Punctuation

.          ,          ;          :          ’          ”          !          ?


Basics
In the Reasoning Through Language Arts module, there will be questions about (but not necessarily limited to) the following punctuation marks:


.  Period
A period is placed at the end of a sentence.

Bob ran to the curb on the other side of the street.
With little exception, Arizona is hot.


,  Comma

When a prepositional phrase begins a sentence, a comma is used.
Commas are also used with lists.

Prepositional Phrase → With little exception, Arizona is hot.
List → Jane bought bread, cabbage, spinach, and carrots at the store.


;  Semicolon
A semicolon is a shortcut; it is used to link two closely related statements when a conjunction is not used.

Conjunction → I always come in last, but I finish.
Semicolon → I always come in last; I finish.


:  Colon
A colon is used after a statement to introduce a list (separated by commas).

In order to bake a cake, we will need the following items: flour, sugar, eggs, water, and vegetable oil.


’  Apostrophe
An apostrophe is used with contractions.
An apostrophe is also used with possession.

Original → I do not like broccoli.
Contraction → I don’t like broccoli.

Original → That skateboard belongs to Bob.
Possession → That is Bob’s skateboard.


I”  Quotation Marks
Quotation marks surround conversation.
[A comma often signals the beginning or ending of conversation.]

“I want to go to the ballgame,” said Bob.
Betty said, “I’d rather watch the ballgame on TV.”


!  Exclamation Point
An exclamation point is used to show emphasis or surprise.

I can’t believe you ate the whole thing!
That doctor has a horrible bedside manner!


?  Question Mark
Where else would a question mark go but after a question?

Where is the mall?
You do want to go to the mall, don’t you?


Question

Which of the following sentences uses correct punctuation?
(A)  My arms and legs are broken other than that, I’m just fine.
(B)  My arms and legs are broken, other than that, I’m just fine.
(C)  My arms and legs are broken.  Other than that,
(D)  My arms and legs are broken.  Other than that, I’m just fine.

Answer
(D)  My arms and legs are broken.  Other than that, I’m just fine.

Answer Process
A period is used at the end of two complete sentences.


Question

Which of the following sentences uses correct punctuation?
(A)  It has been a long winter the groundhog might never appear.
(B)  It has been a long winter, the groundhog might never appear.
(C)  It has been a long winter; the groundhog might never appear.
(D)  It has been a long winter.  The groundhog might never.

Answer
(C)  It has been a long winter; the groundhog might never appear.

Answer Process
A semicolon links two closely related statements.


Question

Which of the following sentences uses correct punctuation?
(A)  Bob will need the following tools; hammer. chisel. screwdriver. drill. and wrench.
(B)  Bob will need the following tools.  Hammer, chisel, screwdriver, drill, and wrench.
(C)  Bob will need the following tools, hammer: chisel. screwdriver: drill, and wrench.
(D)  Bob will need the following tools: hammer, chisel, screwdriver, drill, and wrench.

Answer
(D)  Bob will need the following tools: hammer, chisel, screwdriver, drill, and wrench.

Answer Process
A colon introduces a list (separated by commas).


Practice – Questions
1.  Which of the following sentences uses correct punctuation?
(A)  The sun is hot.  cats have paws.
(B)  The sun is hot, Cats have paws.
(C)  The sun is hot cats have paws.
(D)  The sun is hot.  Cats have paws.

2.  Which of the following sentences uses correct punctuation?
(A)  I hate writing: I love having written.
(B)  I hate writing; I love having written.
(C)  I hate writing, I love having written.
(D)  I hate writing I love having written.

3.  Which of the following sentences uses correct punctuation?
(A)  Jane will need the following items: pen, pencil, paper, and eraser.
(B)  Jane will need the following items, pen, pencil, paper, and eraser.
(C)  Jane will need the following items; pen, pencil, paper, and eraser.
(D)  Jane will need the following items pen, pencil, paper, and eraser.

4.  Which of the following sentences uses correct punctuation?
(A)  In spite of his setback Bill will keep trying.
(B)  In spite of his setback; Bill will keep trying.
(C)  In spite of his setback.  Bill will keep trying.
(D)  In spite of his setback, Bill will keep trying.

5.  Which of the following sentences uses correct punctuation?
(A)  I can’t hit a baseball.
(B)  I cant hit a baseball.
(C)  I canthit a baseball.
(D)  I canthi’t a baseball.

6.  Which of the following sentences uses correct punctuation?
(A)  I admire Bobs lawn.
(B)  I admire Bob’s lawn.
(C)  I admire Bobs’ lawn.
(D)  I admire Bob is lawn.

7.  Which of the following sentences uses correct punctuation?
(A)  Betty said I’m sick of reruns.”
(B)  Betty said “I’m sick of reruns.”
(C)  Betty said, “I’m sick of reruns.”
(D)  Betty said; “I’m sick of reruns.”

8.  Which of the following sentences uses correct punctuation?
(A)  Wow, the cow really did jump over the moon!
(B)  Wow, the cow really did jump over the moon;
(C)  Wow, the cow really did jump over the moon,
(D)  Wow, the cow really did jump over the moon.!

9.  Which of the following sentences uses correct punctuation?
(A)  Is there intelligent life on other planets.
(B)  Is there intelligent life on other planets;
(C)  Is there intelligent life on other planets,
(D)  Is there intelligent life on other planets?

10.  Which of the following sentences uses correct punctuation?
(A)  If it rains; the event will be rescheduled.
(B)  If it rains the event will be rescheduled.
(C)  If it rains.  The event will be rescheduled.
(D)  If it rains, the event will be rescheduled.


Practice – Answers
1.  (D)  The sun is hot.  Cats have paws.

2.  (B)  I hate writing; I love having written.

3.  (A)  Jane will need the following items: pen, pencil, paper, and eraser.

4.  (D)  In spite of his setback, Bill will keep trying.

5.  (A)  I can’t hit a baseball.

6.  (C)  I admire Bobs’ lawn.

7.  (C)  Betty said, “I’m sick of reruns.”

8.  (A)  Wow, the cow really did jump over the moon!

9.  (D)  Is there intelligent life on other planets?

10.  (D)  If it rains, the event will be rescheduled.

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