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I woke up that night really hungry and I walked to the freezer only to find there's no food in it.

I'm curious about where the punctuation marks would be.

I woke up that night, really hungry, and I walked to the freezer only to find there's no food in it.

Are the punctuation marks placed right in the above sentence? Is it grammatically correct?

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Personally, I would swap a couple things around and the punctuation I'd use would be

I woke up really hungry that night, and walked to the freezer only to find there was no food in it.

As user3169 points out, the reason for placing "really hungry" there is that it sounds more natural next to the verb it modifies, "woke up"; "that night" is just a time reference so its placement isn't as important.

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  • It might be helpful if you add to your answer why you reordered "really hungry", since it impacts the punctuation placement. – user3169 Mar 11 '16 at 19:57
  • @user3169 Admittedly as good as I am with the language, I don't always 100% understand the why, I just know certain things are done a certain way, and I don't know what this particular grammatical construct is called. Would you happen to be aware of an explanation I can add? – John Clifford Mar 11 '16 at 19:59
  • I thought that if you had a reason you could add that. Actually, either way is OK, but it often sounds more natural to put a modifier "really hungry" next to the verb it modifies "woke up". "that night" is just a time reference for what happened. – user3169 Mar 11 '16 at 20:31
  • @user3169 That's pretty much what I was looking for but I didn't have the words for it, thanks. – John Clifford Mar 11 '16 at 20:32
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Consider:

I started out strong

I woke up scared

He turned up drunk

She showed up stoned

It turned out fine

It rose up tall

It went by fast

These verbs function a lot like copular verbs connecting the subject-complement (here, adjectives) to the subject.

We wouldn't say (and wouldn't write)

Stay, as you are. odd comma, odd pause

and we wouldn't use commas (or a structural syntactic pause ) between the verb and the complement in the examples above.

If we put the adverbial intensifier really in front of the adjectives, we're not really changing the structure.

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In

I woke up that night really hungry and I walked to the freezer only to find there's no food in it.

really hungry is the predicate nominative to I. It is essential and should not be separated by commas.

For conciseness, you could rephrase the sentence:

I woke up that night famished--only to walk up to the freezer and find it empty.

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