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Comma Lessons and Quizzes

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 3 months ago

Use a comma or commas to set off the abbreviations Jr., Sr., and Esq.

Example: Carl Harris, Jr., is here now.

Place commas where they are needed in these sentences.

1. I met Count Dracula Sr. the famous ghoul.

2. The letter was sent to Sir Thomas Mason Esq.

3. Did you see Reed Fitzgerald Jr. starring in that television show?

4. Mr. Sam Adams Sr. and Michael Gold Jr. race cars for a living.

5. Andrew Paskett Esq. was featured in the latest magazine issue.

 

Use a comma after the parts of an address. (The house number and street name form one part, and state and ZIP code number form one part.)

Example: My new address is 1234 North Main, Salt Lake City, Utah 84007.

Place no comma after the last part if it ends the sentence.

Place commas where they are needed in these sentences.

1. John wrote to me from 462 Beacon Lane Cleveland Ohio 76504.

2. My sister lives at 635 Cherry Street Lexington Kentucky.

3. Ray Alber 876 Elm Drive Detroit Michigan 48300 is the person to contact.

4. Write them at 15 Oak Avenue Limorick Illinois 60614 today.

5. Jim's summer address will be Box 254 Grantsville Iowa 50689.

 

Use commas to set off the year in a date if three parts of date are given (month, day, year). Do not use commas if only two parts are given.

Examples: I left May 23, 1958, at night. I know that July 1776 is an important date.

Place commas where they are needed in these sentences.

1. Did you know that Thomas Jefferson died on July 4 1826?

2. On December 25 1961 I was in Brazil.

3. Their wedding day was June 24 1954 in Salt Lake City.

4. Where were you in November 1989?

5. On Friday August 14 1997 the accident happened.

 

Use a comma after the salutation of a friendly letter.

Example: Dear Fred,

Place commas where they are needed in these salutations.

1. Dear Aunt Vi

2. Dear Sir

3. Dear Mother

4. Gentlemen

5. My choicest friend

 

Use a comma after the complimentary close of a friendly or business letter. Example: Sincerely yours,

Place commas where they are needed in these complimentary closings.

1. Very truly yours

2. Affectionately yours

3. Yours lovingly

4. Your best customer

5. Cordially

 

QUIZ: Place commas where they are needed.

1. Most graciously

2. Dear Madam

3. Do you live at 431 North 500 West West Valley Utah 84098?

4. My birthday party is March 1 1976 at the golf course.

5. Monday February 2 is the day the groundhog looks for its shadow.

6. I lived at 368 Maple Avenue for a week.

7. May 1 was our wedding day.

8. Max Blaser Sr. is their neighbor in Tampa Florida.

9. Did you see Tom Jones Jr. at 430 East Plum Erda Colorado 35096 while on vacation?

10. During August all the leaves turn colors in Springfield Minnesota.

 

Answers

1. Most graciously,

2. Dear Madam: (a business letter)

3. 431 North 500 West, West Valley, Utah 84098?

4. March 1, 1976, at

5. Monday, February 2,

6. (no comma needed - only one part)

7. (no comma needed - only one part)

8. Max Blaser, Sr., / Tampa, Florida.

9. Tom Jones, Jr., / 430 East Plum, Erda, Colorado 35096, while

10. Springfield, Minnesota.

 

Use commas to separate parts of geographical places.

Example: Have you visited St. Louis, Missouri?

Place commas where they are needed.

1. A neat place we visited was Custer Wyoming.

2. In Cody Wyoming there is an interesting museum.

3. I enjoyed the zoo in San Diego California.

4. We saw many bears in Waterton Alberta Canada.

5. The Black Hills are in South Dakota.

 

Use commas to separate a series of three or more words.

Example: I dropped my pencil, papers, and books. (The comma before the conjunction and is optional, but I prefer using it.)

Use no commas between two or more words usually thought of as being one item. Example: We ate hamburgers, pork and beans, and potato chips.

Use no commas in a series when all items are joined by or, and, or nor. Example: You dance and sing and play well.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. I have seen many gold silver and copper mines.

2. People in the United States can travel by air rail or water.

3. The girl waved leaned over and fell into the pool.

4. My wife likes a meal of a glass of grape juice a fresh salad and spaghetti and meatballs.

5. At the resort we can hike and swim and ski all we want.

 

Use commas to separate a series of three or more numbers.

