Punctuation (Commas to Separate Clauses)
Use commas to separate clauses as in 'While the band played, I enjoyed their music'.

Punctuation (Commas to Separate Clauses)

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Commas act as a 'pause for breath' in English and help give structure to sentences. Use commas to separate clauses; a clause doesn't stand alone, e.g. 'When I telephoned him' is the clause adding information to 'he read me his shopping list' in Question 1.

1.
Select the correctly punctuated sentence.
When I telephoned him he read me his shopping list.
When I telephoned him he read me, his shopping list.
When I telephoned him, he read me his shopping list.
When I telephoned, him he read me his shopping list.
When, I telephoned him he read me his shopping list.
It helps to read the sentence aloud!
2.
Select the correctly punctuated sentence.
When the bell rang the pupils left the school quickly.
When the bell rang the pupils, left the school quickly.
When the bell rang, the pupils left the school quickly.
When the bell, rang, the pupils left the school quickly.
When, the bell rang the pupils left the school quickly.
'When the bell rang' adds information = subordinate clause.
3.
Select the correctly punctuated sentence.
Gray clouds now filling the sky we decided to move on.
Gray clouds now filling the sky we decided to move on.
Gray clouds now filling the sky we decided, to move on.
Gray clouds now filling the sky, we decided to move on.
Gray clouds, now filling the sky we decided to move on.
'Grey ....... sky' adds information = subordinate clause.
4.
Select the correctly punctuated sentence.
While the choir rehearsed I listened to the singing.
While the choir rehearsed I listened to the, singing.
While the choir rehearsed I listened, to the singing.
While the choir rehearsed, I listened to the singing.
While, the choir rehearsed I listened to the singing.
'While ....... rehearsed' adds information = subordinate clause.
5.
Select the correctly punctuated sentence.
The player who joined the club today won the game.
The player who joined the club today won the game.
The player who joined the club today won, the game.
The player, who joined the club today won the game.
The player, who joined the club today, won the game.
'Who joined ....... today' = subordinate (relative) clause.
6.
Select the correctly punctuated sentence.
Although I hit the ball hard I was beaten by him.
Although I hit the ball hard, I was beaten by him.
Although I hit the ball, hard I was beaten by him.
Although I hit, the ball hard I was beaten by him.
Although, I hit the ball hard I was beaten by him.
'Although ....... hard' adds information = subordinate clause.
7.
Select the correctly punctuated sentence.
When I have practiced consistently I win games too.
When I have practiced consistently I win, games too.
When I have practiced consistently, I win games too.
When I have practiced, consistently I win games too.
When, I have practiced consistently I win games too.
8.
Select the correctly punctuated sentence.
The black dog which had brown ears caught the ball.
The black dog which had brown ears caught the ball.
The black dog, which had brown ears caught the ball.
The black dog, which had brown ears caught, the ball.
The black dog, which had brown ears, caught the ball.
'Which ....... ears' is subordinate (relative) clause.
9.
Select the correctly punctuated sentence.
The tall man who wore spectacles dropped the ball.
The tall man who wore spectacles dropped the ball.
The tall man who wore, spectacles dropped the ball.
The tall man, who wore spectacles dropped the ball.
The tall man, who wore spectacles, dropped the ball.
10.
Select the correctly punctuated sentence.
When I looked out of the window earlier it was sunny.
When I looked out of the window earlier it was sunny.
When I looked out of the window earlier, it was sunny.
When I looked, out of the window earlier it was sunny.
When, I looked out of the window earlier it was sunny.
'When ....... earlier' adds information to 'it was sunny'.
Author:  Sue Daish

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