Can You Pass This High School Grammar Test?

Can You Pass This High School Grammar Test?

Answer:

fog in a dark forestandreiuc88/Shutterstock

B. I could hear her yelling "This place is awesome!" from all the way across the campground.

Quotation marks can be tricky: Which punctuation marks go inside them? When should you put a phrase in them? Question marks and exclamation points go inside quotations only if the text inside them is a question or an exclamation (respectively). For instance, the question mark in Choice A should be inside the quotes, because the section in quotes, "Do you believe in ghosts?" is a question while the full sentence is not. Choice B does this correctly, with the whole exclamation, "This place is awesome!" in the quotes, including the exclamation point. In addition, quotation marks are not used to add additional emphasis to something, as in Choice C. However, you'll see this on advertisements all too often, as you can see from these funny examples.

Which sentence uses a semicolon correctly?

Cape May beach New JerseySahani Photography/Shutterstock

A. We're going to the beach tomorrow; so you should pack your bathing suit.

B. I'm going to bring chips; Oreos, my favorite type of cookie; and lemonade.

C. The beach, which is called Mayflower; is supposed to be one of the nicest ones on Cape Cod.

Answer:

Cape May, New Jersey. A day at the beach.rmb2020/Shutterstock

B. I'm going to bring chips; Oreos, my favorite type of cookie; and lemonade.

The semicolon is the bane of many a writer! A semicolon's primary function is separating two parts of a sentence that could each grammatically function as its own complete sentence, but having them as one sentence makes things flow better, whether because the sections are so short or because the ideas are closely related. In Choices A and C, "So you should pack your bathing suit" and "Is supposed to be one of the nicest ones on Cape Cod" cannot be complete sentences. The first is a dependent clause, and the second is a verb phrase with no subject, so they should be separated from the rest of their sentences by a comma, not a semicolon.

Choice B presents another important purpose of semicolons, though, and this one uses them correctly. You should use a semicolon, rather than a comma, to separate items in a list if one or more of the items in the list already has a comma in it. In Choice B, "Oreos, my favorite type of cookie" is a single item in a list, but it has a comma in it. So the semicolons should be there to make the separate items in the list more clear; if there were only commas, it would be difficult to distinguish the separate list items.

Can You Pass This High School Grammar Test?, Source:https://www.rd.com/culture/high-school-grammar-test/

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