Example: He called for numbers 3, 6, 9, and 12.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. In the Bingo game the winning numbers were 7 21 35 46 and 72.

2. My combination for my lock is 3 54 and 26.

3. He said that his lucky numbers were 7 11 13 and 99.

4. The numbers 14 27 58 79 and 38 won the lottery.

5. I like mixed greens with numbers of 20 50 and 100 on them

 

Use commas to separate a series of three or more phrases.

Example: He ran down the hall, out the door, and into the yard. (The comma before the conjunction and is optional, but I prefer using it.)

Use no commas in a series when all items are joined by or, and, or nor.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. The rain splashed against the house onto the sidewalk and into the street.

2. Through the trees around the cabin and down the valley roared the wind.

3. College is to gain knowledge to make new friends and to prepare for a career.

4. The cat climbed up the tree and out on a limb and finally onto the roof.

5. Munching on an apple listening to a recording and sitting on the couch Martha looked very happy.

 

Use commas to separate a series of three or more short clauses.

Example: I am working, he is sleeping, and she is singing. (The comma before the conjunction and is optional, but I prefer using it.)

Use no commas in a series when all items are joined by or, and, or nor.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. They are eating we are drinking and you are starving.

2. The music began the lights dimmed and the curtains opened.

3. My sister has left home my brother is at school and my mother is baking bread.

4. Jim fished Jeff hiked and I loafed the whole campout.

5. You correct he proofreads but I edit material.

 

Quiz - Punctuation - Commas

Place commas where they are needed.

1. Baseball basketball track and tennis require running.

2. The numbers 8 16 32 and 48 are called even numbers.

3. Eat drink and make merry for you will soon die.

4. I like shopping my husband likes dining and the family likes activities.

5. Working hard saving some money and providing for a family should be important for a father.

6. I saw him run up the mountain jump off the cliff and land in a pine tree.

7. He was from Great Falls Montana and she was from Twin Falls Idaho.

8. I have been to Dubois Idaho Taber Alberta Canada and Whippany New Jersey.

9. She likes to sing to play the piano and to read novels.

10. The search party looked along the road up the hill and down the alleys for clues.

 

 

Answers

1. Baseball, basketball, track, and tennis require running.

2. The numbers 8, 16, 32, and 48 are called even numbers.

3. Eat, drink, and make merry, for you will soon die.

4. I like shopping, my husband likes dining, and the family likes activities.

5. Working hard, saving some money, and providing for a family should be important for a father.

6. I saw him run up the mountain, jump off the cliff, and land in a pine tree.

7. He was from Great Falls, Montana, and she was from Twin Falls, Idaho.

8. I have been to Dubois, Idaho, Taber, Alberta, Canada, and Whippany, New Jersey.

9. She likes to sing, to play the piano, and to read novels.

10. The search party looked along the road, up the hill, and down the alleys for clues.

 

Use a comma to separate introductory words yes and no and mild interjections from the sentence that follows them.

Examples: Oh, I heard that before. Yes, I will be here.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. Yes you may leave the room.

2. Of course I won't change my plans.

3. Oh you want to try my patience more.

4. No I didn't see you there.

5. Wow you think that is great.

 

Use a comma or commas to set off words or phrases used as nouns of address (nominatives of address).

Joe, get over here. Get over here, Joe. Young man, get over here.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. Did you Susan see him at the meetings?

2. I will call you in the morning Steve.

3. Well Fred it was a pleasure to see you again.

4. Jeanne I don't know what is going on.

5. You should Bill know the answer to that one.

 

Use a comma or commas to set off an appositive if not closely tied to the words it equals or identifies.

Examples: Larry Millward, my best friend, will speak at the meeting. My brother Ken moved to Hawaii. (closely tied)

Place commas where they are needed.

1. Fred James a soldier captured during World War II spoke at the assembly.

2. My sister Elaine died recently.

3. Paul the top student in his class was the valedictorian.

4. Small farming a very important occupation is disappearing.

5. We rode all day on Dot a very old and gentle horse.

 

 

Use a comma to separate co-ordinate adjectives. Co-ordinate adjectives can be checked to see if a comma is necessary by placing and between them. They will sound smooth and correct with the and.

Examples: The warm, sunny day made everyone happy. (warm and sunny sounds smooth) You are a clever little girl. (clever and little doesn't sound smooth)

Place commas where they are needed.

