Punctuating Introductory Phrases Exercise (105)

An introductory adverbial phrase is often set off by a comma, but the comma can be omitted if no misreading will result. Short adverbial phrases do not always need a comma. The following sentences are written without punctuation. Insert a comma if you think one is needed.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: After hearing the news the woman fainted.
Correct : After hearing the news, the woman fainted.

Comma needed for clarity.

2.
Original: After 1956 such complaints about poor fidelity became far less common.
Correct : After 1956 such complaints about poor fidelity became far less common.

Introductory phrase short enough not to need a comma.

3.
Original: Before going inside the cowboy fed his horse.
Correct : Before going inside, the cowboy fed his horse.

Comma needed for clarity.

4.
Original: To Dorothea Brooke scholarly Mr. Causabon seemed the perfect husband for her.
Correct : To Dorothea Brooke, scholarly Mr. Causabon seemed the perfect husband for her.

Comma needed for clarity.

5.
Original: From the castle tower flew the royal flag of France.
Correct : From the castle tower flew the royal flag of France.

When the introductory phrase stands directly before the verb it modifies, no comma is needed.

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