Punctuation Quiz 1: Commas and Clauses for TOEFL (C1 level)

Which is the ONE correct way to write each sentence?

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First question, please!
Question 1
This is an example of indirect speech with the reporting verb ‘told’. No comma is needed with indirect speech.
Question 2
The sentence contains the non-defining relative clause 'who lives in Spain'. When a relative clause is non-defining, it needs to be enclosed by commas (before and, if necessary, after).

Sentence b could only be correct if she has more than one father.
Question 3
The first four words here are a comment clause, a type of non-defining relative clause. You could also call them an adverbial clause because they add a kind of description to the rest of the sentence.

Comment clauses need a comma between them and the main clause.
Question 4
Here, the comment clause "which was great" comes after the main clause. Again, it needs to be separated by a comma.
Question 5
This is an embedded question, another example of indirect speech, so no comma should be used.

An alternative way to write it would be as direct speech, in which case there is a comma, but then we don't change the word order in the question: "Could I ask, whose coat is this?"
Question 6
This is a mixed conditional with a fronted if-clause (meaning that the if-clause is at the start). In this case, there's a comma needed.
Question 7
This is a defining relative clause: there are many cats, and the clause "that Sarah found in her garage" is necessary to show which cat it is. Defining relative clauses don't have a comma before or after.
Question 8
This is a simple sentence with a subject ("the lecturer"), verb ("points out") and object ("some inconsistencies"). No comma should be used.
Question 9
"That" is a subordinator in this sentence, similar to reported speech. A comma would be incorrect here.
Question 10
This is another sentence containing indirect speech. It's a simple sentence with a subject, verb "is", and adjective. No commas are necessary.
Question 11
The first comment clause with "whereas" needs to be separated by a comma. The final phrase with "of..." is an adjectival phrase, which doesn't take a comma. Therefore, the correct sentence is (b).
Question 12
There are two relative clauses in this sentence, but they are different types.
  • "which I consider..." is a comment clause, a type of non-defining relative clause, needing a comma before and after.
  • "which I feel..." is a defining clause thus it doesn't need a comma before or after. We know it's defining because "some areas of public life" doesn't make sense without this clause.

Therefore, (b) is correct for this sentence.
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