1. Today was not a clear sunny day.

2. Allison thought she was such a clever little girl.

3. Where did you buy that dashing red car?

4. They say that tomorrow will be a sunny warm day.

5. Your careless inconsiderate behavior could cause you serious problems.

 

Use commas to set off parenthetical expressions. Parenthetical expressions are words inserted in the main sentence but not necessary to the meaning. They interrupt the flow of the sentence. Common expressions used parenthetically are however, of course, on the other hand, in fact, for example, that is, by the way, after all, perhaps, indeed, also, too, nevertheless. These expressions are not always parenthetical.

Examples: Lucy, on the other hand, reads little. He knows perhaps five answers to the questions.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. The story that I just told you by the way is true.

2. My plan nevertheless was followed and succeeded.

3. Your plan on the other hand was rejected for good reasons.

4. I might suggest for example that you make some revisions.

5. You in fact should be moved to a different department.

 

Quiz - Punctuation - Commas

Place commas where they are needed.

1. Ila indeed is a good mother.

2. I hope Jennie that you don't go to jail.

3. My son-in-law Chris will be able to vote in the coming election.

4. Oh Gail I hope that you on the other hand will be happy with your decision your move to Europe.

5. We sat in the shade beneath a broad green tree Irene.

6. It was a lovely happy memorable time.

7. I know after all you will be successful.

8. Mr. Allen Rudy the boy next door has been fighting with your brother Richard.

9. Of course we could hear immediately that you after all will be going to Santos a great city in Brazil.

10. Well Will I hope to see you by the way in Manaus on our return from our vacation a trip to Australia.

 

Answers

1. Ila, indeed, is a good mother.

2. I hope, Jennie, that you don't go to jail.

3. My son-in-law Chris will be able to vote in the coming election. (a closely related appositive or use commas around Chris if you thought it was a noun of address) My son-in-law, Chris, will be able to vote in the coming election.

4. Oh, Gail, I hope that you, on the other hand, will be happy with your decision, your move to Europe.

5. We sat in the shade beneath a broad green tree, Irene.

6. It was a lovely, happy, memorable time.

7. I know, after all, you will be successful.

8. Mr. Allen, Rudy, the boy next door, has been fighting with your brother Richard. (Richard is a closely related appositive)

9. Of course, we could hear immediately that you, after all, will be going to Santos, a great city in Brazil.

10. Well, Will, I hope to see you, by the way, in Manaus on our return from our vacation, a trip to Australia.

 

Use a comma after an introductory participial phrase.

Example: Feeling hot, the boy ran to the refrigerator for a drink.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. Needing help immediately I dialed 911.

2. Having seen the final act I started to cry.

3. Thinking back on her life the woman was very thankful.

4. Having done his very best the boy stood tall and happy.

5. Desiring to be accepted Larry did some unusual things.

 

Use a comma after an introductory infinitive used as an adjective.

Example: To find her ring, Mary removed everything from the room.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. To reach Butte, Montana, in time we will need to leave before 10:00 A.M.

2. To succeed at this task you will need to practice daily.

3. To be chosen for the finals the contestant will have to do better.

4. To truly believe the story one must find answers for one's self.

5. To get the best results you should soak it for an hour.

 

Use a comma after an introductory dependent adverb clause.

Example: If you want to see the Olympics, order your tickets now.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. When my luggage arrives I will give you your present.

2. After the game was over both the team and the fans celebrated.

3. If you do not believe me ask the rest of those present.

4. Although I am afraid I will lead you through the woods.

5. Where the troops are we are going.

 

Use a comma after long introductory prepositional phrases or two or more consecutive prepositional phrases.

Examples: At the entrance to the cave, the guide gave us instructions. During those hot, boring summer days, time passed very slowly.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. After the wreck into the pine tree the car was towed away.

2. Into the woods during the shower ran the black horse.

3. After the long and exhausting trip we finally arrived at our destination.

4. In the hall closet on the top shelf you will find the material I need.

5. Through the vast expanse of space the astronauts traveled continuously.

 

Use a comma or commas to set off transposed (out of their natural order) words, phrases, or other modifiers.

Example: This woman, without question, is too weak. These transposed items are very much like the introductory items, but they do not come at the beginning of the sentence.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. Turn to increase the volume the knob to the right.

