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Correct Common Punctuation Errors

In this worksheet, students will proofread a variety of sentences and correct errors in punctuation.

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Writing

Curriculum subtopic:  Use Accurate Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

Difficulty level:  

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QUESTION 1 of 10

It can be hard to remember punctuation rules when you are concentrating on producing interesting writing, but sloppy punctuation can detract from a good piece of work.


 

In this worksheet you can practise proofreading and correcting sentences that contain basic punctuation errors. If you struggle with any of them you can go back and do the worksheets that deal with those points.

Correct the punctuation error in the following sentence and rewrite the whole sentence.

 

"What time do you call this" sneered Mr Andrews, as Carly crept into the room.

Correct the punctuation error in the following sentence and rewrite the whole sentence.

 

We took: Billy, Jake and Adil to the match.

Correct the punctuation error in the following sentence and rewrite the whole sentence.

 

My dogs' tail is really long and fluffy.

Correct the punctuation error in the following sentence and rewrite the whole sentence.

 

"I'm never going there again, stated Katie."

Correct the punctuation error in the following sentence and rewrite the whole sentence.

 

My favourite colour is green, my sister prefers blue.

In this sentence brackets have been used in the wrong place. Write out the whole setence again, moving the brackets to the correct place.

 

My great uncle who is (95 years old) is coming to stay with us.

This time, the writer has not put any punctuation in the place marked x, but two punctuation marks are needed. Tick the box that shows the correct punctuation marks.

 

"What on earth do you think you are doingx bellowed Mrs Smith.

;"

"!

"?

?"

."

There are two possible ways of punctuating the places marked x in this sentence. Tick the two boxes that show the correct ways.

 

JackxElla's brotherxbought the tickets for us.

brackets

colons

inverted commas

commas

apostrophes

The writer of the following sentence has used apostrophes wrongly twice. Rewrite the whole sentence correctly.

 

The lambs' head had got caught in the fence and the poor creature was bleating pitifully for it's mother.

This sentence contains two punctuation errors. Rewrite the whole sentence correctly.

 

The fishermens' boats bobbed in the harbour; while the hungry seagulls eyed the catch greedily.

  • Question 1

Correct the punctuation error in the following sentence and rewrite the whole sentence.

 

"What time do you call this" sneered Mr Andrews, as Carly crept into the room.

CORRECT ANSWER
"What time do you call this?" sneered Mr Andrews, as Carly crept into the room.
EDDIE SAYS
Mr Andrews is asking a question, so a question mark is needed before the closing speech marks.
  • Question 2

Correct the punctuation error in the following sentence and rewrite the whole sentence.

 

We took: Billy, Jake and Adil to the match.

CORRECT ANSWER
We took Billy, Jake and Adil to the match.
EDDIE SAYS
A colon is only used before a list if the first part of the sentence makes sense on its own, e.g. We took three of my friends to the match: Billy, Jake and Adil.
  • Question 3

Correct the punctuation error in the following sentence and rewrite the whole sentence.

 

My dogs' tail is really long and fluffy.

CORRECT ANSWER
My dog's tail is really long and fluffy.
EDDIE SAYS
The apostrophe should come before the 's' as there is only one dog.
  • Question 4

Correct the punctuation error in the following sentence and rewrite the whole sentence.

 

"I'm never going there again, stated Katie."

CORRECT ANSWER
"I'm never going there again," stated Katie.
EDDIE SAYS
The speech marks should go around the words Katie speaks, so the closing speech marks should go after the comma.
  • Question 5

Correct the punctuation error in the following sentence and rewrite the whole sentence.

 

My favourite colour is green, my sister prefers blue.

CORRECT ANSWER
My favourite colour is green; my sister prefers blue.
EDDIE SAYS
Two main clauses should not be joined with a comma in this way. A semi-colon can be used or a conjunction (such as 'but' or 'whereas') could be used instead.
  • Question 6

In this sentence brackets have been used in the wrong place. Write out the whole setence again, moving the brackets to the correct place.

 

My great uncle who is (95 years old) is coming to stay with us.

CORRECT ANSWER
My great uncle (who is 95 years old) is coming to stay with us.
EDDIE SAYS
The brackets should go round the extra information. If the information in the brackets is removed, the sentence should still make sense.
  • Question 7

This time, the writer has not put any punctuation in the place marked x, but two punctuation marks are needed. Tick the box that shows the correct punctuation marks.

 

"What on earth do you think you are doingx bellowed Mrs Smith.

CORRECT ANSWER
?"
EDDIE SAYS
A question mark is needed because Mrs Smith is asking a question. It should be placed before the closing speech marks.
  • Question 8

There are two possible ways of punctuating the places marked x in this sentence. Tick the two boxes that show the correct ways.

 

JackxElla's brotherxbought the tickets for us.

CORRECT ANSWER
brackets
commas
EDDIE SAYS
Extra information can be placed between commas or brackets. If this information is removed the sentence should still make sense.
  • Question 9

The writer of the following sentence has used apostrophes wrongly twice. Rewrite the whole sentence correctly.

 

The lambs' head had got caught in the fence and the poor creature was bleating pitifully for it's mother.

CORRECT ANSWER
The lamb's head had got caught in the fence and the poor creature was bleating pitifully for its mother.
EDDIE SAYS
There is only one lamb so the apostrophe should come before the 's' (lamb's). The possessive pronoun 'its' does not need an apostrophe.
  • Question 10

This sentence contains two punctuation errors. Rewrite the whole sentence correctly.

 

The fishermens' boats bobbed in the harbour; while the hungry seagulls eyed the catch greedily.

CORRECT ANSWER
The fishermen's boats bobbed in the harbour while the hungry seagulls eyed the catch greedily.
The fishermen's boats bobbed in the harbour, while the hungry seagulls eyed the catch greedily.
EDDIE SAYS
A semi-colon is not used to join a main clause and a subordinate clause in this way. A comma can be used, but is not essential when the subordinate clause follows the main clause.
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