Return to Lesson 17

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Learn to Write English Clearly and Correctly

Set 4 - Lesson 17 - Answer Key

Exercise A:  Place commas where they belong in the following examples.

1. April 15, 2000 was not a happy day for many people. (2000,  would be acceptable)

2. I drove through Dallas, Texas, many times.

3. The personnel manager told Dave he could earn $56,000 per year if he worked hard.

4. Lions, tigers(,) and bears can be dangerous if you are not in Oz.  (The comma after 'tigers' is optional.)

5. Jill wanted to follow the path up the hill, but Jack insisted on taking a shortcut.

6. Harry was, in fact, the only person who could do the job.

7. Truly, I cannot understand what went wrong.

8. The juggler, feeling sweat roll into his eyes, worried about catching the spinning plates.

9. "I'm glad I found you,"  Sarah told the tour guide, "because I have been wandering for hours."

10. J. F. Kennedy, Jr. will never become president.

Exercise B:  Cross out the commas that do not belong.

1. When we gox to the store, we usuallyx buy too manyx items we don't need.

2. January 1, February 14, March 17(ok) and July 4x are the best daysx of the whole year.

3. The United Statesx has a national debt x  of about $3,500,000,000,000.00, so I don't worry about my little credit card debt.

4. The Johnson's vacation tripx took them through Jackson, Mississippi, Mobile, Alabama, Hammond, Louisiana, and Beaumont, Texas, before they finally returned homex in Atlanta, Georgia.

5. "Well, I declare," said the surprised farmer, "I have neverx seen such an ugly, undersizedx dog as that!"

Examination:  Put commas where they should be in the following letter.

Dear Bill,

Honestly, I don't understand why some people were getting so upset.  I mean, it's not as if you robbed a bank or anything really serious like that.  I think most folks would understand, with the pressure you are under all the time, that you need to get your mind off those matters once in a while.   August 8, 1999 was a bad day for you, I remember, because of the article that hit the newspapers in New York, Raleigh, North Carolina, Chicago and Denver, Colorado.  Even some of your strongest supporters, knowing what they do about events, have been very careful to keep their distance. 

On a brighter note, there was an article written by J. R. Clooney, Sr.  printed in a major magazine in which the young woman in question, Lois Monoski, denied all, or at least most, of the allegations being made.  That mysterious deposit of $12,350 made to her bank account has caused some curiosity, however.  Well, that is all I have to say for now, but I hope I have helped cheer you up.  Stick to your story.

Your secret friend,


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