One of my readers asked recently if I would clarify the proper way to use “include” in a sentence. The simple, direct answer is WITHOUT A COLON. Just go right on with what is included. Here are some examples:
The Grammar Glitches that annoy me most include subject/verb agreement and apostrophe goofs.
The newly appointed board members include Sam Jones, Polly Troxell, and Jim Henry.
Notice that neither of these sentences requires a colon after INCLUDE.
If you use the word “including,” it may help clarify to put a comma BEFORE it, but you still do not need a colon after it. More examples:
Everyone survived, including the family dog.
The price for the ticket is $15.75 including sales tax.
The band has five members, including a drummer, two guitars, a violin, and a flute.
The only time you would place a colon after “include” is when you are setting up a bullet list rather than a sentence, as in these examples:
Your choices for the banquet menu include:
- roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans
- chicken quesadillas with cheesy nachos
- moo goo gai pan
Optional side trips for this cruise include:
- visiting a glacier
- photographing seals at play
- dining in an old-time saloon
My thanks to Rachel for suggesting this topic.