Punctuation Exercise (238)

Observing the conventions of American usage, supply basic punctuation (such as commas, quotation marks, colons, dashes and parentheses) as needed in the following sentences.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: No, Marigold said, I will not do the same job for less money than Harold would.
Correct : "No," Marigold said, "I will not do the same job for less money than Harold would."

Reported speech is enclosed by double quotation marks; the period goes inside the final quotation mark.

2.
Original: There was only one thing to do climb the mountain.
Correct : There was only one thing to do–climb the mountain.

A dash is more dramatic than a colon; the use of a dash here alerts the reader to a coming revelation of a dramatic nature.

3.
Original: Dr. Johnson wrote the following Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
Correct : Dr. Johnson wrote the following: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

Use a colon after the word "following" to introduce a quotation. Put the quotation within double quotation marks with the period inside.

4.
Original: The students inserted the word like so often into their answers that the teacher finally said The next person who says like will be asked to explain its meaning in the sentence.
Correct : The students inserted the word "like" so often into their answers that the teacher finally said, "The next person who says ‘like’ will be asked to explain its meaning in the sentence."

One way to indicate that a word is being used as an illustration is to enclose it in quotation marks. (Another way is to italicize it.) The first "like" in this example is enclosed in double quotation marks because it occurs in ordinary text. The second "like" is enclosed in single quotation marks because it is within a quotation that is marked by double quotation marks.

5.
Original: When meatloaf was served for the third day in a row the seminary student quoted Hebrews 13 8 KJV.
Correct : When meatloaf was served for the third day in a row, the seminary student quoted Hebrews 13:8 (KJV).

In a Bible reference, the first number is the chapter number; the second number is the verse number. A colon is used to separate chapter and verse. "KJV" refers to the English translation of the Bible known as the King James Version. It is enclosed in parentheses to indicate that the wording the student is thinking of is from that particular translation.

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