2. Very quietly the intruder closed the door.

3. Her hand cut and bruised showed the ordeal undertaken by her.

4. Sam although he likes drama seldom ever attends a play.

5. All the contestants eager and well-prepared required a good night's rest.

 

Quiz - Punctuation - Comma

Place commas where they are needed.

1. When you return the opportunity will still await you.

2. Having done my best I sat down to see the results.

3. To get the job done you will need to pace yourself.

4. During the last game of the World Series a riot took place.

5. His face stern and set told me that I was in trouble.

6. The answer without doubt will make all the difference.

7. After you finish doing the dishes the floor needs mopping.

8. To get the correct results you must follow the proper order of adding ingredients.

9. Trying to secure the boat the man fell haplessly into the water.

10. In view of the recent events in the Middle East peace does not seem likely.

 

Answers

1. When you return, the opportunity will still await you.

2. Having done my best, I sat down to see the results.

3. To get the job done, you will need to pace yourself.

4. During the last game of the World Series, a riot took place.

5. His face, stern and set, told me that I was in trouble.

6. The answer, without doubt, will make all the difference.

7. After you finish doing the dishes, the floor needs mopping.

8. To get the correct results, you must follow the proper order of adding ingredients.

9. Trying to secure the boat, the man fell haplessly into the water.

10. In view of the recent events in the Middle East, peace does not seem likely.

 

Use a comma to set off a short clause at the end of the sentence to change a statement into a question or an exclamatory sentence.

Example: You are going to town, aren't you?

Place commas where they are needed.

1. That should make them take notice shouldn't it!

2. This is a beautiful location isn't it?

3. Becky is a living miracle isn't she!

4. Joe was here this morning wasn't he?

5. The new player really tries doesn't he!

 

Use a comma when words are omitted from parallel clauses in a compound sentence.

Example: Mother baked an apple pie, and Aunt Gayle, a chocolate cake.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. Fred asked the question; Sarah the answer.

2. I like classical music; my wife country music.

3. Ann graduated from Utah State University, and Boyd Arizona State University.

4. This box has the books, and that box the recordings.

5. Stephanie told a funny story; Alaina a scary one.

 

Use commas to set off contrasted expressions.

Example: His mother, not his father, is in charge.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. Your car not your truck is the better vehicle to use.

2. My aunt not my uncle used to live here before.

3. You need to talk to the man at the end of the table not the one near the window.

4. Our track team not our baseball team won the championship.

5. Be sure to see the owner not the manager about the job.

 

Use commas to set off nonrestrictive clauses and phrases. Nonrestrictive clauses and phrases are modifiers that can be omitted without changing the meaning of the main clause.

Example: Our new boat, which we bought last week, is a pleasure to use. (The adjective clause "which we bought last week" is not needed to understand the meaning of the main clause.)

Place commas where they are needed.

1. The Jazz which is a much different team from last year start the season next week.

2. The waiter balancing two trays of food saw our signal for the check.

3. Ads which are essential to our economy are very annoying much of the time.

4. For this job we need a person who is very creative.

5. The new baby delivered in the taxi changed our lives completely.

 

Use a comma wherever necessary for clarity to prevent misreading.

Example: Beneath, the water sparkled brilliantly. (clear) Beneath the water sparkled brilliantly. (Confusing)

Place commas where they are needed.

1. To write one must spend much time revising and proofreading.

2. After washing the boy left for the game.

3. Although a real diamond mine is rather small.

4. Inside the store contained many beautiful statues.

5. When eating a person should use good manners.

 

Quiz - Punctuation - Commas

Place commas where they are needed.

1. Within the business was in turmoil.

2. Matthew is going to law school; John to the Air Force.

3. To Jim Ryan is a hero.

4. I like Halloween; Mother Thanksgiving; Barbara Christmas.

5. The antique which avoided being broken for many years was given to my grandmother by George Washington.

6. An apple not an orange keeps the doctor away.

7. We are still going on the hike aren't we?

8. The letter sent through the mail changed the course of the war.

9. You really like her don't you!

10. A person's personality not his looks really is important in a husband.

 

Answers

1. Within, the business was in turmoil.

2. Matthew is going to law school; John, to the Air Force.

3. To Jim, Ryan is a hero.

4. I like Halloween; Mother, Thanksgiving; Barbara, Christmas.

5. The antique, which avoided being broken for many years, was given to my grandmother by George Washington.

6. An apple, not an orange, keeps the doctor away.

7. We are still going on the hike, aren't we?

8. The letter, sent through the mail, changed the course of the war.

9. You really like her, don't you!

10. A person's personality, not his looks, really is important in a husband.

 

Use a comma before the coordinate conjunctions that join independent clauses in a compound sentence. (Very short clauses joined by and may omit the comma.) Examples: Harry will leave on the next flight, but you will join him in a week. You wash and I will dry.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. She walked and he ran.

