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Punctuation marks exercise.

This exercise will test your understanding of all kinds of different punctuation marks, particularly commas, colons, semi-colons and apostrophes.

Select the correctly punctuated sentence.

1

a) Spain is a beautiful country; the beache's are warm, sandy and spotlessly clean.
b) Spain is a beautiful country: the beaches are warm, sandy and spotlessly clean.
c) Spain is a beautiful country, the beaches are warm, sandy and spotlessly clean.
d) Spain is a beautiful country; the beaches are warm, sandy and spotlessly clean.
Please select an answerNo. The apostrophe is not needed in this sentence. No. The colon is incorrect here. No. This sentence uses a comma to connect two independent clauses. This is called the comma splice.Correct.
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2

a) The children's books were all left in the following places: Mrs Smith's room, Mr Powell's office and the caretaker's cupboard.
b) The children's books were all left in the following places; Mrs Smith's room, Mr Powell's office and the caretaker's cupboard.
c) The childrens books were all left in the following places: Mrs Smiths room, Mr Powells office and the caretakers cupboard.
d) The children's books were all left in the following places, Mrs Smith's room, Mr Powell's office and the caretaker's cupboard.
Please select an answerCorrect. No. You need a colon to introduce this list. No. There are some apostrophes missing. No. You need a colon to introduce this list.
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3

a) She always enjoyed sweets, chocolate, marshmallows and toffee apples.
b) She always enjoyed: sweets, chocolate, marshmallows and toffee apples.
c) She always enjoyed sweets chocolate marshmallows and toffee apples.
d) She always enjoyed sweet's, chocolate, marshmallow's and toffee apple's.
Please select an answerCorrect.No. The colon is incorrect here. The clause before the colon cannot stand alone. No. You need commas to separate the items in the list. No. No need for apostrophes here.
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4

a) Sarah's uncle's car was found without its wheels in that old derelict warehouse.
b) Sarah's uncle's car was found without its wheels in that old, derelict warehouse.
c) Sarahs uncles car was found without its wheels in that old, derelict warehouse.
d) Sarah's uncle's car was found without it's wheels in that old, derelict warehouse.
Please select an answerNo. You need a comma to separate the adjectives describing the warehouse. Correct. No. You need some apostrophes in this sentence. No. Although it is indicating possession, its does not have an apostrophe.
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5

a) I can't see Tim's car, there must have been an accident.
b) I cant see Tim's car; there must have been an accident.
c) I can't see Tim's car there must have been an accident.
d) I can't see Tim's car; there must have been an accident.
Please select an answerNo. You cannot use a comma to separate two independent clauses. This is the comma splice. No. Can't stands for can not, so it needs an apostrophe. No. There are two independent clauses, so there needs to be a punctuation mark between the two. Correct.
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6

a) Paul's neighbours were terrible; so his brother's friends went round to have a word.
b) Paul's neighbours were terrible: so his brother's friends went round to have a word.
c) Paul's neighbours were terrible, so his brother's friends went round to have a word.
d) Paul's neighbours were terrible so his brother's friends went round to have a word.
Please select an answerNo. You need a comma before the co-ordinating conjunction 'so'. No. You need a comma before the co-ordinating conjunction 'so'. Correct. No. You need a comma before the co-ordinating conjunction 'so'.
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7

a) Tims gran, a formidable woman, always bought him chocolate, cakes, sweets and a nice fresh apple.
b) Tim's gran a formidable woman always bought him chocolate, cakes, sweets and a nice fresh apple.
c) Tim's gran, a formidable woman, always bought him chocolate cakes sweets and a nice fresh apple.
d) Tim's gran, a formidable woman, always bought him chocolate, cakes, sweets and a nice fresh apple.
Please select an answerNo. You need an apostrophe to in Tim's to indicate possession.No. You need commas to separate the parenthetical elements in the sentence. No. You need commas to separate the items in the list. Correct.
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8

a) After stealing Tims car, the thief lost his way and ended up the chief constable's garage.
b) After stealing Tim's car the thief lost his way and ended up the chief constable's garage.
c) After stealing Tim's car, the thief lost his way and ended up the chief constable's garage.
d) After stealing Tim's car, the thief lost his' way and ended up the chief constable's garage.
Please select an answerNo. You need an apostrophe on Tim's to indicate possession.No. You need a comma to set off the introductory phrase. Correct. No. His can never have an apostrophe.
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9

a) We decided to visit: Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy's mountains.
b) We decided to visit Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italys mountains.
c) We decided to visit Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy's mountains.
d) We decided to visit Spain Greece Portugal and Italy's mountains.
Please select an answerNo. You cannot use a colon to introduce this list. No. You need an apostrophe on Italy's to indicate possession. Correct. No. You need commas to separate the items in the list.
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10

a) That tall man, Paul's grandad, is this month's winner.
b) That tall man Paul's grandad is this month's winner.
c) That tall man, Paul's grandad, is this months winner.
d) That tall man, Pauls grandad, is this month's winner.
Please select an answerCorrect. No. You need commas to separate the parenthetical element in the sentence. No. You need an apostrophe in month's.No. You need an apostrophe in Paul's to indicate possession.
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See a list of other grammar exercises.