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Comma and Punctuation Review Exercises

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  1. Comma and PunctuationReviewExercises

  2. TheComma • To separate the elements in a list of three or more items. • The potion included gobstoppers, chewing gum, bran flakes and coleslaw. • His favourite puddings were ice apple pie, rhubarb crumble, and jelly and ice cream. • I dedicate this work to my parents, Marie Smith and God.

  3. TheComma • Beforecertainconjunctions. • She was a fantastic cook, but would never be as good as her mother in law. • He hated his neighbours, so he never invited them round. • We all had to move to higher ground because the floodwaters were rising quickly.

  4. TheComma • She really didn't feel hungry because she had already eaten a hearty lunch. • I knew she would not be hungry, because my sister works in a restaurant and had seen her eating a huge meal earlier in the day.

  5. TheComma • To separate introductory elements in a sentence. • Given the appalling weather conditions, Michael was lucky to survive the storm. • As the night drew to a close, the clubbers wandered home. • Having mastered the use of the colon, it is important to make it work for you in your writing.

  6. TheComma • Shortly we will be leaving for the port. • After his nap Sam felt a lot better. • After a deliciously long nap in his hammock, Sam felt a lot better.

  7. TheComma • Inside the house was a total mess. • Inside, the house was a total mess. • Until the summer lectures will take place in the main building • Until the summer, lectures will take place in the main building.

  8. TheComma • Sadly, the whole building was beginning to crumble. • On the other hand, the new extension looked fantastic. • His wife Jill was a high flyer in the city. • Jill, his wife, was a high flyer in the city.

  9. TheComma • To separate parenthetical elements in a sentence. • Sarah, the most intelligent pupil in the class, was always late for school. • The pyramids, one of the wonders of the ancient world, lie just outside Cairo.

  10. TheComma • To separate direct speech or quoted elements from the rest of the sentence. • "That house there," he whispered, "is where I grew up." • "Give me the money," he snarled, "unless you want to meet your maker.„ • "Give me the money!" he snarled.

  11. TheComma • "That cake looks delicious," she said. "Where can I get the recipe?" • "That cake looks delicious," she said, "Where can I get the recipe?"

  12. TheComma • Commas are used to separate elements in a sentence that express contrast. • He was first attracted by her money, not her stunning looks. • She is intelligent, not pretty. • He thought the building was enormous, but ugly.

  13. TheComma • Commas are used for typographical reasons to separate dates and years, towns and counties etc. • His home was in Streatham, East London. • My father was born on March 13, 1949.

  14. TheComma • Commas are used to separate several adjectives. • The old, ramshackle, dilapidated house had a charm of its own. • That rather dull-looking, badly-dressed, clumsy man is actually a university professor. • The little old house was in a beautiful wood.

  15. CommaUsage Addcommawherenecessary. • Aftera harddayattheoffice I like to relax with a large gin. • Therecipeneededjamfloursugarfruiteggsketchup and bakingpowder. • "Lookatthis" hewhispered. • Paulina hiswifeofmanyyears had decided to go and live in Greece. • Asthesunbegan to sink over theseaKarengotready to goout.

  16. CommaUsage • Shewasintelligentnotespeciallypractical. • Thethiefwaswearingimpracticalhighheels so shecouldnotrunfast. • Wego to Blackpoolforthecuisinenottheweather. • "I adviseyou" saidtheteacher "not to crossmeagaintoday." • Stevenhisheadstillspinningwalkedoutoftheofficeforthelasttime.

  17. PunctutationReview Putan end punctuationmark and capitalizethefirstletter. • itwas a brightcoldday in April, and theclockswerestrikingthirteenWinstonSmith, hischinnuzzledintohisbreast in aneffort to escapethe vile wind, slippedquicklythroughtheglassdoorsofVictoryMansions, thoughnotquicklyenough to prevent a swirlofgrittydustfromenteringalongwithhim

  18. PunctuationReview • thehallwaysmeltofboiledcabbage and oldragmatsatone end ofit a colouredposter, toolargeforindoor display, had beentacked to thewallitdepictedsimplyanenormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man ofaboutforty-five, with a heavyblackmoustache and ruggedlyhandsomefeatures

  19. PunctuationReview • Winstonmadeforthestairsitwas no usetryingthe lift evenatthebestoftimesitwasseldomworking, and atpresenttheelectriccurrentwascutoffduringdaylighthoursitwas part oftheeconomydrive in preparationfor Hate Week

