Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

AP Quizzes: Quiz 2

by Alyse McKeal

Punctuation: Quiz 2


"Use a single space after a period.

Do not use commas before a conjunction in a simple series. Example: In art class, they learned that red, yellow and blue are primary colors. His brothers are Tom, Joe, Frank and Pete. However, a comma should be used before the terminal conjunction in a complex series, if part of that series also contains a conjunction. Example: Purdue University's English Department offers doctoral majors in Literature, Second Language Studies, English Language and Linguistics, and Rhetoric and Composition.

Commas and periods go within quotation marks. Example: “I did nothing wrong,” he said. She said, “Let’s go to the Purdue game.'"

Credit: Owl at PurdueAssociate Press Style


"Hyphen: Hyphenate compound adjectives only if required for clarity: “fastest-growing company”; “high-level discussion.” Don’t use hyphens with commonly understood terms, adverbs that end in ly and between figures and units of measure: “greatly exaggerated claims”; “2 percent rule.” Do not use a hyphen with a compound modifier after the noun: “The driver was well paid.”

Dash: Dashes set off a series within a phrase: “Of the many breakfast options — omelets, waffles, pastries — he only wanted coffee”; indicate a break in thought: “Felipe’s is a popular eatery — in Harvard Square”; or attribute a quotation to an author: “‘You must do the thing you think you cannot do.’ — Eleanor Roosevelt.” When using text editors that don’t support dashes, use two hyphens for each dash.

Comma: In lists of three or more items, do not use a comma before the conjunction: “The recipe called for flour, butter and foie gras.” Exceptions are made if the elements in the series are complex phrases or if the series includes an element with a conjunction: “He doesn’t eat anything but pizza, Twizzlers, and macaroni and cheese.” Use a comma to set off a person’s town of residence, age and other such information: “Tom Menino, Boston, was a popular speaker”; “Jean Dupont, 32, was released yesterday.”

Period: Use only one space after the end of a sentence. Period.

Colon: Capitalize the first word after a colon only if it’s followed by a complete sentence. Colons go outside quotes unless they’re part of the quoted material.

Apostrophe: An apostrophe indicates possession. Add an ‘s to all single nouns and names, even if they already end in an s: “My boss’s vacation begins tomorrow.” For singular proper names ending in s, use only an apostrophe: “Kansas’ crisis.” For plurals of a single letter, add an apostrophe and an s: “Mind your p’s and q’s,” “the Oakland A’s.” Do not use apostrophes for decades or acronyms: the 1990s, CDs.

Quotation marks: Periods and commas go inside quote marks: “‘Reginald, your hairstyle makes me nervous,’ she said.” The position of dashes, semicolons, exclamation and question marks depends on what’s being questioned or exclaimed: “Was she right to say, ‘Your shoes are a joke’?”

Parentheses: AP style suggests avoiding parentheses when possible, and instead rewriting text or using dashes or commas to set off the information. If parentheses are required the rules are: If the parenthetical is a complete, independent sentence, place the period inside the parentheses; if not, the period goes outside."


Credit: Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center and the Carnegie-Knight Initiative, Journalist’s Resource