Commas
I have travelled all over Europe, but I have never been to Africa.

Commas

The comma, as a mark of punctuation, is one of the most misused punctuation marks. This 11-plus English quiz will give you some practice in using the comma. Here are a few rules to help you:

  1. Use a comma to separate the elements in a series, e.g. 'He was tall, dark and handsome'. The final comma before the 'and' can be left out or included, but whatever you decide - be consistent. This comma actually has a name: it is called the 'Oxford' comma. Note: a comma is not used between the last adjective and the noun or pronoun.
  2. Use a comma with 'and, but, for, nor, yet, or, so' to connect two independent clauses: an independent clause is a sentence that is part of a sentence, e.g. 'I don't like music much, but I love jazz music'. The independent clauses are 'I don't like music much' and 'I love jazz music'.
  3. Use a comma to set off introductory elements, e.g. Running towards the bridge, he suddenly heard a loud explosion.
Did you know...

You can play all the teacher-written quizzes on our site for just £9.95 per month. Click the button to sign up or read more.

Sign up here
  1. In which of the following sentences has a comma been wrongly used or omitted?
    This breaks Rule 2. 'tried to forget that it had happened' is NOT an independent clause: there is no subject, so you don't need the comma. On the other hand, 'He left the scene of the crime, and HE tried to forget that it had happened' has two independent clauses
  2. In which of the following sentences has a comma been wrongly used or omitted?
    This breaks Rule 2. A comma is required before the 'and'
  3. In which of the following sentences has a comma been wrongly used or omitted?
    This breaks Rule 1. 'top hat' is a noun, so the comma preceding top is wrong: a comma is not used between the last adjective and the noun or pronoun. Be on the lookout for adjectives that have lost their purely adjectival meaning and become part of the noun itself, e.g. flowering shrub, fine comb, and shaving brush
  4. In which of the following sentences has a comma been wrongly used or omitted?
    This breaks Rule 1. 'bears wolves or deer' should be 'bears, wolves, or deer' OR 'bears, wolves or deer'. Incidentally, although the first choice is correct, be careful that you don't write something silly like 'Crossing the road, the bus knocked him down': this would mean that the bus was crossing the road. In order to avoid such blunders, remember this: the introductory bit refers to the subject of the sentence. In this case, 'he' was crossing the road NOT the 'bus'!
  5. In which of the following sentences has a comma been wrongly used or omitted?
    This breaks Rule 3. The introductory element 'Told that he was no longer required' needs a comma after 'required'
  6. In which of the following sentences has a comma been wrongly used or omitted?
    This breaks Rule 1. The final comma needs to be before the and OR left out
  7. In which of the following sentences has a comma been wrongly used or omitted?
    This breaks Rule 1. The elements in the series are 'in the house', 'in the yard' and 'in the barn'. This should be written as 'in the house, in the yard, and in the barn' OR 'in the house, in the yard and in the barn'
  8. In which of the following sentences has a comma been wrongly used or omitted?
    This breaks Rule 1. When you have only TWO adjectives, any of the other choices can be used instead of the first choice
  9. In which of the following sentences has a comma been wrongly used or omitted?
    This breaks Rule 3. A comma is required after the introductory bit: 'Having seen the film twice,'
  10. In which of the following sentences has a comma been wrongly used or omitted?
    This breaks Rule 2. A comma is required before 'but' (between the independent clauses): 'I have travelled all over Europe, but I have never been to Africa'

Author: Frank Evans

The Tutor in Your Computer!

Quiz yourself clever - 3 free quizzes in every section

  • Join us (£9.95/month) to play over 4,000 more quizzes
  • Reinforce your school learning in the comfort of home
  • Build your confidence in National Curriculum subjects
  • Test yourself to identify gaps in learning
  • Revise fast for tests and exams

© Copyright 2016-2017 - Education Quizzes
TJS - Web Design Lincolnshire

Valid HTML5

We use cookies to make your experience of our website better.

To comply with the new e-Privacy directive, we need to ask for your consent - I agree - No thanks - Find out more