Answers: Commas 02

May 20, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: exercises, teaching journalism.

Commas exercise 02

1. The girl stared at him with a sad, longing look in her eyes.

When two equal adjectives appear before a noun, they should be separated by a comma. In this case, the adjectives “sad” and “longing” modify the noun “look.” Because there is no conjunction, such as “and,” they should be separated by a comma.


2. The board of trustees decided to raise tuition by $1,000 for all students.

Use a comma to separate the digits in large numbers.


3. The lawyer knew her client was innocent, but she had no way of proving it.

A comma should be placed before a conjunction that separates two independent clauses.


4. Elated and excited, Sara could not believe what she had just heard.

Introductory phrases should be separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma.


5. “Wow, look at that guy run,” the man said to his friends.

Interjectory words and phrases, such as the one at the beginning of this quotation, should be set off from the sentence with commas.


6. The letter, which arrived yesterday, contained some important tax information.

The phrase “which arrived yesterday” is a non-essential clause. That is, it is not necessary to have it for the rest of the sentence to make sense. Non-essential clauses should be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas.


7. The goon hit him hard, really hard, on the side of the face.

A comma is sometimes necessary in a sentence to set off a word or phrase that needs emphasis.


8. John, hurry up; it’s nearly time for the train to arrive.

A comma should separate the person being spoken to in a direct address statement. The semicolon in this sentence is correct. One use for the semicolon is to separate two independent clauses.


9. John Kennedy, 43, was elected president of the United States on Nov. 6, 1960.

When the age of an individual follows the name, it should be set off by commas as in the sentence above.


10. After hearing the verdict of the jury, the defendant shouted, “No, no, no!”

If the attribution comes before a direct quote, and the direct quote is a complete sentence, a comma should separate the attribution and the direct quote.

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