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# Usage of Colon on GMAT ### Usage of Colon on GMAT

Description: In this brief video, we will cover the use of the punctuation mark known as the colon (:) on the GMAT

## Use of Colon on GMAT

On the GMAT, the colon has three main usages. In this brief article we will understand those three uses with the help of examples. Understanding the role played by the colon can help you parse the meaning of certain sentence in the GMAT Sentence Correct better.

### Usages of Colon

1. Used to introduce a list

The first usage of the colon is introducing a list; let us understand this usage through the following example.

Example 1 – There are four natural states of matter: solids, liquids, gases, and plasmas.

This sentence begins with the clause “There are four natural states of matter”, which is followed by a colon and the phrase “solids, liquids, gases, and plasmas”; this phrase lists the four states of matter mentioned in the clause. Thus, the colon introduces the list in the bolded part of the sentence.

2. Used to introduce an explanation/definition

The second usage of the colon is introducing an explanation or definition; let us understand this usage through the following example.

Example 2 – The least understood state of matter is plasma: it is similar to gas, but the atomic particles are charged rather than neutral.

Here, once you have read the clause “The least understood state of matter is plasma”, the sentence presents an implicit question, “Why…is plasma the least understood state of matter?” Then, the clause following the colon, “it is similar to gas, but the atomic particles are charged rather than neutral”, provides an explanation for that implicit question. Thus, the colon is used to introduce an explanation or definition.

3. Used to introduce an answer/solution

The third usage of the colon is introducing an answer or solution; let us understand this usage through the following example.

Example 3 – The plan is simple: work hard.

Here, the first clause presents an implicit question, “What…is the plan?”, and the phrase following the colon provides an answer; the plan is to “work hard”. Thus, the colon is used to introduce an answer or solution.

This article has deliberately been kept brief; for a more elaborate explanation, please refer to the Experts’ Global Stage One Sentence Correction videos.