This quiz will give you practice in applying the Guidelines for Using Commas Effectively.
Instructions: On your own paper, copy the words in each sentence that should be followed by commas, and then insert the commas where they belong.
When you have completed the exercise, compare your answers with those on page two.
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- Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will always hurt me.
(Stephen Fry, Fry on Corporal Punishment)
- Our two rooms were crowded but at least it was all in the family.
(Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston, A Description of the Barracks in Block 16 of Manzanar)
- The front parlor had been converted into a bar and a half-dozen or so well-dressed men were in the room.
(James Weldon Johnson, New York in the Early 1900s)
- The floor boards are warped and here and there a hole has been patched with a flattened-out soup can.
(Joseph Mitchell, McSorley's Saloon)
- Life is short and precious and appetite is one of its guardians and loss of appetite is a sort of death.
(Laurie Lee, Comparison in Laurie Lee's "Appetite")
- When I awoke I saw daylight peering through the cracks in the door.
(Nikos Kazantzakis, A Definition of Happiness)
- With the sudden rise in value of the land the peaceful atmosphere of the South Fork began to change.
(Peter Matthiessen, Changes)
- If you are the last person to leave the room please turn off the lights.
- The last person to leave the room should shut off the copier turn off the lights and lock the door.
- The autumn leaves turned various shades of red orange and gold.
- I sat down in the sunlit doorway of the trailer and sipped the coffee smoked the cigar and reflected upon the subject of loners in this world.
(Kinky Friedman, Kinky's Interior Monologue)
- I stopped on a rise and looked back at the valley which was vanishing in purple haze.
(Bill Barich, Barich's Descriptive Narrative)
- They were golden eagles a male and a female in their mating flight.
(N. Scott Momaday, Participial Phrases in House Made of Dawn)
- Pete Rose a professional baseball player for over 20 years broke Ty Cobb's career record of 4,191 hits.
- On Christmas Eve is going to marry Adam.
- The new clerk the one with floppy shoes and a red rubber nose is a real clown.
- An Indian household may have a dining room with table and chairs but when the family relaxes during the hot afternoon parents and children sit together on the floor.
(Witold Rybczynski, Contrast in Rybczynski's Home)
- Anyone who has made the coast-to-coast journey across America whether by train or by car has probably passed through Garden City but it is reasonable to assume that few travelers remember the event.
(Truman Capote, Parenthetical Details in Capote's Place Description)
- The hospital was very old and very beautiful and you entered through a gate and walked across a courtyard and out a gate on the other side.
(Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway's Use of Repetition)
- When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle I saw the mystery the unspeakable wrongness of cutting a life short when it is in full tide.
(George Orwell, Ethopoeia in Orwell's "A Hanging")