Punctuation Exercise (347)

Edit the following sentences to include any necessary commas or quotation marks.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: After cleaning the garage Mrs. Brewer painted the ceiling in the kitchen.
Correct : After cleaning the garage, Mrs. Brewer painted the ceiling in the kitchen.

Set off an introductory phrase with a comma.

2.
Original: The word irregardless is I believe rejected by most speakers.
Correct : The word "irregardless" is, I believe, rejected by most speakers.

Words spoken of as words may be enclosed in quotation marks or italicized. Parenthetical expressions like "I believe" are set off by commas.

3.
Original: As FDR once remarked the date December 7 1941 will never be forgotten.
Correct : As FDR once remarked, the date December 7, 1941 will never be forgotten.

An introductory phrase is set off with a comma. In stating a date with month, day, and year, separate the day from the year with a comma. There is no comma after the year in this sentence because the date is the subject of the verb.

4.
Original: In the movie the character Jason Nesmith frequently says Never give up. Never surrender.
Correct : In the movie, the character Jason Nesmith frequently says, "Never give up. Never surrender."

Some authorities would leave out the comma following the parenthetical phrase "in the movie" because the phrase is short, but best practice is to always set off such a phrase with a comma. A comma follows a word like "says" when it precedes a direct quotation. British usage uses single quotation marks where American usage prefers double quotation marks.

5.
Original: Clumsily shakily and uncertainly the hippos dance about the stage.
Correct : Clumsily, shakily, and uncertainly, the hippos dance about the stage.

Adverbs of equal weight are separated by commas. An introductory adverb phrase is set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma.

Related Articles

Subscribe to our articles and exercises