Punctuation and Capitalization Practice Questions

Sentence 1: “Today’s choices for pets go beyond the question of whether to get a cat or a dog?”
1. What correction should be made to this sentence?
  1. Change the question mark to a period.
  2. Change “Today’s” to “Todays.”
  3. Change question to questions.
  4. Change whether to weather.
  5. No correction is necessary.
Sentence 2: “Margaret Chase Smith (who served in both houses of Congress) was the first woman nominated by a major party, the Republicans.”
2. What correction should be made to this sentence?
  1. Place commas before and after the parentheses.
  2. Do not capitalize Republicans.
  3. Change woman to women.
  4. Change nominated to nomminated.
  5. No correction is necessary.
Sentence 3: “Many businesses in the United States regularly hire ‘temps’, or temporary workers.”
3. What correction should be made to this sentence?
  1. Remove the quotation marks from temps.
  2. Place the comma inside the quotation marks.
  3. Change the spelling of temporary to temperary.
  4. Remove the comma after temps.
  5. Do not capitalize United States.
Identify the appropriate error in the sentences 4 through 6.
4. Graduation from High School is considered by many a momentous occasion.
  1. Capitalization
  2. Punctuation
  3. Spelling
  4. Grammar
5. The patient’s mind was lucid during the evaluation?
  1. Capitalization
  2. Punctuation
  3. Spelling
  4. Grammar
6. David was known for belching; and telling inappropriate jokes in public.
  1. Capitalization
  2. Punctuation
  3. Spelling
  4. Grammar
Identify the sentence that contains an error in usage, punctuation, or grammar. If there are no errors, choose answer choice D.
7. Which of the following sentences contains an error?
  1. Joni designed the grocery stores sign, but Evan painted it.
  2. The “figure-ground phenomenon” is a term used to describe the way we perceive some objects to be in the foreground and others to be in the background.
  3. The Latin professor called his students “quidnuncs” when they asked too many questions about the course; the term is Latin for “what now?”
  4. No mistake
8. Which of the following sentences contains an error?
  1. The term “algebra” comes from the title of a book written in the ninth century that explains how to balance equations.
  2. Atomic clocks keep time by measuring the vibrations of Atoms and molecules.
  3. The chemical formula for the caffeine molecule contains calcium, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.
  4. No mistake
9. Which of the following sentences contains an error?
  1. The narwhal is a member of the dolphin family, easily recognized by its long, spiraling tusk, it is often compared to the mythical unicorn.
  2. The ocean is saltier in regions where the temperature is higher due to a higher rate of evaporation.
  3. The garter snake is often called a “gardener snake” or a “guarder snake” because of the similar sounds of the words.
  4. No mistake
Questions 10-11 pertain to the underlined sections of the following excerpt:
The Supreme Court ruling of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case said that segregating students by race was unconstitutional. In other words, it ruled that segregation was illegal. (10) Chief justice Earl Warren (11) “said that when black students are segregated, it causes harm.” He advocated a mixture of black and white students in schools around the country. Warren said that learning for both racial groups would improve when there were both black and white students in the same school.
10. How should this portion of the text be written?
  1. Chief justice
  2. The chief justice
  3. The chief Justice
  4. Chief Justice
11. How should this portion of the text be written?
  1. “said that when black students are segregated, it causes harm.”
  2. said that when black students are segregated, it causes harm.
  3. said “that when black students are segregated, it causes harm.”
  4. said that “when black students are segregated,” it causes harm.

 

Answers and Explanations


1. A: Answer A is correct. The sentence is declarative, rather than interrogative, despite the implied question that is asked. It therefore requires a period as the end mark. Choice B is not correct; the apostrophe is necessary to indicate that it is possessive. Choice C, likewise, is incorrect; it does not solve the problem, and it creates a problem of agreement. Option D is not correct; it offers a false homonym choice, which is not the problem and only compounds the error. Choice E is incorrect as well; the sentence as written contains an error to be remedied.

2. E: Option E is the correct response. This question tests students’ knowledge of the use of parentheses, which set off unnecessary information without using commas. The sentence is correct as written. Using commas with the parentheses would be redundant and incorrect, making choice A wrong. Answer B is also wrong; Republicans is the proper name of a particular political party and requires capitalization. Choice C, likewise, is incorrect; the sentence requires a singular noun to refer to Margaret Chase Smith. Answer D is wrong; the word is correctly spelled as it is written in the text.

3. B: Answer B is correct. Commas belong inside the terms in quotation marks. Option A is incorrect; the word is being distinguished as a slang or insider term and thus requires quotation marks. Choice C is also wrong: the word temporary is correctly spelled as written. Option D is incorrect. The comma is required because it introduces an appositive phrase that defines the term before the comma. Choice E, likewise, is not correct. The United States is the name of a particular country; as such, it is a proper noun and thus requires capitalization.

4. A: The term high school is not a proper noun when used alone. So although Amory High School (a proper noun) would be capitalized, high school would not. It is therefore incorrect to capitalize it.

5. B: The sentence in this example is a declarative statement, not a question. Therefore, it is incorrect to end it with a question mark. The sentence is, in this instance, improperly punctuated (option B).

6. B: Semicolons are most commonly used between two independent clauses or to separate items in a series that contain internal punctuation. In this instance, it is inappropriately used between an independent clause and a dependent clause joined by a conjunction. Therefore, the use of a semicolon as punctuation in this sentence is incorrect.

7. A: Joni designed the grocery stores sign, but Evan painted it.
Error: Apostrophe
Because the sign belongs to the grocery store, an apostrophe should be used to indicate possession. The sentence should read: Joni designed the grocery store’s sign, but Evan painted it.

8. B: Atomic clocks keep time by measuring the vibrations of Atoms and molecules.
Error: Capitalization
The word “Atoms” should not be capitalized because it is not a proper noun.

9. A: The narwhal is a member of the dolphin family, easily recognized by its long, spiraling tusk, it is often compared to the mythical unicorn.
Error: Comma splice
There are two complete thoughts here, joined together with a comma. The second complete thought begins with the words “it is often…” To correct this sentence, replace the comma after “tusk” with a period or semicolon.

10. D: The words “Chief Justice” refer to Earl Warren’s title and immediately precede his name. Both parts of the title should be capitalized.

11. B: The words mentioned here are not presented as a quote, so quotation marks should not be used. ?


by Enoch Morrison | Last Updated: November 30, 2018