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In American English the following sentence would be correctly written.

It is true: She wanted me to say she was with me when her husband was killed.

The first word after the colon is written capitalized because it is part of a sentence.

Also this sentence is correct, since what follows the colon is not a sentence.

I did all I had to do: buy the train tickets, pay my taxes online, and order dinner from a take away.

How would the equivalent Italian sentences be written? Would the word after the colon be capitalized in the first sentence, but not in the second one, or would the first word after the colon be written all in lowercase?

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Simple rule is: after any punctuation sign which is not indicating the end of the sentence never use a capital letter. This reduces the use of a capital letter only after . ! and ?.

If you are fluent in English you can think about the rules of British English that, in this circumstances, apply fully also to Italian.

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  • That's true, but if you use ";" and after you start a new paragraph you may choose or not to use the capital letter. For example if you're writing a list and you end each entry with ";", you may choose to use the capital letter, even if it is incorrect. – Lamberto Basti Nov 9 '13 at 3:40
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    If it is incorrect and you choose it than you should stay longer on italian.stackexchange.com – leoredi Nov 12 '13 at 12:33
  • At least in American English, the capital letter after the colon is very common. – egreg Jul 8 '14 at 19:30

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