  20. PunctuationReview • theflatwassevenflightsup, and Winston, whowasthirty-nine and had a varicoseulcerabovehisrightankle, wentslowly, restingseveraltimes on thewayoneachlanding, oppositethelift-shaft, theposterwiththeenormous face gazedfromthewallitwasoneofthosepictureswhich are so contrivedthattheeyesfollowyouaboutwhenyoumove BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, thecaptionbeneathitran

  21. Comma& Semicolon Place a comma or semicolonbetweenbrackets. • Pasta[] a largefamilyofshaped[] driedwheatpastes[] is a basicstaple in manycountries. Itsorigins are obscure. Ricepasteswereknownveryearly in China[] pastesmadeofwheatwereused in India and ArabialongbeforetheywereintroducedintoEurope in the 11th or 12th century. According to legend[] Marco Polo brought a pasta recipewithhimfromAsia in 1295. Pasta quicklybecame a major element in theItaliandiet[] and itsusespreadthroughoutEurope.

  22. Comma & Semicolon • Pasta ismadefromdurumwheatflour[] whichmakes a strong[] elasticdough. Harddurumwheat has thehighestwheatproteinvalue. Theflourismixedwithwater[] kneaded to form a thick paste[] and thenforcedthroughperforatedplates or diesthatshapeitintooneof more than 100 differentforms. Themacaronidieis a hollow tube with a steelpin in its center[] thespaghettidielacksthesteelpin and produces a solid cylinder of paste.

  23. Comma & Semicolon • Ribbon pasta ismade by forcingthe paste throughthinslits in a die[] shells and othercurvedshapes are producedwith more intricatedies. Theshapeddoughisdriedcarefully to reducethemoisturecontenttoabout 12 percent[] and properlydried pasta shouldremainediblealmostindefinitely. Pastascanbecoloredwithspinach or beetjuice. Theadditionofeggproduces a richer[] yellower pasta thatisusuallymade in noodleform and isoftensoldundried.

  24. CommaUsage In the following paragraph, insert commas wherever you think they belong. Frederick Douglass The son of a white man and a black slave Frederick Douglass spent his early years in slavery but escaped in 1838 and became a leading orator journalist and abolitionist. One stormy night Douglass was traveling from New York to Boston by boat. Because his African-American ancestry disqualified him from occupying a cabin or any of the public rooms he was obliged to curl up in a corner of the deck to sleep. An officer came across him there and took pity on him. Knowing that he could find Douglass a stateroom if he could pass him off as an American Indian the officer approached him with the words "You're an Indian aren't you?" Douglass immediately grasped the significance of the question. Looking the officer straight in the eyes he replied "No sir I'm a nigger" and curled up in his corner again.

  25. CommaUsage The Least Successful Car In 1957 Ford produced the car of the decade--the Edsel. Half of the models sold proved to be spectacularly defective. If lucky the proud owner of an Edsel could enjoy any or all of the following features: doors that wouldn't close hoods and trunks that wouldn't open batteries that went dead horns that stuck hubcaps that dropped off paint that peeled transmissions that seized up brakes that failed and push buttons that couldn't be pushed even with three people trying. In a stroke of marketing genius the Edsel one of the largest and most lavish cars ever built coincided with rising public interest in economy cars. As Time magazine reported "It was a classic case of the wrong car for the wrong market at the wrong time." Never popular to begin with the Edsel quickly became a national joke. One business writer at the time likened the car's sales graph to an extremely dangerous ski slope. He added that so far as he knew there was only one case of an Edsel ever being stolen.

  26. Colon Colon – adds extra information after a clause: • A colon can introduce a list • We need three kinds of support: economic, moral, and political. • A colon can be used before an explanation • We decided not to go on holiday: we had too little money. • A colon is used before a quotation • Whitehead had this to say about writing style: "Style is the ultimate morality of mind.“ • Greeting in a business letter. • Dear Senator Dodd: • A colon can be used between the main title and the sub-title of a book. • The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion.

