The Reading / Listening - Oxford Comma - Level 0

The UK left the EU yesterday. It voted to leave in 2016. The UK made a new 50-pence coin for the occasion. It has the words: "Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations" on it. A writer is unhappy. He thinks the punctuation is wrong. He said there should be an Oxford comma after the word "prosperity".



The Oxford comma is called the serial comma in the USA. It is used before the final "and" or "or" in a list of three or more items. People say an Oxford comma is unnecessary on the new coin because the meaning is very clear. A woman who studies words said the Oxford comma can help to better understand the writer's meaning.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Oxford Comma - Level 1 Oxford Comma - Level 2   or  Oxford Comma - Level 3

Sources
  • https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10835240/what-oxford-comma-examples-how-use/
  • https://abcnews.go.com/International/commemorative-brexit-coin-sparks-oxford-comma-debate/story
  • https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/oxford-comma-does-the-brexit-50p-coin-have-a-grammatical-error-1-5081991


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. It voted to leave
  2. The UK made a new
  3. It has the
  4. friendship with
  5. A writer is
  6. He thinks the punctuation
  7. He said there should be an
  8. after the word
  1. Oxford comma
  2. words
  3. "prosperity"
  4. 50-pence coin
  5. is wrong
  6. in 2016
  7. unhappy
  8. all nations

Paragraph 2

  1. The Oxford comma is called the serial
  2. It is used before the final
  3. in a list of three
  4. an Oxford comma
  5. the meaning is very
  6. A woman who
  7. the Oxford comma can
  8. better understand
  1. clear
  2. help
  3. "and"
  4. the writer's meaning
  5. comma in the USA
  6. is unnecessary
  7. studies words
  8. or more items

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

The UK left the EU yesterday. It (1) ___________________ in 2016. The UK (2) ___________________ 50-pence coin (3) ___________________. It has the words: "Peace, prosperity and friendship (4) ___________________" on it. A writer is unhappy. He thinks the (5) ___________________. He said there should be an Oxford comma (6) ___________________ "prosperity".

The Oxford comma (7) ___________________ serial comma in the USA. It is used before the final (8) ___________________ in a list of three (9) ___________________. People say an Oxford comma is unnecessary on the new coin because the meaning (10) ___________________. A woman who (11) _________________ the Oxford comma can (12) ___________________ understand the writer's meaning.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

TheUKlefttheEUyesterday.Itvotedtoleavein2016.TheUKmadeanew
50-pencecoinfortheoccasion.Ithasthewords:"Peace,prosperityandf
riendshipwithallnations"onit.Awriterisunhappy.Hethinksthepunctu
ationiswrong.HesaidthereshouldbeanOxfordcommaaftertheword"p
rosperity".TheOxfordcommaiscalledtheserialcommaintheUSA.Itisu
sedbeforethefinal"and"or"or"inalistofthreeormoreitems.Peoplesaya
nOxfordcommaisunnecessaryonthenewcoinbecausethemeaningisv
eryclear.AwomanwhostudieswordssaidtheOxfordcommacanhelpto
betterunderstandthewriter'smeaning.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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