Punctuation Exercise (327)

Edit the following texts to provide punctuation marks, if any are needed. Do not capitalize any words that are not already capitalized.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: Ive lost my purse Nancy wailed Does anyone have an emery board?
Correct : "I’ve lost my purse," Nancy wailed. "Does anyone have an emery board?"

Direct speech is set off by double quotation marks in American usage. In British usage, it’s more common to enclose direct quotations in single quotation marks, also called "inverted commas": ‘Help!’ he cried.

2.
Original: Surrounded by the police the vicious teenagers continued to shout obscene threats but they had no avenue of escape.
Correct : Surrounded by the police, the vicious teenagers continued to shout obscene threats, but they had no avenue of escape.

A comma precedes a coordinating conjunction when the conjunction is followed by an independent clause.

3.
Original: The researchers felled the puma with a tranquilizer dart and implanted a tiny tracking device then they retreated to a nearby hide in order to monitor the animals recovery.
Correct : The researchers felled the puma with a tranquilizer dart and implanted a tiny tracking device; then they retreated to a nearby hide in order to monitor the animal’s recovery.

A semicolon separates two closely related thoughts not treated as separate sentences.

4.
Original: The violinist finished the difficult solo and bowed graciously.
Correct : The violinist finished the difficult solo and bowed graciously.

No comma is needed before the "and" because it is not followed by an independent clause.

5.
Original: The teacher shook her head sadly Youve used the word awesome twelve times in this 200 word essay she said.
Correct : The teacher shook her head sadly. "You’ve used the word ‘awesome’ twelve times in this 200-word essay," she said.

The word "awesome" is in single quotation marks because it occurs inside a direct quotation enclosed by double quotation marks. If the quotation were enclosed with inverted commas, the word awesome would be enclosed with double quotation marks.

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