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Headline and Copyreading Exercises

The following story has a number of errors that need to


be corrected. Read through it carefully and make any
changes you believe are necessary so that it will be
clear to a reader.

Flooding due to last nights rain storm, has damaged


sevierely consturction work on the citys newest radio
station.
WXXg, which was secheduled to go on the air next
month, has had its air date moved back at least a mont,
according to station spokesman Linda Rival.
Miss Rival, who is also one of the stations coowners and has been advertised as planning to be one of
the stations diskjockeys, said the floods severely
damaged the interiro of the station and knowked down the
half-completed towar.
We havent detemined the full extent of the damage,
said Miss Rival, but Is sure its going to be bad.
She said the station would be delayed at least a
month in going on the air.
The flooding was caused by some heavy rains that
feel throughout the state earlier in the weak. Several
homs and businessses in the area of the station known as
Flat plains was reported damaged.

Commas exercise 01
This exercise consists of 10 sentences. Re-type each sentence inserting commas in the

correct locations. the directions of your instructor in completing this exercise. A link appears
at the end of the sentences that gives an explanation for each sentence.
1. Abraham Lincoln was elected to his second term in 1864 but he did not serve out his full
term.

2. Claude Monet, the famous impressionist painter lived around the turn of the century.

3. After seeing him lying there the boy ran for help.

4. Three of the nations largest circulation newspapers are USA Today the New York Times
and the Wall Street Journal.

5. She should not have been out that late the father said.

6. Bill Clinton of Hope, Ark. was elected president in 1992.

7. Yes I was there when it happened, the witness said defiantly.

8. She cautioned him to be silent not to speak and not even to breathe.

9. He was born in London, England in 1939 and moved to America two years later.

10. The letter said he would arrive on Nov. 15 1980, but he never was seen again .
. None of the members of the first team are playing in the fourth quarter.

2. The family was gathering from around the country for the funeral.

3. Today's news media is generally considered to be politically liberal.

4. Rachel, despite everyones best efforts, was not able to pass the test.

5. Present at the ceremony was the big league pitcher Mike OKelley and his brother Robert.

6. Thelma and Louise, the movie, make some telling points about women in our society.

7. Everyone, even the smartest ones among us, has a bad day now and then.

8. Either her doctor or her lawyer has a standing appointment to visit her every morning.

9. "Ty Cobb plays baseball with fire in his belly," one of his contemporaries said.

10. Both Mary and Joan play the piano with ease and grace.
This exercise consists of 10 sentences. For each sentence you should decide if the subject
agrees with the verb. If so, type the word "Correct" in the space below the sentence; if not,
write the sentence correctly in the box below it. Follow the directions of your instructor in
completing this exercise. A link appears at the end of the sentences that gives an
explanation for each sentence.

1. Either of the two boys have the ability to make the team.

2. The committee members meet once a month to try to determine the policies of the
organization.

3. The babies in the nursery, and one in particular, was crying for some attention.

4. The politics of the committee were such that no one could be elected chair of the group.

5. A bizarre series of incidents has surrounded that old house lately.

6. The president jogged by the group of tourists who were gaping out the window of the
bus.

7. A wide variety of strategic reasons have been used to explain Napoleon's defeat at
Waterloo.

8. Incidents of alcohol abuse account for many traffic fatalities each year.

9. Few of the senators were on hand for the vote.

10. The most resilient among the war's survivors were the children.
1. Abraham Lincoln was elected to his second term in 1864, but he did not serve
out his full term.
This is a compound sentence a sentence with two independent clauses. They should be
connected with a conjunction, and the comma should come before the conjunction. In this
case, the conjunction is but.
2. Claude Monet, the famous impressionist painter, lived around the turn of the
century.
Commas should surround an appositive phrase. In this sentence, the famous impressionist
painter is an appositive phrase on that renames the noun Claude Monet.
3. After seeing him lying there, the boy ran for help.
A comma should separate an introductory clause from the rest of the sentence.
4. Three of the nations largest circulation newspapers are USA Today, the New
York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Commas should separate items in a series. AP style says that a comma is unnecessary
between the next-to-the-last item and the conjunction in this case, Times and and.
5. She should not have been out that late, the father said.
A comma should be placed between a direct quotation and the attribution. The comma
should be inside the quotation marks.
6. Bill Clinton of Hope, Ark., was elected president in 1992.
Use a comma to separate the name of a town and a state from the rest of the sentence.
7. Yes, I was there when it happened, the witness said defiantly.
A comma should set off "yes" and "no" from the rest of the sentence.
8. She cautioned him to be silent, not to speak and not even to breathe.

