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Comma Exercises

WR, P1-1 (p 288-9)

Directions: Add or delete commas where necessary in the following sentences. If a sentence is correct, write “correct” after it.

a. Chinatown is generally considered to be part of the hard-boiled detective genre, but it contains many conventions that make it unlike other detective films. Correct b. As an intern, I learned about all aspects of the broadcasting industry (no comma) and trained specifically in fundraising efforts. c. J.R.R. Tolkien finished writing his draft of The Lord of the Rings trilogy in 1949, but the first book in the series wasn’t published until 1954. d. German shepherds can be gentle guide dogs, or they can be fierce attack dogs. e. Some former professional cyclists claim that performance-enhancing drug use is widespread in cycling, and they argue that no rider can be competitive without doping.

1. Reptiles are cold-blooded (no comma) and are covered with scales. 2. The low-key lighting effect known as chiaroscuro was first used in German Expressionist filmmaking (no comma) and was later seen in American film noir. 3. Freedom is an important value for many Americans, so it is a central theme in much of our political rhetoric. Correct 4. Advertisers use a variety of techniques to grab the audience’s attention and to imprint their messages into consumers’ minds. Correct 5. Many musicians of Bach’s time played several instruments, but few mastered them as early or played with as much expression as Bach.
WR, P1-2 (p 290)

Directions: Add or delete commas where necessary in the following sentences. If a sentence is correct, write “correct” after it.

a. Considered a classic of early animation, The Adventures of Prince Achmed used hand-cut silhouettes against colored backgrounds. b. In the first two minutes of its ascent, the space shuttle had broken the sound barrier and reached a height of over twenty-five miles. Correct c. If you complete the enclosed evaluation form, you will receive a free breakfast during your next stay. Correct d. After retiring from the New York City Ballet in 1965, legendary dancer Maria Tallchief went on to found the Chicago City Ballet. e. Because the car had been sitting idle for so long, the battery was completely dead.

1. After successfully navigating the dangerous rapids, we sat back and drifted on more tranquil waters. Correct 2. To be considered for the position, candidates must demonstrate initiative and strong communication skills. 3. Lit by bright halogen lamps, hundreds of origami cranes sparkled like diamonds in the sunlight. 4. Preying on the ignorance of the public, advertisers insist that antibacterial hand soaps are the best way to prevent the spread of disease. Correct 5. By the end of the first quarter, the operating budget will be available online.

WR, P1-3 (pp 291-2)

Directions: Add or delete commas where necessary in the following sentences. If a sentence is correct, write “correct” after it.

a. A baseball player achieves the triple crown by having the highest batting average, the most home runs, and the most runs batted in during the regular season. Correct b. A complete diagnostic of the system revealed that the trouble was neither electrical (no comma) nor mechanical. c. Love, vengeance, greed, and betrayal are common themes in Western literature. d. Two increasingly popular sources of alternative energy are solar panels that are installed in homes or office buildings and wind farms in open areas. Correct e. In Sherman’s march to the sea, the Union army set fire to all crops, killed all livestock, and destroyed all roads and bridges in its path.

1. The film’s primary message is that global warming is real, it is the result of human activity, and it should not be ignored. Correct 2. For breakfast the children ordered cornflakes, English muffins with peanut butter, and cherry Cokes. 3. At the age of twenty-two, my father graduated from college, got married, and joined the military. 4. After two broken arms, three cracked ribs, and one concussion, Ken quit the varsity football team. 5. Animation master Hironobu Sakaguchi makes computer-generated scenes look realistic, vivid, and seductive.