2. I went to New York by train but I returned by plane.

3. I neither like you nor will I assist you in your request.

4. He will have to help or the project will not be completed.

5. The boss will be here tomorrow and we will ask for a raise.

 

Use a comma after a conjunctive adverb or phrases like for example, in fact, or for instance used to join two main clauses. Common conjunctive adverbs are therefore, nevertheless, moreover, consequently, furthermore, besides, then, thus, instead, accordingly, otherwise, so, yet, still, hence, however.

Example: Jill knew she could not win; nevertheless, she kept running.

Place commas where they are needed.

1. The trip was wonderful; in fact everyone raved about it.

2. Will wants a promotion; therefore he is working overtime.

3. I do not believe a word he says; otherwise I would listen to his presentation.

4. You seem to be well-qualified; however your price is too high.

5. Your goals are unclear to me; so I will not vote for you.

 

 

Use a comma or commas to separate the exact words of the speaker from the rest of the sentence unless the sense of the sentence requires some other punctuation. (In quoted words, the comma always goes inside the quotation marks.)

Examples: "I can help you now," said the clerk. The clerk said, "I can help you now."

Place commas or other punctuation where they are needed.

1. "What time is it " she asked.

2. "Come with me " said the guide.

3. "Don't leave me " shouted the little girl.

4. The man replied "I believe you."

5. The passenger inquired "What time is it?"

 

Use a comma or commas to separate the exact words of the speaker from the rest of the sentence unless the sense of the sentence requires some other punctuation. (In quoted words, the comma always goes inside the quotation marks.)

Examples: "I can help you now," said the clerk. The clerk said, "I can help you now."

Place commas or other punctuation where they are needed.

1. "I think" Marie answered "that I can help you tomorrow."

2. "I know" she replied "the answer to that question."

3. "No" he called after her "I won't forget the appointment!"

4. "Come with me" pleaded the teacher "and you will not be disappointed."

5. "Did you see" Curtis asked "the plane go down?"

 

Use a comma or commas to separate the exact words of the speaker from the rest of the sentence unless the sense of the sentence requires some other punctuation. (In quoted words, the comma always goes inside the quotation marks.)

Examples: "I can help you now," said the clerk. The clerk said, "I can help you now." You do not use a comma when you start a new sentence after the explanatory words. Example: "I did it," he said. "Leave me alone."

Place commas or other punctuation where they are needed.

1. "I will comply with the rules " he said "Then I will work to change them."

2. "Will the rain continue " the woman asked "I need to work outdoors."

3. "I am glad I missed the game " Jim said "They played so poorly."

4. "Are you going next week " she asked "I will not be here then."

5. "When you finish your projects " the teacher remarked "put them in the basket for grading."

 

Quiz - Punctuation - Commas

Place commas or other punctuation where they are needed.

1. "Is it time to go " asked Irene.

2. "I did not do it " said the convict "I wasn't even here yesterday."

3. He wanted to go to the party but no one would give him a ride.

4. He had read all the trilogy; consequently he didn't have a new book to read.

5. He exclaimed "Don't go that way!"

6. "You didn't " she said "tell me that you felt that way."

7. "You will do what I asked or you will not get your allowance."

8. "Will you repair my car today " he asked "I need it for tomorrow."

9. "I will do my best " answered the mechanic "but I cannot guarantee that I will be finished."

10. He didn't know the final answer; thus he lost all the money.

 

Answers

1. "Is it time to go?" asked Irene.

2. "I did not do it," said the convict. "I wasn't even here yesterday."

3. He wanted to go to the party, but no one would give him a ride.

4. He had read all the trilogy; consequently, he didn't have a new book to read.

5. He exclaimed, "Don't go that way!"

6. "You didn't," she said, "tell me that you felt that way."

7. "You will do what I asked, or you will not get your allowance."

8. "Will you repair my car today?" he asked. "I need it for tomorrow."

9. "I will do my best," answered the mechanic, "but I cannot guarantee that I will be finished."

10. He didn't know the final answer; thus, he lost all the money.

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