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Lesson 1: Getting your commas under control

  • Independent cluases: I ate a sandwich, Sarah answered the phone, The dress was on sale, The home team won
  • Dependent clauses: After we saw the movie, Because we got lost, While Brian was waiting, During the party
Lesson 2: Working with numbers
  • 2,700
  • 25,000
  • 3,589,456
  • 23,006,982,365
Lesson 3: Good letter etiquette
  • Dear Frank,
  • Best regards,
  • Sincerely,
Lesson 4: When speaking about location
  • I went to a concert last Saturday in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Please deliver the package at our office in Princeton Street, London.
  • I live at 44 Memory Lane, Los Angeles.
  • I met George at Copperfield Boulevard, Carson City.
Lesson 5: Making conversation
  • Judy: James, did you go to the store?
  • James: Yes, I did.
  • Judy: Did you remember to buy soap?
  • James: No, I’m afraid I forgot.
  • Judy: Could you get some on your way home from work tomorrow, please? We’ve completely run out.
  • James: I’ll do my best to remember. You’re going out later, aren’t you? Couldn’t you pick some up then?
  • Judy: Yes, but I won’t have time to stop by the store.
Lesson 6: Let’s get descriptive
  • It was a warm, sunny day.
  • The bright blue sports car raced across the track.
  • The former Olympic athlete opened the ceremony.
  • It was a short, sweet film about love.
  • The tart, acidic taste of the fruit made her eyes water.
Lesson 7: Commas and adverbs
  • The committee has decided to discontinue the contract with the facility services company. Furthermore, they wish to reduce the number of vendors used within the company.
  • The budget cuts are a result of lower than expected earnings in the fourth quarter. The Board expected the company to earn £1.8 million. Instead, the earnings were £1.2 million.
  • We can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to these developments. Thus, we have decided to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. We have formed a team; however, we are still looking for someone to lead the investigation.
  • So far, the departments have been unresponsive to our inquiries. Nevertheless, we will persevere in our search for answers.
  • There are many ways to address the problem of students falling behind in class. Firstly, you could encourage students to work together in groups. Secondly, you could provide tutoring to weaker students. Lastly, you could create study groups that pair weaker students with stronger ones. Alternatively, you could provide extra assignments that address students’ weak points.
Lesson 8: Making lists
  • The store sold apples, pears, grapes, bananas(,) and cantaloupes.
  • The suspect was wearing a blue shirt, dark blue jeans(,) and sneakers.
  • Our trip included stopovers in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium(,) and the Netherlands.
  • The house had a leaky roof, cracked tiles, peeling paint(,) and a flooded basement.
  • We need some tape, scissors, glue(,) and a ruler.
  • The school board met to determine the number of kids in each classroom, how many books to provide(,) and the number of desks.
Lesson 9: Bringing independent clauses together
  • We bought our tickets and flew out the same day.
  • The game went into overtime, and the home team won.
  • He tried to avoid the deer, but he hit it anyway.
  • The kids decided to buy a present for their teacher.
  • You can either take the bus or the train.
  • It started to rain, so we decided to cancel the picnic.
  • The store has reduced its prices considerably, yet it’s still the most expensive one in the city.
  • The children were so excited, for the next day they were going on holiday.
  • He didn’t show up for work yesterday, nor did he show up today.
  • The economy has really taken a downward turn, and there are plenty of people out of work.
Lesson 10: Combining dependent and independent clauses
  • If at first you don’t succeed, you have to try again.
  • We’re going to try to get together while they’re in town.
  • Because her tire was flat, she had to walk to the nearest gas station.
  • When we got up the next morning, the snow had melted away.
  • After the show was finished, Gary and Christie met us for drinks.
  • Although it was after midnight, the streets were filled with people.
  • Since the kids are getting older, we need to buy a bigger house.
  • The guests arrived before the guest of honor.
  • As we couldn’t get tickets to the play, we decided to go and have a drink.
  • When the circus comes to town, we always buy tickets.
Lesson 11: When adding details
  • The mountain, a part of the Rocky Mountain Range, is a popular ski destination.
  • Susan’s dog, a Yorkshire terrier, is named Scruffy.
  • The film, a collaborative effort between the two directors, examines the disappearance of the middle class.
  • Philip Glass, an Academy Award-winning composer, worked on the soundtrack for the film.
  • The committee received input from several departments, including Marketing and Sales, in order to develop the strategy document.
Lesson 12: Making an introduction
  • Due to increased demand, the company had to order more spare parts.
  • In order to make it on time, Jerry took a shortcut.
  • To make a good first impression on an interview, it’s important to be on time.
  • Taking the first left, the car turned on to the Main Street.
  • Despite their best efforts, the team lost the game.
Lesson 13: What did he say?
  • The latest health report states, “The kitchen contains high levels of bacteria and food stored at improper temperatures.”
  • A source close to the negotiations stated, “We are close to reaching an agreement.”
  • “We are doing our best to locate the individuals involved in this crime,” stated the detective leading the investigation.
  •  “Ms. Evans is delighted to be working with such a talented director,” commented the actress’ spokesperson.
  • “The weather system is moving along the coastline,” reported Roland Thomas, meteorologist with the National Weather Center. However, “it’s unclear where it will make landfall,” he said.
Lesson 14: Keeping things clear
  • It was late, really late.
  • Yet, strangely, Sarah wasn’t tired.
  • She had that feeling in the pit of her stomach, like a thousand butterflies, all taking flight at once.
  • A new country, a new life, a new everything.
  • She looked at the clock, 1:30 in the morning. It was going to be a long night.


The final test: No answers available.