英语写作 | 英文中冒号的用法 The Usage of Colons

Colons 冒号(:)在中文或英文里都是一个相当常见的标点符号,在用法上也大致一样。但首先注意:

  • 冒号前不可有空格
  • 冒号后可加一空格
  • 冒号后千万不要加-(如 :-)

大家先来看看下面的例子,你以为句子中的冒号用法对吗?

For our camping trip, I brought: a lantern, a sleeping bag, food, water, and a flashlight.

如果你的答案是对,那你就错了!这是一个常见的冒号用法上的错误。正确的用法,看 下去就会明白了。这里且让我们从最简单的用法开始吧。

1 冒号用在公函上收信人的称呼

Dear Sir: (你看,冒号前没有任何空格喔)
We were very honored to have you come visit our company.

2 冒号用于分开标题和副标题(当一标题需要进一步说明时所加上的副标题)

1. Math Applications: Using Calculus to Determine the Age of Rocks (标题Math Applications和副标题Using Calculus to Determine the Age of Rocks之
间以冒号隔开)

2. I recommend Chinnery’s book Oak Furniture: the British Tradition. (Oak Furniture是书名,the British Tradition是副标题)

3 冒号必须加在完整句子或独立子句之后

最常见的冒号用法上的错误就是将冒号放在完整句或独立子句的中间。看看下面的例子:Every repairman must have: a screwdriver, a hammer, and a saw.

其中Every repairman must have是不是有完整的意思呢?显然意思并不完整。因此句子中的冒号是多馀的。如果要用冒号的话,上面句子应该写成下面的样子:

There are three things every repairman must have: a screwdriver, a hammer, and a saw.

看看冒号前There are three things every repairman must have,它是不是有完整的意思呢?“每一位修理员必备三样东西”可见意思是完整的,虽然你还会问是哪三样东
西呢?因此冒号后面就列出那三样东西了。

现在我们知道在冒号前必须是的完整意思的句子或子句,跟冒号后的可不一定是个句子或子句。它可能是一个列表,甚至可能只是一个单词。因此前面举的那个例子错在哪里
也就明白了吧。

下面给出它的正误句:

  • 错误句:For our camping trip, I brought: a lantern, a sleeping bag, food, water, and a flashlight.
  • 正确句:For our camping trip, I brought various essential items: a lantern, a sleeping bag, food, water, and a flashlight.

3.1 举例

1. Africa is facing a terrifying problem: perpetual drought(持续干旱). (冒号后说明非洲所面对的困境)

2. The situation is clear: if you have unprotected sex with a stranger, yourisk AIDS. (说明你的处境是什么)

3. She was sure of one thing: she was not going to be a housewife. (说明她肯定的是什么事)

4. We found the place easily: your directions were perfect. (说明为什么那么容易找到那个地方)

5. Several friends have provided me with inspiration: Tim, Ian, and above all, Larry. (说明是哪几个朋友)

3.2 反过来也行

1. Saussure, Sapir, Bloomfield, Chomsky: all these have revolutionized linguistics in one way or another.

4 冒号用于注明引用圣经的章节

1. The story of Menahem is found in II Kings 15:1422.

5 冒号用于表示比例

1. Among students of French, women outnumber men by more than 4:1. (4:1=4比
1. 用文字说就是by more than four to one)

6 冒号用于表示时间(美国式)

1. 2:15 (两点十五分) (英国式 2.15)
2. 11:30 (A) (上午十一点三十分) (英国式 11.30 am)

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