+0
I have a question concerning the letter coming after ":" I find that sometimes they capitalize the letter after ":" and sometimes they don't.

When do you capitalize the first letter coming after ":" and when do you not capitalize?

e.g. The truth, however, remains: The stronger have many more ways of coping... around. (This one capitalizes the 'T')

e.g. To say...the ideals of the French or American Revolution: while particular...upon. (This one does not capitalize the "w")

Why is that? Is there some rule?

Thanks for your help!
Comments  
When the colon introduces a complete sentence, some people capitalize the first letter -- not all, though. My English teachers never said we had to do that. So, I think it's a style issue.

Everyone agrees, though, that when the colon introduces a fragment (a phrase, dependent clause, a word, etc), you should never capitalize the first letter.
Thanks for your help!!!
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Hi,

I'd go farther, and say that capitalizing after a colon is incorrect, except in special cases like a proper noun or a colon that introduces direct speech.

Best wishes, Clive
I think it's falling out of usage -- maybe some people still do this in very formal settings, but probably not. I found a website with some guidelines , and it says this:

"There is some disagreement among writing reference manuals about when you should capitalize an independent clause following a colon. Most of the manuals advise that when you have more than one sentence in your explanation or when your sentence(s) is a formal quotation, a capital is a good idea. The NYPL Writer's Guide urges consistency within a document; the Chicago Manual of Style says you may begin an independent clause with a lowercase letter unless it's one of those two things (a quotation or more than one sentence). The APA Publication Manual is the most extreme: it advises us to always capitalize an independent clause following a colon."
Hi,

Most of the manuals advise that when you have more than one sentence in your explanation . . . . . a capital is a good idea.

Interesting. Did you happen to find an example of what they meant by this?

Best wishes again, Clive
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Yes, they have an example on their page:

"There were two reasons for a drop in attendance at NBA games this season: First, there was no superstar to take the place of Michael Jordan. Second, fans were disillusioned about the misbehavior of several prominent players."

They also have a couple other interesting guidelines:

"If the introductory phrase preceding the colon is very brief and the clause following the colon represents the real business of the sentence, begin the clause after the colon with a capital letter:
Remember: Many of the prominent families of this New England state were slaveholders prior to 1850.
If the function of the introductory clause is simply to introduce, and the function of the second clause (following the colon) is to express a rule, begin that second clause with a capital:
Let us not forget this point: Appositive phrases have an entirely different function than participial phrases and must not be regarded as dangling modifiers."
Hi,

Well, style is style, I suppose, and people have different opinions, including me. I wouldn't write these in this way, and I have particular difficulty in seeing the first one, about the NBA, as acceptable.

Best wishes again, Clive
CliveHi,

I'd go farther, and say that capitalizing after a colon is incorrect, except in special cases like a proper noun or a colon that introduces direct speech.

Best wishes, Clive

You wrote "I'd go farther..." Shouldn't it be 'further'?
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.