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Grammar Quiz: Do You Know Your Commas?
by Staff
Most of us think we know when to use commas and when to leave them out. We went to elementary school, after all. Still, many of us get it wrong from time to time ... do you?

Which of these sentences contains a comma splice?

  • On the way over, we ate and drank.
  • On the way over we ate and drank.
  • On the way over, we ate, we drank.
  • On the way over we ate, and drank.

What's an independent clause?

  • A complete sentence
  • A group of words that refers to nothing
  • A compound sentence containing "and," "but" or "or"
  • A phrase that describes a noun

When you surround a word, phrase or clause with commas, what are you typically indicating?

  • Those words are the most important component of the sentence.
  • Those words can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence.
  • Those words cannot be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence.
  • The reader should pause before and after the words in between the commas.

What is a restrictive clause?

  • An acronym
  • A predicate that doesn't make sense
  • A clause that begins with "however"
  • A group of words that is essential to the meaning of the sentence

Which of these sentences uses the Oxford comma correctly?

  • In school, the children sang, read, and counted.
  • In school, the children sang read and counted.
  • In school, the children, sang read and counted.
  • In school, the children sang, read and counted.

Which of these shows the correct method of writing the "European-style" date?

  • 1 January, 2012
  • 1, January, 2012
  • 1 January 2012
  • January 1 2012

When is it appropriate for "such as" to be followed by a comma?

  • Never
  • Only when it starts a sentence
  • Any time it precedes a list
  • Only when it's followed by four or more list items

When using "which" to introduce a descriptive phrase, where will you always use a comma?

  • Nowhere
  • After it
  • Before it
  • Before and after it

Which of these sentences contains a restrictive clause?

  • The store, which sells soap, opens at 10 a.m.
  • The soap store opens at 10 a.m.
  • The soap store, and the art store, open at 10 a.m.
  • The store that sells soap opens at 10 a.m.

Should a name suffix like "Jr." or "II" have a comma before it?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Only when the name is male
  • Only when it ends a sentence