Commas Exercise (249)

Edit the following sentences for comma use.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: The farmer padlocked the barn door but his prize pig had already been stolen.
Correct : The farmer padlocked the barn door, but his prize pig had already been stolen.

When independent clauses are joined by and, but, or, so, yet, or any other conjunction, a comma usually precedes the conjunction.

2.
Original: School policy-makers insist on treating all children exactly the same and then they are surprised when some children succeed and others don’t.
Correct : School policy-makers insist on treating all children exactly the same, and then they are surprised when some children succeed and others don’t.

When independent clauses are joined by and, but, or, so, yet, or any other conjunction, a comma usually precedes the conjunction.

3.
Original: My son used the Weed Eater on the back yard my daughter-in-law mowed the front lawn and I trimmed the holly hedge.
Correct : My son used the Weed Eater on the back yard, my daughter-in-law mowed the front lawn, and I trimmed the holly hedge.

Clauses in a series are separated by commas.

4.
Original: Don’t stand at the bus stop but walk on over to the hardware store and wait for me there.
Correct : Don’t stand at the bus stop, but walk on over to the hardware store and wait for me there.

In an imperative sentence in which the subject you is omitted but understood, the same comma rule applies regarding a comma before the conjunction.

5.
Original: The dog chased the ball and the cat watched him.
Correct : The dog chased the ball and the cat watched him.

If clauses are very short and closely connected, the comma may be omitted (unless the clauses are part of a series as they are in number 3).

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