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Punctuation 2 - Correctly Punctuated Sentences
Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

Punctuation 2 - Correctly Punctuated Sentences

In the previous quiz we learnt about punctuation marks and their importance in making sentences more meaningful. Specifically we learnt how to use the punctuation marks of full stop, exclamation mark and question mark to end a sentence. We also learnt that the first word of a sentence has to have its first letter in capitals and all proper nouns must start with their first letter in capitals. In this quiz we will learn about commas and quotation marks.

Now, imagine a situation where in a sentence we want to make it as clear as possible and remove any doubt that may be there. How do we make it clearer? The answer is through a comma. Commas separate parts of a sentence and can be used after a word or group of words. Take a look at this sentence:

‘Some trains, for example the Shatabdi Express, do not stop at small stations.’

The commas in the sentence help to clarify that the Shatabdi Express train does not stop at small stations. Let us look at another example:

‘Amitabh Bachchan’s latest film opens next week. His latest film is Shamitabh.’ These two sentences can be combined to form one sentence by the use of commas as:
‘Amitabh Bachchan’s latest film, Shamitabh, opens next week.’

Commas are also used while listing out items. For instance:

‘I like to read novels written by David Baldacci, John Grisham and Nelson DeMille’ is clearer than:

‘I like to read novels written by David Baldacci John Grisham and Nelson DeMille.’

Quotation marks are also punctuation marks. They are used when quoting word for word what someone says. For instance:

‘The teacher shouted, “Get out of the class”.’ - Here, the words between the quotation marks are attributed to the teacher word for word and to signify that we place those words in between quotation marks.

Commas and quotation marks also play vital roles in making sentences more meaningful just as full stops, exclamation marks, capital letters and question marks do. The quiz that follows tells you the various ways in which commas and quotation marks must be used.

1.
Choose the correctly punctuated sentence from the four options.
We had coffee, cheese, and crackers, and grapes.
We had coffee, cheese and crackers, and grapes.
We had coffee, cheese and crackers and grapes.
We had coffee cheese and crackers, and grapes.
This is a tricky one as 'and' is appearing twice. The reason is that 'cheese and crackers' make one unit and a comma is used to differentiate them from the last item in the series
2.
Choose the correctly punctuated sentence from the four options.
Clean your feet before you enter, said his sister.
"Clean your feet before you enter" said his sister.
"Clean your feet before you enter," said his sister.
"Clean your feet before you enter," said, his sister.
A quotation by the sister has to be in between two quotation marks and a comma is placed just after the quotation. The comma is needed to separate the quotation from the person quoted, in this case the sister. Any punctuation mark in relation to the quotation has to be within the quotation marks
3.
Choose the correctly punctuated sentence from the four options.
He always loved sweets, chocolates, biscuits and peppermints.
He always loved, sweets, chocolates, biscuits and peppermints.
He always loved sweets, chocolates, biscuits and, peppermints.
He always loved sweets, chocolates biscuits and peppermints.
In Answer 2, the comma after 'loved' is not required. In Answer 3, the comma after 'and' is not required. In Answer 4, there needs to be a comma after 'chocolates' to separate it from 'biscuits' which are items in a list (or in a series) of things that he loved
4.
Choose the correctly punctuated sentence from the four options.
The train stopped at Chennai, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Bhopal, and Agra before it reached New-Delhi.
The train stopped at Chennai Hyderabad, Nagpur, Bhopal, and Agra before it reached New-Delhi.
The train stopped at Chennai, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Bhopal and Agra before it reached New-Delhi.
The train stopped at Chennai, and Hyderabad, and Nagpur, and Bhopal, and Agra before it reached New-Delhi.
Items in a series need to be separated by commas. Here the train is stopping at various stations and the stations are in a series. You only need to add an 'and' between the penultimate item and the last item in the series. This 'and' replaces the comma to signify the end of the series
5.
Choose the correctly punctuated sentence from the four options.
I stay in Bangalore, Karnataka, India
I stay in Bangalore Karnataka India
I stay in Bangalore, Karnataka, and India
I stay in Bangalore, Karnataka and India
The sentence is about a stay in a city (Bangalore) belonging to a region (Karnataka) in a country (India). The three places are not items in a series but a precise location for Bangalore and hence you use commas to separate them
6.
Choose the correctly punctuated sentence from the four options.
Usha said, Please take me with you.
Usha said "Please take me with you."
Usha said, "Please take me with you."
Usha said. "Please take me with you."
A quotation has to be in between two quotation marks and a comma is placed just before the beginning of the quotation. Any punctuation marks in relation to the quotation have to be within the quotation marks
7.
Choose the correctly punctuated sentence from the four options.
Arvind was born on October, 18 2004
Arvind was born on, October 18 2004
Arvind was born on October, 18, 2004
Arvind was born on October 18, 2004
A comma is needed between the day and the year when writing the date. The commas in the other three options are not required
8.
Choose the correctly punctuated sentence from the four options which represent a letter being ended.
With Love, Lakshmi.
With Love Lakshmi.
With, Love Lakshmi.
With Love Lakshmi,
Signing off on letters is done with a comma before the writer's name
9.
Choose the correctly punctuated sentence from the four options which represent a letter being addressed to Arvind.
My Dear Arvind,
My Dear Arvind!
My Dear Arvind?
My Dear Arvind.
The greeting in a letter is followed by a comma rather than a full stop
10.
Choose the correctly punctuated sentence from the four options.
They left Bangalore, India on January 18 of that year.
They left Bangalore India on January 18 of that year.
They left Bangalore, India on January 18, of that year.
They left Bangalore, India, on January 18 of that year.
A comma is needed to separate the city from its country. You don't use a comma after the date unless the actual year is mentioned
Author:  V T Narendra

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