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Commas 2

Shaun Macleod explains basic and complex lists, and conjunctions in Comma Rules (Part 1), from Smrt English (new tab).(Watching time: 2m:02secs)

Instructions: Hover or tap the questions below to see the reason for the answers given in the quiz.

1. Select the most accurate use of commas
Being a good driver involves...

...awareness of your position on the road, predicting what others will do, fast decision-making and reacting
Why: Comma placement here separates the items in a way that makes sense. It would be possible in some sentences to change the meaning of the sentence by shifting the placement of the commas, as exemplified by the title of the famous punctuation book: Eats, shoots and leaves

2. Rank the use of commas from most accurate to least
Please bring with you on the field trip...

Most accurate: ...something to write with, your camera, lunch, and warm clothes
or ...something to write with, your camera, lunch and warm clothes
Why: We like the top answer as the most accurate because the final comma keeps the lunch separate from the warm clothes. We know that grammarians do not always agree about this, and might choose the option without the comma after the word 'lunch'.

3. 1) light weight 2) free standing 3) wood burning
We have replaced our open fireplace with a ________________________ fire box.

light weight, free standing, wood burning
Why: No comma after the final item in a list of adjectives.