This sentence contains a series of actions, but it doesnt make sense without the well-placed
comma after silent.
9. He was born in London, England, in 1939 and moved to America two years later.
When a city and a country are mentioned in a sentence, a comma should separate the name
of the country from the rest of the sentence.
10. The letter said he would arrive on Nov. 15, 1980, but he never was seen again.
A comma is necessary between the day and year in a date.

1. None of the members of the first team are playing in the fourth
quarter.
Words such as none, anyone, everybody, each, either, neither and one are
singular when used as subjects in a sentence. In this case, none is the
subject of the sentence, not members. The verb "are" is incorrect; it should
be "is."

2. The family was gathering from around the country for the funeral.
The noun family is a collective noun. Collective nouns refer to a group of
things or people as a unit. Some other examples of such words are class,
committee, team, number, majority, group, herd and jury. When these words
are used as subjects and denote the unit as a whole, they are singular and
take singular verbs.

3. Today's news media is generally considered to be politically


liberal.
Some words retain their Latin origins. "Media" is such a word. "Data" is
another word of this kind. Although they are often used as singular nouns,
they are plural and should be used with plural verbs. "Media" is plural for
"medium," and the verb should be "are" rather than "is."

4. Rachel, despite everyone's best efforts, was not able to pass the

test.
The subject of the sentence is Rachel, not efforts. The verb is correct.

5. Present at the ceremoney was the big league pitcher Mike


O'Kelley and his brother Robert.
This sentence has a compound subject - Mike O'Kelley and Robert.
Compound subjects joined by the conjunction "and" usually take plural
verbs. The verb should be "were" rather than "was." Don't be fooled by the
fact that the subject comes after the verb rather than before it.

6. Thelma and Louise, the movie, make some telling points about
women in our society.
Titles of books, movies and other works should be treated as singular nouns
even though they may be plural in form. In this case Thelma and Louise is
the title of the move and should be treated as a singular noun. The verb
should be "makes" instead of "make."

7. Everyone, even the smartest ones among us, has a bad day now
and then.
Words such as everyone, none, anyone, everybody, each, either, neiher and
one are singular when used as subjects in a sentence. Don't be fooled by the
plural nouns in the parenthetical phrase that follows the subject.

8. Either her doctor or her lawyer has a standing appointment to


visit her every morning.
Compound subjects joined by the conjunction "or" or in the constructions
"either . . . or" and "neither . . . nor" usually take singular verbs.

9. "Ty Cobb plays baseball with fire in his belly," one of his
contemporaries said.
"Ty Cobb" is a singular subject and properly takes a singular subject - in this
instance, "plays."

10. Both Mary and Joan play the piano with ease and grace.
1. Either of the two boys have the ability to make the team.
Words such as none, anyone, everybody, each, either, neither and one are
singular when used as subjects in a sentence. In this case, either is the
subject of the sentence, not boys. The verb "have" is incorrect; it should be
"has."
2. The committee members meet once a month to try to determine
the policies of the organization.
This sentence has a plural subject, members, and there it must take the
plural form of the verb. Remember that unlike most nouns, most verbs taken
their plural form by adding an "s."
3. The babies in the nursery, and one in particular, was crying for
some attention.
The subject in this sentence is babies, but the verb, was, is singular. The
verb should be were.
4. The politics of the committee were such that no one could be
elected chair of the group.
Some words can be either singular or plural depending on their context. The
writer must decide which is the proper use. Politics is one of those words.
Here the writer is referring to a variety of situations that constitute the
workings of the group.
5. A bizarre series of incidents has surrounded that old house lately.

Despite its plural form, the word "series" is a singular noun. The verb should
be "has" rather than "have."
6. The president jogged by the group of tourists who were gaping
out the window of the bus.
In this sentence, the phrase "who were gaping out the wind of the bus" is a
dependent clause, but it contains the subject "who." The question is, to what
does the "who" refer - the "group" or the "tourists." In this case, it is the
"tourists;" consequently, the "who" should take a plural verb.
7. A wide variety of strategic reasons have been used to explain
Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo.
The subject of this sentence is "variety," a singular noun. The verb should
also be singular - "has," rather than "have."
8. Incidents of alcohol abuse account for many traffic fatalities each
year.
The subject of this sentence, "Incidents," requires the plural form of the
verb, "account."
9. Few of the senators were on hand for the vote.
The word "few," even though singular in appearance, is considered a plural
and should take a plural verb. Few refers to the individuals in a group rather
than to a group itself.
10. The most resilient among the war's survivors were the children.