Select Page

This quiz covers some of the most common uses of commas in the English language. Add commas where you think they are needed to the dozen sentences below. Not all of the sentences require commas, so be careful with your comma usage. Check the end of the quiz for answers and explanations.

  1. While she was at the store Angela bought bread and cheese.
  2. The interviewer wore a tailored charcoal gray suit.
  3. She tried to forget about the fight with her sister and focus on work.
  4. A pair of leggings without a skirt Willa believes is inappropriate attire for the workplace.
  5. August 15 2015 was the date of Michelle and Pradeep’s fifth anniversary.
  6. Rachel is planning to take the SAT in March 2016.
  7. “I have never” Jane insisted “considered switching insurance companies.”
  8. The English Island which is located in Atlanta offers both individual and small group English classes.
  9. Jonas found the teachers at the English Island to be experienced knowledgeable passionate and professional.
  10. The staff meeting that we had last week lasted the entire afternoon.
  11. Robert arrived at work early but he forgot to bring his laptop.
  12. I didn’t care for the soup and salad. The main course however was excellent.

Answers and Explanations

  1. While she was at the store, Angela bought bread and cheese.
    Explanation: A dependent or subordinate clause at the beginning of a sentence should be separated from the main clause by a comma.
  2. The interviewer wore a tailored, charcoal gray suit.
    Explanation: Consecutive adjectives should be separated by commas. (“Charcoal gray” is a color, so it counts as a single adjective.)
  3. She tried to forget about the fight with her sister and focus on work.
    Explanation: No comma is needed when an independent and a dependent clause are joined by a conjunction (“and”).
  4. A pair of leggings without a skirt, Willa believes, is inappropriate attire for the workplace.
    Explanation: Interrupting words and phrases that are not essential to the meaning of a sentence should be framed by commas.
  5. August 15, 2015, was the date of Michelle and Pradeep’s fifth anniversary.
    Explanation: Place a comma after the day and year of a date.
  6. Rachel is planning to take the SAT in March 2016.
    Explanation: No comma needed. When writing just the month and year, don’t separate them with a comma.
  7. “I have never,” Jane insisted, “considered switching insurance companies.”
    Explanation: When interrupting a quoted sentence with an attribution, place a comma at the end of the first part of the quote and before the second part of the quote.
  8. The English Island, which is located in Atlanta, offers both individual and small group English classes.
    Explanation: Interrupting phrases that begin with “which” are not essential to the meaning of a sentence. Therefore, they should be framed with commas.
  9. Jonas found the teachers at the English Island to be experienced, knowledgeable, passionate(,) and professional.
    Explanation: Separate a list of three or more items with commas. The final comma before the conjunction is optional.
  10. The staff meeting that we had last week lasted the entire afternoon.
    Explanation: No comma needed. Interrupting phrases beginning with “that” are essential to the meaning of a sentence, so they don’t take commas. (Check out our lesson “Which vs. That” for more on the differences between “which” and “that”.)
  11. Robert arrived at work early, but he forgot to bring his laptop.
    Explanation: When joining two independent clauses with a conjunction, place a comma before the conjunction.
  12. I didn’t care for the soup and salad. The main course, however, was excellent.
    Explanation: A transitional word or phrase that interrupts a sentence should be enclosed in commas.

Need Help with Your English?

The English Island offers ESL classes to non-native English speakers in the Atlanta area. We can improve your grammar, teach you how to read, and reduce your accent. If you want to test your knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary, try our free English level test.
Shares
Share This