Is it okay to use a colon in the example below?

I'm not doing anything special this weekend: I'm planning on going to the gym, watching Netflix, and doing a bit of reading.

Or is it better to use a semicolon?

I'm not doing anything special this weekend; I'm planning on going to the gym, watching Netflix, and doing a bit of reading.

I think a colon is fine because the second clause elaborates on the sentence that comes before the colon. However, I also think that a semicolon would work in this case since both are independent clauses.

Which one is more preferable?

I've gone through a few posts related to this, but for some reason, I'm still not confident about this particular case.

  • 1
    Welcome to ELL, Krisan, We expect people to do a bit of research before posting a question (clearly you have), and also include details of their research, with links and/or quotes. This helps us to understand what you already know, so that we can provide a answer to your question. Have a look at this link, then decide which you think is best sussex.ac.uk/informatics/punctuation/colonandsemi/compared If you are still unclear, please edit your question to add further details of your research, and clarify what you still don't understand.
    – JavaLatte
    Nov 27, 2021 at 3:55

1 Answer 1


You're absolutely right; both are correct, and for the reasons that you state. The information in the second part of the sentence elaborates on the information in the first part, so a colon would be appropriate. On the other hand, they constitute two independent clauses, so a semicolon would be appropriate. Personally, I think that the elaboration argument is a bit weak, so I prefer the semicolon.

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