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Can You Pass This Comma Quiz?

"Let's eat Grandma."

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  1. Which of these commas is incorrect?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    The one after "Hey"
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The one after "2016"
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The one after "sight"
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The one after "fancy"
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The one after "expensive"
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "Winter scarf" is a unit modified by the other adjectives, so the adjective right before it should not be followed by a comma.

  2. Which version of this sentence uses commas properly?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    On Christmas Eve, we drank eggnog, sang carols, and watched the classic holiday movie, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, before settling in for a long winter's nap.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    On Christmas Eve, we drank eggnog, sang carols, and watched the classic holiday movie Santa Claus Conquers the Martians before settling in for a long winter's nap.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    On Christmas Eve, we drank eggnog, sang carols and watched the classic holiday movie Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, before settling in for a long, winter's nap.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    On Christmas Eve, we drank eggnog, sang carols and watched the classic holiday movie, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians before settling in for a long winter's nap.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Since Santa Claus Conquers the Martians isn't the *only* classic holiday movie, there shouldn't be any commas around the movie title. (The serial comma thing is really a matter of opinion.)

  3. How many commas does this sentence need?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    3
    Correct
    Incorrect
    4
    Correct
    Incorrect
    5
    Correct
    Incorrect
    6
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "His father, who was a teacher in Portland, Maine, in the ’80s, retired to Florida, while his mother stayed in New England and became a ski instructor."

  4. Which of these sentences needs a comma?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    I was on time for work but I couldn't find parking.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    My favorite word is "defenestrate."
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Today I volunteered at the animal shelter for the first time.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    I'll write myself a note so I don't forget to bring the snacks.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Two independent clauses should be joined by a comma (and a conjunction, of course).

  5. This sentence is missing a comma — but where?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    After "two"
    Correct
    Incorrect
    After "Brooklyn"
    Correct
    Incorrect
    After "group"
    Correct
    Incorrect
    After "Home"
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The "where" clause is not essential to the sentence (since we're not distinguishing these streets from some other Brooklyn streets), so it should be preceded by a comma.

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