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如何使用冒號(:)

冒號(:)可以用來詳細說明或擴充它前面的資訊。一般情況下,冒號會跟在獨立子句的後面,引介單字和片語,或者把讀者的注意力集中到一個項目清單上。

然而,作者應該謹記的是,冒號是一個充滿力量的標點符號,因此不應該使用的太過頻繁。本文要為您說明冒號的性質,列舉使用冒號的範例,以及如何避免常見的錯誤。

引介一個單字或片語

冒號經常用來引介一個單字或片語,或加在一個獨立子句的後面。

例句
John only does one thing during his free time: rock climbing.
例句
I have a great idea: let's go shopping tomorrow.

使用冒號引介一個項目時,冒號前的文本必須是一個獨立子句或完整的句子。

錯誤
One essential step for writing an essay is: proofreading.
正確
One essential step for writing an essay is obvious: proofreading.

放在一個項目清單前面

用冒號引介一個項目清單或一個項目系列。

例句
I am taking the following classes: thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and linear algebra.

避免在不需要標點符號的項目清單前面,或使用其他標點符號更適合的地方使用冒號。

錯誤
I love video games such as: Super Mario, Halo, and Doom.
正確
I love video games, including Super Mario, Halo, and Doom.

正確地應用冒號建立項目清單

錯誤
The three major species in Starcraft are: Terran, Zerg, and Protoss.
正確
Starcraft has three major species: Terran, Zerg, and Protoss.
正確
The three major species in Starcraft are Terran, Zerg, and Protoss.
錯誤
I have many friends from: Columbia, Italy, and India.
正確
I have many friends from three countries: Columbia, Italy, and India.
正確
I have many friends from Columbia, Italy, and India.
錯誤
My morning routine includes: making the bed, washing my face, and brushing my teeth.
正確
My morning routine includes minor activities: making the bed, washing my face, and brushing my teeth.
正確
My morning routine includes making the bed, washing my face, and brushing my teeth.

使用冒號時常見的錯誤

雖然冒號可以用在許多情況,但應用於學術寫作時,作者應該避免幾個常見的錯誤。

分隔內容不相關的子句

如果第二個子句是在強調第一個子句,或把重要的細節加入第一個子句時,就可以把冒號用在兩個獨立子句之間。

錯誤
I decided to take a day off: we have a new president.
正確
We canceled our family trip: everyone got food poisoning.

冒號的濫用

放在適當位置的冒號會引起讀者的注意,並告訴讀者:「這個資訊包含重要的內容:範例或釐清內容的細節。」

由於冒號非常引人注目,因此經常用來清楚地指出重要的資訊。基於這個理由,許多學術論文的作者會用冒號來引介主要的論點或支持性的證據。

更多與冒號有關的提示

冒號後面要用正確的大寫

除非是專有名詞、一段引述或系列中的第一個句子,否則冒號後面的第一個單字不要大寫。

錯誤
The following ingredients are needed to make a cake: Eggs, milk, and sugar.
正確
I want to visit the three most beautiful cities in Europe: Venice, Prague, and Rome.

用冒號,不用逗號

在一個包含多個句子的引述前要用冒號,不要用逗號。

例句
Steve Jobs once said: "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking."