Punctuation Exercise (140)

Put in semicolons, colons, dashes, quotation marks, and parentheses where they are needed in the following sentences.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: The jewels in question a ruby ring, an emerald necklace, and a garnet cross were recovered in a pawn shop.
Correct : The jewels in question (a ruby ring, an emerald necklace, and a garnet cross) were recovered in a pawn shop.

Use parentheses to enclose supplemental information that can be left out without changing the main thought of the sentence.

2.
Original: Several businesses participated in the band’s fund drive Office Depot, Walmart, Rick’s Bakery, and Westwood Nurseries.
Correct : 3. Several businesses participated in the band’s fund drive: Office Depot, Walmart, Rick’s Bakery, and Westwood Nurseries.

Use a colon before a list that is preceded by a clause that can stand by itself.

3.
Original: Only one option was open to the the company declare bankruptcy, said the former owner, and we did.
Correct : "Only one option was open to the the company: declare bankruptcy," said the former owner, "and we did."

Use a colon before an explanation that is preceded by a clause that can stand by itself. Enclose direct speech in quotation marks.

4.
Original: Larry Finnegan later arrested for embezzlement had been a a state senator for several years.
Correct : Larry Finnegan--later arrested for embezzlement--had been a a state senator for several years.

Use a dash (or two hyphens) as a super-comma to set off a parenthetical expression you want to emphasize.

5.
Original: In Icons of the Middle Ages, a recent textbook about inspirational medieval leaders, I read Dr. Maddox’s article Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans.
Correct : In Icons of the Middle Ages, a recent textbook about inspirational medieval leaders, I enjoyed reading Dr. Maddox’s article "Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans."

Set off an appositive phrase (a recent textbook about inspirational medieval leaders) with commas. Place article or chapter titles in quotation marks.

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