Tag Archives: commas

Commas in Interrupter Sentences: Comma Rule 3 Practice

“Interrupter” sentences (Comma Rule 3) are useful when you’re writing about a person or a place in a criminal justice report, and they’re easy to punctuate: Just remember to use TWO commas. Click here to read about Comma Rule 3, and click here to watch a short video. Then try this quiz. Scroll down to check your answers. (Hint: Read each sentence aloud and listen for a change in your voice.)

1.  Citizens who don’t pay attention to what’s going on around them may be victimized by criminals.

2.  Tina Collier who just joined the force last year is already up for an award.

3.  We’re keeping an eye on Porter Street which has been a favorite location for drug dealers lately.

4.  The Universal Crime Reporting Handbook which I first heard about in the Academy is a great resource for officers.

5.  Dogs that aren’t leashed can be impounded.

6.  Oxycontin a controlled substance can be dangerous when used improperly.

7.  A person who’s never handled a weapon before can be trained to be an excellent officer.

8.  July one of the hottest months in the year always seems interminable to me.

9.  Cold weather which drives vagrants away from Northern climes always swells the population in the South.

10. Drivers who exceed the speed limit are liable to be ticketed.

The answers:

1.  Citizens who don’t pay attention to what’s going on around them may be victimized by criminals.  NO COMMAS

2.  Tina Collier, who just joined the force last year, is already up for an award.

3.  We’re keeping an eye on Porter Street, which has been a favorite location for drug dealers lately.

4.  The Universal Crime Reporting Handbook, which I first heard about in the Academy, is a great resource for officers.

5.  Dogs that aren’t leashed can be impounded.  NO COMMAS

6.  Oxycontin, a controlled substance, can be dangerous when used improperly.

7.  A person who’s never handled a weapon before can be trained to be an excellent officer.  NO COMMAS

8.  July, one of the hottest months in the year, always seems interminable to me.

9.  Cold weather, which drives vagrants away from Northern climes, always swells the population in the South.

10. Drivers who exceed the speed limit are liable to be ticketed.  NO COMMAS

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Practice with Commas

Many officers (and supervisors!) say that commas and apostrophes are the most troublesome punctuation marks. Help is on the way! I’m going to start posting mini-quizzes regularly to provide plenty of practice.

Here’s today’s comma quiz. Not every sentence requires commas. Scroll down for answers. Click here for a review of the three most important comma rules.

1.  As I approached the house I heard a woman scream.

2.  Linda grabbed her son’s hand and they ran down the street.

3.  Linda grabbed her son’s hand and ran down the street.

4.  Paul who just graduated from the academy is planning to go back for a degree.

5.  I went back to Porter Street because I had more questions for Mrs. Smith.

Here are the answers. (Numbers refer to rules on Commas Made Simple.)

1.  As I approached the house, I heard a woman scream. (1 – comma is needed because the sentence begins with an extra idea)

2.  Linda grabbed her son’s hand, and they ran down the street. (2 – comma is needed because there are two sentences joined by and)

3.  Linda grabbed her son’s hand and ran down the street.  (2 – no comma is needed  because there’s only one sentence)

4.  Paul, who just graduated from the academy, is planning to go back for a degree. (3)

5.  I went back to Porter Street because I had more questions for Mrs. Smith.  (1 – no comma is needed because the extra idea is at the back)

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And the Answer Is… (A Coordinate Conjunction Quiz)

Simple words often create the most confusion for writers. The word and is a good example. When do you use a comma, and when do you omit it? Answer: Use the comma when you have a sentence on both sides of and. Otherwise omit it.
And remember that the comma goes before and, never after it. (To learn more, click here and read about Comma Rule 2.
This rule applies to every coordinate conjunction: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so). Try placing the commas yourself. Try this quiz, and then scroll down for the answers.
1.  Inmate Greene grabbed the garbage can lid and banged it on the mess hall door.
2. I talked to Jerry Whitman and Officer Barthes questioned his wife.
3.  The policy doesn’t make sense and we shouldn’t implement it.
4.  The bright lights disoriented Jeffords and the loud noise confused him.
5.  Myers failed both sobriety tests and I smelled beer on his breath.
6.  The shelter is overcrowded and does not provide enough services for domestic violence victims.
ANSWERS
1.  Inmate Greene grabbed the garbage can lid and banged it on the mess hall door.
2. I talked to Jerry Whitman, and Officer Barthes questioned his wife.  TWO SENTENCES
3.  The policy doesn’t make sense, and we shouldn’t implement it.  TWO SENTENCES 4.  The bright lights disoriented Jeffords, and the loud noise confused him.  TWO SENTENCES
5.  Myers failed both sobriety tests, and I smelled beer on his breath.  TWO SENTENCES
6.  The shelter is overcrowded and does not provide enough services for domestic violence victims.

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