Punctuation Exercise (262)

Edit the following sentence to provide commas, colons, and semi-colons as needed.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: All great things are simple and many can be expressed in single words freedom justice honor duty mercy hope.
Correct : All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

A comma precedes a conjunction followed by an independent clause. A colon follows "words" in order to introduce a list of words separated by commas. No conjunction appears before "hope" in the original quotation.

2.
Original: However mean your life is meet it and live it do not shun it and call it hard names.
Correct : However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it and call it hard names.

A subordinate clause that introduces a sentence is set off with a comma. The colon follows it because what follows is seen as an explanation of the previous advice.

3.
Original: The superior man when resting in safety does not forget that danger may come.
Correct : The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come.

A subordinate clause inserted between the subject and verb of a main clause is set off by commas.

4.
Original: Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate now what’s going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House?
Correct : Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what’s going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House?

A semi-colon is used to separate two closely related independent clauses.

5.
Original: If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life he will soon find himself alone.
Correct : If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone.

A comma sets off a subordinate clause that begins a sentence.

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