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Commas for a List
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Commas for a List

Commas for a List introduces children to the basic use of commas. The National Curriculum for English and Literacy stipulates that KS1 Year 2 children learn how to use commas when writing a list. This activity will ask them to identify correct use of this punctuation.

When we write a list we use a form of punctuation called a comma. Commas look like full stops with tails. They are used to separate items like apples, bananas, plums and pears. The last two items in a list must always have the word ‘and’ in between them. Test your knowledge on how to list correctly, making sure the commas are in the right place.

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1.
Below is a list of words (adjectives) to describe this picture but only one list is correctly formatted; can you select the right one?
Four, legs, brown hair, green, mask, flowing, cape and black, nose.
Four legs, brown hair, green mask. flowing cape and black nose.
Four legs, brown hair, green mask, flowing cape and black nose.
Four. legs, brown hair, green mask, flowing cape and black nose.
A comma indicates when to pause. If you are ever unsure, read aloud and listen to when you are pausing and see if it makes sense.
2.
We can list things we don't like. Which sentence is correct?
Vegetables I don't like are tomatoes, cabbages carrots and broccoli.
Vegetables I don't like are tomatoes cabbages, carrots and broccoli.
Vegetables I don't like are tomatoes, cabbages, carrots, broccoli.
Vegetables I don't like are tomatoes, cabbages, carrots and broccoli.
Don't forget, we always need the word 'and' in between the last two words. However, if we are writing this in the format of a shopping list, with one word under the other, then you don't need to include the word 'and'.
3.
Finish this sentence: A cricket player needs...
a helmet pads, bat and gloves.
a helmet, pads bat and gloves.
a helmet, pads, bat and gloves.
a helmet, pads, bat, and gloves.
Cricket is a sport enjoyed by many countries but only two countries can play in The Ashes - a tournament between England and Australia that happens every other year.
4.
When writing, you need to add lots of description. Which sentence is punctuated correctly?
Both fairies had brown hair, cream wings, glittery shoes and magic wands.
Both fairies had brown hair, cream wings,, glittery shoes and magic wands.
Both fairies had brown hair, cream wings, glittery shoes, and magic wands.
Both fairies had brown hair, cream wings, glittery shoes and magic, wands.
So that you know what the fairies look like, I've added descriptive words. A descriptive word is also called an adjective. When you write, it's good to add lots of adjectives to help the reader imagine what your characters look like.
5.
We can list the things we like, separating each item with a comma. Which sentence is correct?
I like apples bananas and oranges.
I like apples, bananas and oranges.
I like apples, bananas, and oranges.
I like apples, bananas, and, oranges.
Remember a comma separates items in a list. The word 'and' isn't a thing (noun) so we won't ever need a comma next to that word.
6.
Only one sentence is correct. Which one is it?
My alien friend had been to Venus, Mars, Jupiter Saturn and Pluto.
My alien friend had been to Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto
My alien friend had been to Venus,, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto.
My alien friend had been to Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto.
Don't forget, there should never be two commas next to each other and always end your sentence with a full stop.
7.
Below are four different sentences but only one is correct; which one is it?
The cat told me to jump, dance, sing and cry.
Cats are loving animals that are caring, smelly, and joyful.
The mouse refused to listen to the cat and instead said she should jump, dance, sing, cry laugh and wiggle.
Cats and mice are best friends because they are both great, fun, and loving.
On average, cats live for around fourteen years.
8.
Have a look at these sentences, which one is perfect?
At the zoo we saw giraffes, elephants, penguins, lions, camels, and snakes.
At the zoo we saw giraffes, elephants, penguins, lions, camels and snakes.
At the zoo we saw giraffes elephants, penguins, lions, camels and snakes.
At the zoo we saw giraffes, elephants, penguins, lions, camels and, snakes.
No matter how long the list is, we will always need to add commas. The zoo in San Diego houses over 3,700 animals.
9.
Which sentence is perfect?
He had blue feathers, long talons, strong teeth.
The bluebird had black eyes, a shiny beak and bright blue feathers.
He was short fat small feet and blue.
The bluebird liked to sing, twitter, eat nuts.
Bluebirds eat small fruits and hunt insects and spiders.
10.
Which sentence is perfect?
In my bag I have a book, some pencils, a ruler. paper clips and scissors.
In my bag I have a book. some pencils. a ruler. paper clips and scissors.
In my bag I have a book, some pencils, a ruler, paper clips and scissors,
In my bag I have a book, some pencils, a ruler, paper clips and scissors.
Don't forget - the difference between a full stop and a comma is that a comma has a tail on the end. The circular part of the comma should sit on the line like a full stop and its small tail should fall beneath the line.
Author:  Finola Waller

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