Did you know that September 24 is National Punctuation Day in the United States? Even if you hail from outside of the US, feel free to whip out your party hats and help us celebrate the ever faithful (and ever tricky) punctuation mark.
More than likely, you’ve come in contact with the more common guests of honor at least once before:
- The exclamation point
- The period
- The apostrophe
- The comma
- The colon
- The semicolon
- The quotation marks
- The parentheses
- The hyphen
- The dash
Even the best writers get mixed up on what to use and when from time to time; that’s why proofreading is so important! After all, we’ve all seen “punctuation fails” like the ones on the right. Mistakes like these can be funny, but they can also result in bad publicity, lost clients, or a decline in trust for your business.
So, in honor of National Punctuation Day, we’ve prepared a short quiz to test your punctuation knowledge. (Don’t peek at the answers!)
1. What are the punctuation marks between the words in the phrase “out-of-tune” called?
2. An ellipsis is a series of three:
3. Which sentence shows an Oxford comma in use?
a. I enjoy cashews, peanut butter and fish.
b. I enjoy cashews, peanut butter, and fish.
4. Which sentence uses the correct punctuation?
a. My cat likes one thing: fish.
b. My cat likes one thing; fish.
5. Which is the correct way to use an apostrophe when a noun ends with an “s”?
a. This is the Jone’s soccer ball.
b. This is the Jones’ soccer ball.
6. Periods always belong inside quotation marks.
7. What is a comma splice?
a. When you join two complete sentences with a comma simply because they are related, for example “I went to the movies, I saw Jaws.”
b. When you use a comma where an apostrophe should go, for example “I went to Mike,s house yesterday.”
8. The question mark goes inside of the quotation marks when the quote is a question, for example: “Are you talking to me?”
Ready to tally your score?
Question 1: A
Question 2: B
Question 3: B
Question 4: A
Question 5: B
Question 6: A
Question 7: A
Question 8: A
OK, let’s see how you did!
7-8 Correct – Master of Punctuation
You should be very pleased with your grammar aptitude! Way to go! Even though you scored very high in our quiz, that doesn’t mean you don’t need a refresher from time to time. Keep up the great work!
4-6 Correct – Punctuation Apprentice
You have a pretty good handle on punctuation usage. Nice work! You may want to refresh yourself on the more advanced concepts by reviewing our previous blog posts on grammar rules.
Less Than 4 Correct – Punctuation Cadet
Don’t worry; we can help! Even though you may have struggled with our quiz, you can easily rise up in the ranks by reading some of our previous blog posts and training materials on grammar and punctuation.
We’d love to hear your results! Did you do better or worse than you thought you would on the quiz? What is your biggest punctuation obstacle? Share your punctuation advice with other authors that might be struggling in the comments section!
Do you need to brush up on your punctuation knowledge? No problem! Start out by getting a FREE download of our Top Punctuation Howlers guide here.