Punctuation Exercise (246)
Edit the following sentences to include missing punctuation marks.
Answers and Explanations
Original: So far Ive left my cell phone in the restroom at MacDonalds my accountants office my daughters sunroom and the lobby of the Malco cinema.
Correct : So far I’ve left my cell phone in the restroom at MacDonald’s, my accountant’s office, my daughter’s sunroom, and the lobby of the Malco cinema.
I’ve needs an apostrophe because it is a contraction for "I have." MacDonald’s, accountant’s, and daughter’s all need apostrophes to show possession. Commas are needed to separate the listed places; the final comma (before and) is the "Oxford comma"; not all writers use it. A comma after "So far" would not be incorrect, but it is not necessary after such a short introductory phrase.
Original: Mr Randolphs great grandfather a drummer boy in the American Revolution lived to beget sixteen children all girls.
Correct : Mr. Randolph’s great grandfather, a drummer boy in the American Revolution, lived to beget sixteen children, all girls.
American usage puts a period after Mr. The name Randolph’s takes an apostrophe to show possession. Both "a drummer boy in the American Revolution" and "all girls" are appositive phrases that add incidental information to the nouns preceding them and are set off by commas.
Original: As the final examination grew nearer the students agreed to meet nightly in the Union a convenient place to study and quiz each other over the course material.
Correct : As the final examination grew nearer, the students agreed to meet nightly in the Union, a convenient place to study, and quiz each other over the course material.
The introductory clause "As the final examination grew nearer" is set off from the main clause with a comma. The appositive phrase "a convenient place to study" is set off by commas.
Original: Every afternoon at precisely 4 38 Mr Brewer leaves his house the one with the green shutters and walks to the corner bakery to buy a croissant for the next days breakfast.
Correct : Every afternoon at precisely 4:38, Mr. Brewer leaves his house, the one with the green shutters, and walks to the corner bakery to buy a croissant for the next day’s breakfast.
Although not all introductory phrases are set off by a comma, this one is rather complicated so it needs a comma. A time stated in hours and minutes requires a colon between the hour and the minutes: "4:38." The appositive phrase "the one with the green shutters" is set off by commas. "Day’s" is a possessive and requires an apostrophe.
Original: Alfred the Great the fourth son of Aethelwulf of Essex never expected to become king he would have preferred to spend his time in study.
Correct : Alfred the Great, the fourth son of Aethelwulf of Essex, never expected to become king; he would have preferred to spend his time in study.
"The fourth son of Aethelwulf of Essex" is an appositive phrase set off by commas. A semicolon is required after king; without it, we have the error of a run-on sentence. Another way to correct a run-on sentence is to punctuate the first one with a period and capitalize the first word of the second clause. However, in the context of the exercise, because the word "he" is not capitalized, a semicolon is the expected correction.