then it wasn't independent to begin with, surely?
The inconsistencies within English are bad enough, but to make a firm 'rule' and then break it in the examples given seems even worse to me.
Wikipedia is as good a reference as anywhere: 'An independent clause (or main clause) is a clause that can stand by itself; also known as a simple sentence. An independent clause contains a subject and a predicate; it makes sense by itself.'
How can, 'For their anniversary they went to the following places', be considered to make sense by itself? What am I missing? I'm trying to explain this to someone else, a teenager, and I'm struggling to do so.
I know where your head is stuck. Thanks for all your 'help', Mike.
I don't think this is a very good rule. Do you have any examples of colon use that follow this rule?