1.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question asks you how to punctuate an independent clause that’s followed by an explanatory statement. (B) is the correct answer. The phrase after the punctuation mark explains the “one thing” mentioned at the end of the independent clause that starts the sentence. A colon appropriately links an independent clause and a phrase with that relationship. A semicolon can only be used to join two independent clauses, and the second part of the sentence is not an independent clause, so (A) is incorrect. (C) is also incorrect. Commas can introduce noun clauses that expand on the characteristics of a specific noun, but they cannot introduce clauses that explain the meaning of a vague noun. Therefore, "I drink coffee, a delicious drink." is grammatical, but "I drink only one thing, coffee." is not. "...one thing, ground beans..." falls into the second, incorrect, category. (D) is also incorrect. Using a period here would break this sentence into two sentences; however, since the second part of the sentence is not an independent clause, isolating it with a period would create a fragment.

2.

The Correct Answer is (F) — This is a question about punctuating parenthetical phrases. A parenthetical phrase in the middle of a sentence must be set off with the same punctuation mark at the beginning and at the end. This one is introduced by an em-dash before “sometimes,” so it must be closed with an em-dash after “drinks.” (F) is therefore the correct answer. (G), (H), and (J) all fail to match the form of punctuation used to introduce the phrase, so they are incorrect.

3.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question asks you to use commas to set off parenthetical remarks. (B) is the correct answer. The word “too” should be set off with commas. Although the phrase “for a long time” could be set off with commas, that would require commas on both sides of the phrase. It is not introduced with a comma, so it should not be closed with a comma. (B) fulfills these requirements. The original sentence does not set off “too” with commas, so (A) is incorrect. (C) incorrectly places a comma after “time” and fails to set off “too” with commas; it also ends the sentence with an exclamation point, which is not appropriate for the tone of the sentence. Therefore, it is incorrect. (D) includes an unnecessary comma after “time,” so it is incorrect.

4.

The Correct Answer is (J) — Here you need to select the right punctuation mark for the end of a sentence. (J) is the correct answer. This is an ordinary sentence explaining a fact; a period is an appropriate way to end it. It is not a sentence that conveys heightened emotion or excitement, so an exclamation point does not make sense; therefore, (F) is incorrect. The sentence is not a question and therefore should not be ended with a question mark, so (G) is incorrect. A sentence does need to end with some form of punctuation, so (H) is incorrect.

5.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This is a question about apostrophes. (D) is the correct answer. “Its” is the possessive form of “it,” which makes sense as a possessive adjective modifying the pronoun “own.” “It’s” is a contraction for “it is,” and the phrase “on it is own” does not make grammatical sense, so (A) is incorrect. “Its’” has no meaning and is never correct, so (B) is incorrect. “On it is own” does not make sense, so (C) is incorrect.

6.

The Correct Answer is (F) — This is a question about end-of-sentence punctuation. (F) is the correct answer. An exclamation point suits the sentence because the phrase “quite bitter” conveys that many have a strong reaction to espresso. The sentence is not a question, so (G) is incorrect. The next sentence begins with a capital letter, so the two sentences cannot be combined as written with an em-dash; therefore, (H) is incorrect. A sentence does need to end with punctuation, so (J) is incorrect.

7.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question asks you how to join an independent clause to a dependent clause that begins with “because.” (A) is the correct answer. There is no need to separate the independent clause of the first half of the sentence from the dependent clause that follows it, beginning with “because.” (B), (C), and (D) all introduce unnecessary punctuation, so they are incorrect.

8.

The Correct Answer is (H) — This question deals with apostrophes. (H) is the correct answer. The sentence calls for a singular possessive, since it is referring to the concept of a cappuccino and discussing the characteristic froth that belongs to that beverage; “cappuccino’s” is a singular possessive formed by the common method of adding an apostrophe and an s to the singular form of the noun. “Cappuccinos” is plural and not possessive, so (F) is incorrect. “Cappuccinos’” is possessive, but it is also plural, so (G) is incorrect. “Cappuccinos’s” is an incorrect formation of a plural possessive, so (J) is incorrect.

9.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question is about joining two independent clauses. (B) is the correct answer. The two parts of this sentence are independent clauses loosely linked by topic and chronology; a semicolon is an appropriate way to join them. Although a colon can be used to join two independent clauses, in those cases the second clause must follow directly from the first in a way that it does not here; therefore, (A) is incorrect. A comma cannot be used to join two independent clauses, so (C) is incorrect. Two independent clauses cannot be joined with nothing, so (D) is incorrect.

10.

The Correct Answer is (H) — This question deals with unnecessary punctuation between a verb and its direct object. (H) is the correct answer. There is no reason to separate the verb “recommend” from its direct object, “a mocha.” (F), (G), and (J) all feature unnecessary punctuation doing just that, so they are incorrect.

11.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question is about setting off a parenthetical element with dashes. (C) is the correct answer. The phrase “in some cases” is a parenthetical phrase that should be set off with some punctuation on both ends; (C) appropriately introduces it and closes it with a set of em-dashes. The original sentence introduces the parenthetical phrase in the correct place but fails to close it with another em-dash, so (A) is incorrect. (B) inserts the second em-dash in the wrong place, so it is incorrect. (D) fails to set the parenthetical phrase off at all, so it is incorrect.

12.

The Correct Answer is (G) — This is an apostrophe question involving both possessives and contractions. (G) is the correct answer. The needed form is a possessive singular since the sentence is referring to the baristas of the world; an apostrophe and an “s” correctly make the possessive form of “world,” “world’s”. “Doesn’t” is a contraction for “does not,” so it requires an apostrophe between the “n” and the “t.” The original sentence correctly punctuates “world’s” but fails to use the necessary apostrophe in “doesn’t,” so (F) is incorrect. (H) fails to use any of the necessary punctuation, so it is incorrect. (J) correctly punctuates “doesn’t” but incorrectly uses “worlds’,” which is the plural possessive form, not the singular possessive.

13.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question deals with end-of-sentence punctuation. (C) is the correct answer. The sentence is a question, introduced by the interrogative adjective “how”; it needs to conclude with a question mark. None of the other options appropriately end this question with a question mark, so (A), (B), and (D) are all incorrect.

14.

The Correct Answer is (F) — This question deals with apostrophes in contractions. (F) is the correct answer. “It’s” is a contraction for “it is,” and “as it is being pulled” makes sense in the original sentence. “Its” is the possessive form of “it,” but there is nothing in this sentence for it to be possessive of, so (G) is incorrect. “Its’” does not have a meaning and is always wrong, so (H) is incorrect. “An espresso that’s sweetened as is being pulled” does not make sense, so (J) is incorrect.

15.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This is a question about punctuating the end of a sentence. (D) is the correct answer. This is a typical sentence that states a fact; a period is an appropriate way to end it. The sentence is not a question, so it should not be concluded with a question mark; therefore, (A) is incorrect. In formal writing, it is never acceptable to end a sentence with two kinds of punctuation at once, so (B) is incorrect. The em-dash before the word “the” closes a previous parenthetical phrase; it does not introduce a new one that needs to be closed. In addition, the next sentence clearly begins with a capital letter, and an em-dash cannot be used to join two full sentences. Therefore, (C) is incorrect.