Student or Learner
The colon is used in the following ways: to distinguish between titles and subtitles and to introduce a series, an appositive phrase, or a quotation.
Is "to distinguish between titles and subtitles and to introduce a series, an appositive phrase, or a quotation" an appositive phrase in this sentence?
If so, why?
No, it's not an appositive.
An appositive is, basically, a way of restating a noun (or noun phrase) -- think of it as an alternative, like this:
The US President, George W. Bush, is giving a speech.
The phrase "George W. Bush" is another way of saying "The US President", so it's in apposition.
Here's another example, this time using a colon:
Peter was not exactly stone-cold sober at this point: he was embarrassingly drunk.
"Embarrassingly drunk" is another way of saying "not exactly stone-cold sober". We use the colon for appositives when it comes after a complete sentence (we could end the sentence at that point and it would be grammatically complete).
In your sentence, what the colon introduces is a series -- that is, a list. You can write out the different items of the list like this:
The colon is used in the following ways:
- to distinguish between titles and subtitles
- to introduce a series
- to introduce an appositive phrase
- to introduce a quotation.
You all are always so concise and helpful. Finally, colons and appositives have been embedded in my memory.