WR, P1-4 (pp 292-3)

Directions: Add or delete commas where necessary in the following sentences. If a sentence is correct, write “correct” after it.

a. NASA’s rovers on Mars are equipped with special cameras that can take close-up, high-resolution pictures of the terrain. b. Teenage cliques expect absolute, unswerving loyalty from their members. Correct c. If it does not get enough sunlight, a healthy green lawn can turn into a shriveled brown mess within a matter of days. Correct d. Many experts believe that shark attacks on surfers are a result of the shark’s mistaking surfboards for small (no comma) injured seals. e. Cyril was clad in a luminous orange rain suit and a brilliant white helmet. Correct

1. Milk that comes from grass-fed, steroid-free cows has been gaining market share. 2. The 1812 Overture is a stirring, magnificent piece. Correct 3. The three (no comma) handmade (no comma) turquoise bracelets brought in the most money at the charity auction. 4. Former athletes often suffer debilitating (no comma) joint pain late in life. 5. Matisse is well known for his vibrant, colorful prints that have been reproduced extensively on greeting cards and posters.

WR—Exercise P1-5 (pp295-6)
Directions: Add or delete commas where necessary in the following sentences. If a sentence is correct, write “correct” after it.

a. Choreographer Alvin Ailey’s best-known work, Revelations, is more than just a crowd pleaser. b. Twyla Tharp’s contemporary ballet Push Comes to Shove was made famous by Russian dander Baryshnikov. [Tharp has written more than one contemporary ballet.] Correct c. The glass sculptor sifting through hot red sand explained her technique to other glassmakers. Correct d. A member of an organization (no comma) that provides housing for AIDS patients (no comma) was also appointed to the commission. e. Brian Eno, who began his career as a rock musician, turned to meditative compositions in the late seventies.

1. I had the pleasure of talking to a woman who had just returned from India, where she had lived for ten years. 2. Patrick’s oldest sister, Fiona, graduated from MIT with a degree in aerospace engineering. 3. The artist painting a portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese civil rights leader, was once a political prisoner himself. Correct 4. The Polar Express, the 1986 Caldecott Medal winner, is my nephew’s favorite book. Correct 5. The flame crawled up a few blades of grass to reach a low-hanging palmetto branch, which quickly ignited.

WR—Exercise P1-6 (p 300)
Directions: Add or delete commas where necessary in the following sentences. If a sentence is correct, write “correct” after it.

a. Cricket, which originated in England, is also popular in Australia, South Africa, and India. b. At the sound of the starting pistol, the horses surged forward toward the first obstacle, a sharp incline three feet high. c. After seeing an exhibition of Western art, Gerhard Richter escaped from East Berlin (no comma) and smuggled out many of his notebooks. d. Corrie’s new wet suit has an intricate (no comma) blue pattern. e. The cookies will keep for two weeks in sturdy airtight plastic containers. Correct

1. Research on Andean condors has shown that high levels of the chemical pesticide chlorinated hydrocarbon can cause the thinning of eggshells. Correct 2. Founded in 1868, Hampton University was one of the first colleges for African Americans. 3. Aunt Emilia was an impossible, demanding guest. 4. The French Mirage, a high-tech fighter, is an astonishing machine to fly. Correct 5. At the bottom of the ship’s rusty hold sat several (no comma) well-preserved trunks, reminders of a bygone era of sea travel.

WR—Exercise P1-7 (p 301)
Directions: Add or delete commas where necessary in the following sentences. If a sentence is correct, write “correct” after it.

a. On January 15, 2004, our office moved to 29 Commonwealth Avenue, Mechanicsville, VA 23111. b. The coach having bawled us out thoroughly, we left the locker room with his harsh words ringing in our ears. Correct c. Ms. Carlson, you are a valued customer whose satisfaction is very important to us. d. Mr. Mundy was born on July 22, 1939, in Arkansas, where his family had lived for four generations. e. Her board poised at the edge of the half-pipe, Nina waited her turn to drop in. Correct

1. President Lincoln’s original intention was to save the Union, not destroy slavery. Correct 2. For centuries, people believed that Greek culture had developed in isolation from the worlds. Today, however, scholars are acknowledging the contributions made by Egypt and the Middle East. 3. Putting together a successful fundraiser, Patricia discovered, requires creativity and good timing. Correct 4. Fortunately, science is creating many alternatives to research performed on animals. 5. While the machine was printing, the oversize paper jammed.

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