National Punctuation Day Test

Do you think you are a punctuation pro? Take this 10-item test, which contains the most common punctuation errors I see in business writing classes. 

Each item is either correct or has one punctuation error. Find and correct the errors. 

  1. Thank you Lynn, for taking the time to review my report. 
  2. I spoke to Jonathan, however, I did not see him. 
  3. The kitchen renovation is scheduled for January and the bathroom project will take place in March. 
  4. Jim is the project manager for the new six story condominium project. 
  5. Mark wants you to send those memo's to ABC Company this week. 
  6. Rainfall has increased substantially over the past 10 years (see Table 7.)
  7. The plan includes: goals, timelines, a budget, and specific roles and responsibilities. 
  8. The project in Beaverton, Oregon is going beautifully. 
  9. This hotel is known for it's huge buffet breakfasts. 
  10. Give me a weeks notice if you want me to fill in for you. 

 

Did you recognize the errors? Each sentence has one. My grammar and spelling checker caught six of them. 

Below are the corrected sentences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Thank you, Lynn, for taking the time to review my report. 
  2. I spoke to Jonathan; however, I did not see him. 
  3. The kitchen renovation is scheduled for January, and the bathroom project will take place in March. 
  4. Jim is the project manager for the new sixstory condominium project. 
  5. Mark wants you to send those memos to ABC Company this week. 
  6. Rainfall has increased substantially over the past 10 years (see Table 7).
  7. The plan includes goals, timelines, a budget, and specific roles and responsibilities. 
  8. The project in Beaverton, Oregon, is going beautifully. 
  9. This hotel is known for its huge buffet breakfasts. 
  10. Give me a week's notice if you want me to fill in for you.

To become a punctuation pro, take my online self-study course Punctuation for Professionals

Happy National Punctuation Day!

Lynn
Syntax Training 

8 COMMENTS

  1. I got ’em all!

    But, in #4, I would have placed a comma between new and six-story. Incorrect?

    Also, the biggest fail I noticed this National Punctuation Day was their official website exceeding its bandwidth allotment and being inaccessible. Oops!

  2. Hi, Kevin. Congratulations!

    A comma would belong between “new” and “six-story” only if you could insert “and” between them and have it sound right. How does the sentence below sound?

    Jim is the project manager for the new and six-story condominium project.

    That’s one test, which the sentence fails. The other test is to swap the order of the adjectives and see whether that works:

    Jim is the project manager for the six-story new condominium project.

    It doesn’t fail that test (although it sounds awkward to me), but one failure is enough to decide that the adjectives do not need a comma between them.

    Good question!

    Lynn

  3. Hi, Damien. Number 2 is an error I see constantly. Let me explain the need for the semicolon.

    There are two independent clauses (sentences) in 2: “I spoke to Jonathan” and “I did not see him.” If you were to connect those clauses with the conjunction “but,” the comma would be sufficient.

    In Number 2, the word “however” is an adverb–not a conjunction. When you connect two sentences with an adverb–for example, “however,” “furthermore,” “besides”–you need the semicolon.

    I hope that explanation makes sense.

    Lynn

  4. #6 Please explain why a period should be placed outside the brackets?
    As a rule of thumb, I place commas and periods inside the brackets. I guess this a generalized rule. What exception should I lookout for?
    Thanks for your help in advance,
    David

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