  27. Colon - practice Put a colon or checkifitisusedcorrectly. In thatcasesomerewritingmayberequired. • The Endangered Species Act contains a potential problem for private property owners, the government refuses to compensate them for the inconveniences imposed. • Images of stylish men appear: in magazines, on television commercials, and on billboard advertisements. • She had received only one reply to my letter: although I had written to my friend several times. • "The Awakening, Kate Chopin's Exploration of Love and Seduction" is an informative article. • While working out, she discovered an amazing fact. She was now able to bench-press ten pounds more than the week before.

  28. PunctuationReview Putanynecessaryappropriatepunctuationmarks. • Whena frienddies part ofyourselfdiestoo. • Wetookphotographsofthepatronsaintofnail-biterstheVenusde Milo. • Picture this a Neanderthal man deep in theforestgorges on theyummiesofhistimefruitsberriesanythingsweet and pluckable. • LastweekwereadTheCatbirdSeat a shortstory by JamesThurber. • OurthreechildrenLarryCurly and Moehavedecided to enter show business.

  29. PunctuationReview • When in doubtmumblewhenintroubledelegate. • AnAmericansdevotion to McDonald'srests in part on uniformitiesassociatedwithallMcDonald'srestaurantssettingarchitecturefoodambienceacts and utterances. • Someplayers hit theball and standdejectedwaitingforit to landothersturnaway and leaveit to thecaddy. • Dynamite waslavishlyused and manyof San Franciscosproudeststructureswerecrumbled by man himselfintoruinsbuttherewas no withstandingtheonrushoftheflames. • Lilawholives in a trailerwithaparakeet and somescrappydogsandcats has beenthetownfirewardenforalmost 30 years.

  30. PunctuationReview • Thewomaniswearinggoldenstretchpantsgreeneyelids and a hiveshapedheadofhairthatlooksboth in color and textureexactlylike 25-cents worthofcottoncandy. • Hurlingwhich has beenthenationalsportofIrelandsincelegendarytimesis to Americaneyeslike a soccer game playedatice-hockeyspeed. • While on maneuvers in SouthCarolinaBillyPilgrimplayedhymnsheknewfromchildhood. • Guidingtheballthroughtheupperchutesdown a runover lane offtheslingshotbumpers to theflippers I cradledittherebouncingitback and forthuntil I had a perfectshotthroughthelightedspinner. • Thetrainits metal wheelssquealingastheyspinalongthesilvertracksrolls more slowlynow.

  31. Semicolon Semicolon – invented by Aldus Manutius (italic typeface, modern punctuation) • To sort out a monster list. • We had four professors on our committee: Peter Wursthorn, Professor of Mathematics; Ronald Pepin, Professor of English; Cynthia Greenblatt, Professor of Education; and Nada Light, Professor of Nursing. • To separate closely related independent clauses. • My grandmother seldom goes to bed this early; she's afraid she'll miss out on something. • Between main clauses linked by a conjunctive adverb (however, moreover, therefore, consequently, otherwise, nevertheless, thus, etc.) or transitional expression (in fact or for example). • I am going home; moreover, I intend to stay there. • "Words rarely express the true meaning; in fact they tend to hide it."

  32. Semicolon • In a list of items you can either : • use a comma between each item and a linking word between the last two items (e.g. and, or) • put a colon (:) before the list starts and a semicolon (;) between each item. You do not have a linking word between the last two items. • In the 1960s most university students: were aged 18-21; were on full-time courses; went to a university away from their home town; had a grant on which they survived during term time. • In the 1960s most university students were aged 18-21, were on full-time courses, went to a university away from their home town, and had a grant on which they survived during term time.

  33. Semicolon Usage • Determine if a semicolon is necessary • He wanted to take a walk, so we drove to Niagara Falls and walked around the park. • She did the laundry she used the last of the laundry detergent. • They both went swimming while they were on vacation in Mexico. • They finished digging in the garden and planting flowers they admired their work. • To build the fence around the garden, they needed to dig trenches close to seven feet deep.

  34. Semicolon Usage • The garden contained vegetables they will harvest them in fall. • Their house and garden are extremely important to them that's why they take care of their property so well. • When planting impatiens, it's important to plant some in the sun and some in the shade because it's hard to tell how much of each they need. • All of the garden tools are kept in the garage they are cleaned every spring. • My favorite flower is forget-me-nots even though some people consider it a weed.

