Practice in Creating Sentences With Commas

A Sentence-Imitation Exercise

commas
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Confused on when and where to place commas in a sentence? Almost everyone gets rusty from time to time. Here's a little exercise that can help you learn when commas are necessary or to help you dust the cobwebs off of your already acquired skills.

Instructions

Use each of the four sentences below as the model for a new sentence of your own. Your new sentence should follow the guidelines in parenthesis and use the same number of commas as in the original.

Example: The younger children spent the afternoon at Chuck E. Cheese, and the others went to the ball game.
(Guideline: Use a comma before a coordinatorand, but, yet, or, nor, for, so—that links two main clauses.)
Sample sentences:
a) Vera cooked the roast beef, and Phil baked a pumpkin pie.
b) Tom ordered steak, but the waiter brought Spam.

Exercises

Model 1: I rang the bell and pounded on the door, but no one answered.
(Guideline: Use a comma before a coordinatorand, but, yet, or, nor, for, so—that links two main clauses; do not use a comma before a coordinator that links two words or phrases.)

Model 2: I sent Elaine a basket full of apricots, mangoes, bananas, and dates.
(Guideline: Use commas to separate words, phrases, or clauses that appear in a series of three or more.)

Model 3: Because the storm had knocked out the electricity, we spent the evening telling ghost stories on the porch.
(​​Guideline: Use a comma after a phrase or clause that precedes the subject of the sentence.)

Model 4: Simone LeVoid, who has never voted in her life, is running for the post of county commissioner.
(Guideline: Use a pair of commas to set off nonessential words, phrases, or clauses—also called nonrestrictive elements—that interrupt a sentence.)

More Help With Comma Placement

For additional practice in using commas effectively, take this Comma Quiz and do this Review Exercise: Using Commas and Semicolons Correctly