General Writing and Grammar Help/colon vs. no punctuation


Which one is correct?
My current areas of interests are physics, literature and art.
My current areas of  interests are: physics, literature and art.

I have three children whose names are Mary,John and Emily.
I have three children whose names are: Mary, John and Emily.

You have two questions here. I'll answer the first. Please submit the other as another question.

Also, it would make things a lot easier if you'd distinguish your examples with capital letters, as I've done here:

A. My current areas of interests are physics, literature and art.
B. My current areas of interests are: physics, literature and art.

Neither is correct, because
(1) the abstract interest (not interests ) must be used, and
(2) there should be a comma before the and. (See the answer to your previous question.)

B is additionally not correct because to merit a colon, the words that introduce a series must be able to stand alone as an independent clause, as for example
I have many areas of interest: physics, literature, and art.

A correct version of your sentence is
My current areas of interest are physics, literature, and art.  

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Richard Johnson


I specialize in grammar. I can however answer any question except homework questions--usually the same day--concerning English grammar, usage, or (non-fiction) writing style, on the basis of the American practice. All answers are explained, and I encourage follow-up.


I'm a retired editor and a lifelong student of this subject. My library includes a great many works to which I've referred through the years. I currently rely largely on the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style supplemented, where appropriate, by Long, The New College Grammar.

For over 30 years I edited the newsletter of my own organization, which had different names but was last known as

BA, Brooklyn College. Advanced studies in economics and political science.

Awards and Honors
For many years a member of Mensa.

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