  35. Dash Dash – serves to set off parenthetical elements that contain internal forms of punctuation. It is generally confined to cases where there is a sudden break from the general run of the passage. Of all the punctuation marks it is the most misused. • All four of them—Bob, Jeffrey, Jason, and Brett—did well in college. • Modern word processors provide for two kinds of dashes: the regular dash or em dash (which is the same width as the letter "M," — ) and the en dash (which is about half the width, the same as the letter "N," – ). • en dash: Ctrl+Num- or Alt 0150 • chronological range (1961–1963) • indexing scheme (table 13–C) • join compound modifiers (the New York–New Jersey border)

  36. Dash • em dash: Ctrl+Alt+Num- or Alt 0151 • sparinglyused in formalstyle • shows a break in a dialog ("How many times have I asked you not to —" Jasion suddenly stopped talking and looked out the window.) or abruptchange in thoughts (I wish you would—oh, never mind. ) • Otherexamples: • I pay the bills—she has all the fun. (A semicolon would be used here in formal writing) • I need three items at the store—dog food, vegetarian chili, and cheddar cheese. (a colon would be used here in formal writing) • My agreement with Fiona is clear—she teaches me French and I teach her German. (a colon would work here in formal writing) • Please call my agent—Jessica Cohen—about hiring me. (parentheses or commas would work just fine here instead of the dashes)

  37. Comma, Colon, Semicolon & Dash • Choose an appropriate punctuation mark and create your own sentence following the model. • The days were hot and dry the nights were extremely cold. • We have visited New York City several times however we have never seen the Statue of Liberty.

  38. Comma, Colon, Semicolon & Dash • I divide all readers into two classes those who read to remember and those who read to forget. • Danny could play the one musical instrument that no one wanted to listen to the bagpipes. • Our three children Moe Larry and Curly have decided to enter show business.

  39. Semicolon, Colon& Dash • Levin wanted friendship and got friendliness he wanted steak and they offered Spam. • Your essay is both good and original however, the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good. • There are three choices in this life be good, get good, or give up. • The fortune teller reminded us that there is only one thing we can count on for sure total uncertainty. • Our labors in life learning, earning, and yearning are also our reasons for living.

  40. QuestionMark • It is used at the end of a direct question. • How did you enjoy our yesterday’s performance? • Tag question • He finished on time, didn’t he? • Be careful not to use it in an indirect question. • The instructor asked the students what they were doing.

  41. Hyphen • Hyphen – can be used to hyphen broken words at the right-hand end of our lines. However, certain manuals insist that you not break words at line-endings in any case. Other uses of a hyphen are: • compound words (six-year-old daughter) • numbers and fractions (twenty-one, one-fourth) • adding certain prefixes: When it comes before a capitalized word or the prefix itself is capitalized (non-English, I-formation); the prefixes self-, all-, and ex- almost always require a hyphen (ex-husband, all-inclusive, self-control); when the prefix end the same letter that begins the word, you will often use a hyphen (anti-intellectual) but not always (cooperate, unnatural) • In a series of identical compounds (Both full- and part-time employees will get raises this year.) Do not use space before or after a hyphen.

  42. Slash& Ellipsis • Slash/Slant/Solidus/Virgule – is used to indicate of a choice between the words it separates • Using the pass/fail option backfired on her; she could've gotten an A. • he/she • There is no space; however, we must put a space when we quote a poem because a slash identifies lines. • "The woods are lovely, dark, and deep / but I have promises to keep." • Ellipsis – is a very handy device when you quote, but you want to omit a part of it • "Bohr […] used the analogy of parallel stairways […]" (Smith 55). • There are manuals which recommend using square brackets around the ellipsis, however, some do not.

  43. Parentheses & Brackets • Parentheses – between parentheses we place material that we want to de-emphasize, but we still want to include it • Thirty-five years after his death, Robert Frost (do you remember him?) remains America's favorite poet. • Brackets • You can use them to include explanatory words or phrases within quoted language. • Lew Perkins, the Director of Athletic Programs, said that Pumita Espinoza, the new soccer coach [at Notre Dame Academy] is going to be a real winner. • To enclose [sic] showing misspelled or inappropriately used word. • Reporters found three mispelings [sic] in the report. • If you have italicized or underlined words within quoted language that was not italicized or underlined in the original, you can note that change in brackets included within the sentence or paragraph. • It was the atmosphere of the gym that thrilled Jacobs, not the eight championship banners hanging from the beams [italics added].