How Many Spaces After a Colon?

People often argue about the spaces after a period, but do you know how many spaces should come after a colon?

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read

how many spaces after a colon

After my podcast explaining why we now put one space after a period at the end of a sentence, Rebecca wrote in to ask how many spaces go after a colon.

Just as with the period, it used to be common to put two spaces after a colon, but now most style guides that address the matter (e.g., The Chicago Manual of Style) recommend using only one space after a colon.

Here are some examples:

  • Squiggly has a favorite day of the week: Friday.
  • Aardvark has a favorite fishing spot: Boca Reservoir.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.

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