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All the Leo Messi fans here in this sub: if he joined either City or Chelsea, would you then hate him?

IS the use of colon in the sentence above is correct? Actually I don't know the proper use of colon. While making the sentence above, it generally felt appropriate to me to use colon. And would somebody explain me the proper use of colon in any kind of sentences?

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    I don't know what sub means (subway?), but yes that is correct usage. To me, the colon means 'pay attention to what comes after me'. This page might help.
    – user6951
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 12:03

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The use of the colon is correct. It's acting as an introductory address similar to To Whom It May Concern:.


I'm guessing you want to write something on reddit. It's the only place I know where they talk about a sub (sub-reddit). I would write it like this:

  • To all the Leo Messi fans here in this sub: if he joined either City or Chelsea, would you then hate him?

Note the declaration "To all..." Also, you would not use quotes because you're the one talking, and you don't quote yourself!

Assuming this is your purpose, slight changes in phrasing may be preferred to convey different meanings. Let's say Leo Messi fans love good old Leo, and hate all the players on the other team. And you want to point out the absurdity of hating someone just because they are on a team. Then I would say,

  • To all the Leo Messi fans here in this sub: would you suddenly hate him if he joined either City or Chelsea?

On the other hand, let's say he's thinking about moving, and you want to know if his fans will stop being his fans merely because he's playing for another rival team. Then I would say,

  • To all the Leo Messi fans here in this sub: are you going to hate him if he does join City or Chelsea?
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  • @idiosincrasia23 - I added a note at the top explaining why the colon is correct! Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 5:56
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It's correct. Two of the uses of colons are to describe a list or to introduce a quote or someone's statement as it is.

However, I'd add inverted commas to show that it is a statement or a direct speech.

(To) All the Leo Messi fans here in this sub: "If he joined either City or Chelsea, would you then hate him?"

Okay, and a list example -

The checklist for our picnic is: a torch, a tent, a bed, a cycle... and so on.

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    Colon is also useful for an explanation and example. Furthermore, it comes after the salutation of business letters.
    – Rucheer M
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 12:37
  • I'd point out that while you can use a colon before a quote, a comma is far more common. Read any novel for an example. The man with a gun said, "Put your hands up!"
    – Phil Frost
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 12:56
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    If the OP's statement is (as stated in CoolHandLouis's answer) a statement to a particular set of people (The part before the colon), then it should not be quoted. It is not a quote.
    – eques
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 17:48
  • @eques for your reference: bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/…
    – Maulik V
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 8:48
  • @MaulikV I'm a native speaker. While the link you cite does accurately describe most uses, it does not include this case. The writer is not quoting someone, so the quotes aren't used. This construct is less commonly seen.
    – eques
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 14:46

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