Take the Comma Quiz!

168

I published a graphic with the basic comma rules recently. Now’s your chance to test your comma knowledge! Most takers will find this quiz challenging simply because the comma rules are numerous and, at times, subtle. I tried to avoid most areas where there is debate or where a comma is considered optional. Still, I won’t be surprised if there is disagreement about some answers.

But that’s a good thing. Feel free to post any questions or objections in the comments. The ensuing discussion can only help us all to grow in our understanding of this peskiest of all punctuation marks.

Good luck!

Comma  quiz

WriteAtHome: We Teach Writing for You!

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Please leave your comments, concerns, corrections, or questions below! It’s good to know someone’s reading!

About the Author

Brian Wasko

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of WriteAtHome.com. One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

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  139. JJ
    JJ01-30-2013

    I don’t know for sure, but I think that you forgot to put the link in the image. When I click on the image that is supposed to start the quiz, it doesn’t do anything, as if there was just an image there. If you could fix it, that would be great.

    Thank you for all you do!

    JJ

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko01-30-2013

      Where would I be without you, JJ? Fixed.

      • JJ
        JJ01-30-2013

        Thanks :-) . I got 90%, and I think I got one of the “debatable” questions wrong. I picked “The answer, therefore, is Sheboygan.” instead of “The answer therefore is Sheboygan.”

        I can see why the “Silent for a moment, Wally composed himself and faced the audience.” is correct, but I prefer “Silent for a moment, Wally composed himself, and faced the audience.” mostly because it has a dramatic break at “composed himself,” and then it goes on, almost as if you were composing yourself :-)

        Thanks a lot for all of the fun quizzes!

        • Saved Girl/ Amber
          Saved Girl/ Amber01-30-2013

          I can see why you would like “Wally composed himself, and faced the audience”, but I don’t think that one could even be considered debatable since you have a fragment on the other side of the comma. To achieve the effect that you want, it would probably be best to add another phrase. Something like: “Wally composed himself, took a deep breath, and faced the audience.” That would also achieve the “three” rule that Write at Home seems to like. :)

          • JJ
            JJ01-30-2013

            Thanks for the input :-)

        • Brian Wasko
          Brian Wasko01-30-2013

          I hope you know by now, JJ, that I don’t tend to draw hard lines when it comes to grammar and writing conventions. Rules are always flexible especially for the artistic among us. You can make a good case for an non-essential comma, but the “rule” is pretty clear on that sentence. You only need a comma before the conjunction if it joins independent clauses and “faced the audience” is missing a subject. I wouldn’t go so far to say a comma there is wrong, but it would be an intentional departure from conventional comma use. How’s that for a political answer? :)

          • JJ
            JJ01-30-2013

            Great! Thanks a lot!

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