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2.15: Practice Activities- Punctuation

  • Page ID
    182831
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    Ending Punctuation

    Are ending punctuation marks used appropriately in these sentences? Explain why or why not. The sentences have been numbered to aid in your comments:

    (1) One famous eighteenth-century Thoroughbred racehorse was named Potoooooooo, or Pot-8-Os! (2) He was a chestnut colt bred by Willoughby Bertie, 4th Earl of Abingdon, in 1773, and he was known for his defeat of some of the greatest racehorses of the time. (3) With a well-to-do background like this, where do you suppose his strange name came from.

    (4) The horse once has a stable lad, who facetiously misspelled Potatoes. (5) Apparently, the owner thought the misspelling was funny enough to adopt it as the horse’s real name!

    [practice-area rows=”4″][/practice-area]
    [reveal-answer q=”621098″]Show Answer[/reveal-answer]
    [hidden-answer a=”621098″]The exclamation point at then end of sentence 1 isn’t needed. While the name is strange, we haven’t yet discussed the horse enough to warrant an exclamation point.

    Sentence 3 should end with a question mark: it’s a direct question.

    Sentence 5 may or may not need an exclamation point. It depends on two different things: the context of the writing and the amount of emphasis you want to put on the sentence. How much emphasis you want is up to you: do you think the fact is amusing enough to have an exclamation point? The context you’re writing in will be a more objective criterion to help you make your decision. In a formal academic setting, such as an English paper, the exclamation point would likely feel out of place. However, if you were writing on your personal semi-professional blog, the exclamation point would probably fit in just fine.

    [/hidden-answer]

    Hyphens

    Identify the compounds in the following sentences. All compounds have been treated as open compounds. Correct any compounds that this is incorrect for:

    1. Have you ever seen someone with such a stereo typical appearance?
    2. This is all publicly available information.
    3. I bought a new yellow orange skirt last week.
    4. One half of participants failed to complete the study.

    [practice-area rows=”4″][/practice-area]
    [reveal-answer q=”435404″]Show Answer[/reveal-answer]
    [hidden-answer a=”435404″]

    1. The compound should be a closed compound: stereotypical. Stereo is a prefix in this word.
    2. The compound should be open: publicly available. Even though the compound comes before the noun its modifying (information), we don’t use hyphens with –ly adverbs.
    3. The compound should be hyphenated yellow-orange. The compound adjective appears directly before the noun it modifies (skirt).
    4. The compound should be open: one half. It comes before the noun (participants) so one half should be open.

    [/hidden-answer]

    Apostrophes

    Read the following passage. Identify any errors with apostrophes. Type the corrected words in the text frame below:

    Thanks to NASAs’ team of sniffers, led by George Aldrich, astronauts can breathe a little bit easier. Aldrich is the “chief sniffer” at the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. His’s job is to smell items before they can be flown in the space shuttle.

    Aldrich explained that smells change in space and that once astronauts are up there, their stuck with whatever smells are onboard with them. In space, astronauts aren’t able to open the window for extra ventilation. He also said that its important not to introduce substances that will change the delicate balance of the climate of the International Space Station and the space shuttle.

    [practice-area rows=”4″][/practice-area]
    [reveal-answer q=”61337″]Show Answer[/reveal-answer]
    [hidden-answer a=”61337″]Here is the passage with the errors in bold:

    Thanks to NASAs’ team of sniffers, led by George Aldrich, astronauts can breathe a little bit easier. Aldrich is the “chief sniffer” at the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. His’s job is to smell items before they can be flown in the space shuttle.

    Aldrich explained that smells change in space and that once astronauts are up there, their stuck with whatever smells are onboard with them. In space, astronauts aren’t able to open the window for extra ventilation. He also said that its important not to introduce substances that will change the delicate balance of the climate of the International Space Station and the space shuttle.

    NASAs’ should be NASA’s. His’s doesn’t need the apostrophe-s. In fact, possessive pronouns don’t require apostrophes at all. His’s should be His. Their is a possessive pronoun; the correct word is they’re, which is a contraction of the words they are. Its is a possessive pronoun; the correct word is it’s, which is a contraction of the words it is.

    The contraction aren’t is used correctly in the passage.

    [/hidden-answer]

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