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Punctuation 03
Stuart wondered whether he should buy a toy train for his two-year-old niece.

Punctuation 03

This punctuation quiz will test you on colons, semicolons, quotation marks, commas, full stops, question marks, exclamation marks, hyphens and apostrophes. Here's a chance to put everything you know about punctuation into practice.

So take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves and try our third punctuation quiz!

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1.
Read the following sentence carefully to find the mistake in its punctuation. Choose the answer which shows the mistake.

Clasping her hands together tightly, Jasmine sighed, tears rolled down her cheeks.
tightly,
sighed,
rolled
cheeks.
This is a classic example of a comma splice. Remember that commas cannot be used to join two sentences. The comma could be replaced by a full stop, a semicolon, or a comma plus connective, such as this: '...sighed, while tears rolled...'
2.
Read the following sentence carefully to find the mistake in its punctuation. Choose the answer which shows the mistake.

'I forgot to return the game's! They should've been back four days ago!' shouted Robert.
game's!
should've
ago!'
Robert.
Far too many people still use apostrophes for plurals. 'Games' (more than one game) has no apostrophe. 'Game's' means 'belonging to the game'
3.
Read the following sentence carefully to find the mistake in its punctuation. Choose the answer which shows the mistake.

Although he had worn his coat the winter wind forced its way through the thin fabric, chilling his bones.
coat
its
way
fabric,
'Although he had worn his coat' is an introductory phrase and should be followed by a comma
4.
Read the following sentence carefully to find the mistake in its punctuation. Choose the answer which shows the mistake.

'Theyre going to have to stop at some point,' panted Jenny, as she and Selena tried to catch up to the others.
'Theyre
point,'
Jenny,
tried
'They're' means 'they are' - the missing letters are represented by an apostrophe
5.
Read the following sentence carefully to find the mistake in its punctuation. Choose the answer which shows the mistake.

Stuart wondered whether he should buy a toy train for his two-year old niece, or whether she would be too young for such a gift.
wondered
train
two-year
niece,
'Two-year-old niece' requires two hyphens
6.
Read the following sentence carefully to find the mistake in its punctuation. Choose the answer which shows the mistake.

After quickly checking that he still had his passport; Eduardo marched toward the gate, grasping his ticket.
After
passport;
gate,
ticket.
'After quickly checking that he still had his passport' is a phrase, which means it should be followed by a comma. Semicolons can join two clauses, or full sentences, but not phrases (with the exception of lists)
7.
Read the following sentence carefully to find the mistake in its punctuation. Choose the answer which shows the mistake.

As she continued to write, the sentences grew longer, and longer, until one wondered whether it would ever be possible to bring the sentence to a satisfactory conclusion
write,
longer,
and longer,
conclusion
The comma before the 'and' is correct in this case, because it is used for effect. You weren't caught out by the missing full stop, were you?
8.
Read the following sentence carefully to find the mistake in its punctuation. Choose the answer which shows the mistake.

As he'd fallen asleep, he had heard the voice again, solemnly intoning 'Revise, revise, revise!'
he'd
asleep,
intoning
revise!'
Unless they are beginning a new sentence, quotation marks should be preceded by a comma
9.
Read the following sentence carefully to find the mistake in its punctuation. Choose the answer which shows the mistake.

'Seriously, though,' insisted Franklin, 'how could you miss it.'
'Seriously,
though,'
Franklin,
it.'
'How could you miss it?' is a question - and you would never write a question without using a question mark, would you?
10.
Read the following sentence carefully to find the mistake in its punctuation. Choose the answer which shows the mistake.

Briony couldn't believe how much she still had to do; bake the cake, wrap the present, blow up the balloons and iron her party dress.
couldn't
believe
do;
balloons
A list such as this should be preceded by a colon, rather than a semi-colon. The next-to-last item in the list (blow up the balloons) does not need to be followed by a comma
Author:  Sheri Smith

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