Are You a Grammar Whiz?

Can you tell apart your semicolons from your umlauts?

Introduction

Back in the day, using proper grammar was drilled into children's minds starting in the first grade. By the time kids hit high school, they could parse sentences and toss around collective nouns with the pros. Today, not so much.

Contemporary American classrooms tend to English language class on creativity and analysis of published works rather than component parts of a sentence. With the abundance of online grammar and spell-check tools, students are finding it increasingly easy to write without ever knowing the difference between an adverb and a preposition.

While some might think being called a “grammar nerd” is a bad thing, it’s important to know how to use grammar in a proper setting. Think of grammar like your good clothes—the ones you pull out for a job interview or meeting a new coworker. You wouldn’t show up to your first day of work at the office in sweatpants, would you? So why shouldn’t you have a few well-worded phrases up your sleeve as well? Understanding how sentences are constructed and being familiar with the rules of syntax will always put you ahead of the pack when it comes to cover letters, loan applications, and everyday correspondence. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to stop dangling your participles.

Our quiz will give you a taste of what your parents probably learned in school, or remind you of those little books filled with verb tenses and reflexive pronouns. You may not get 100% on your first try, but you’ll come out the other end with a new appreciation for the rules and quirks of English grammar.

Description

Back in the day, using proper grammar was drilled into children's minds starting in the first grade. By the time kids hit high school, they could parse sentences and toss around collective nouns with the pros. Today, not so much.

Contemporary American classrooms tend to English language class on creativity and analysis of published works rather than component parts of a sentence. With the abundance of online grammar and spell-check tools, students are finding it increasingly easy to write without ever knowing the difference between an adverb and a preposition.

While some might think being called a “grammar nerd” is a bad thing, it’s important to know how to use grammar in a proper setting. Think of grammar like your good clothes—the ones you pull out for a job interview or meeting a new coworker. You wouldn’t show up to your first day of work at the office in sweatpants, would you? So why shouldn’t you have a few well-worded phrases up your sleeve as well? Understanding how sentences are constructed and being familiar with the rules of syntax will always put you ahead of the pack when it comes to cover letters, loan applications, and everyday correspondence. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to stop dangling your participles.

Our quiz will give you a taste of what your parents probably learned in school, or remind you of those little books filled with verb tenses and reflexive pronouns. You may not get 100% on your first try, but you’ll come out the other end with a new appreciation for the rules and quirks of English grammar.

Short Description

Do you remember what you learned at school when it comes to sentence construction and punctuation? Texting, tweeting, and online revision tools are all useful in their own way. Using them all the time, however, might make you forget proper grammar skills. Take the quiz and see just how much proper grammar and punctuation you know!


About Quizhook

Welcome to QuizHook, your #1 site for quizzes, brain teasers, and knowledge-testing exercises and your #12 site for fishing-related puns. Our mission is to make education fun! Try your hand at a few quizzes, and you’ll be hooked. Whether you’re studying for a state capitals test, or brushing up on your knowledge of cat breeds for your next trivia night, QuizHook can provide all the right questions and answers to help you flex that brain muscle of yours. And if you just thought, “Hey! The brain is an organ, not a muscle,” then you’ve passed your first quiz already. So go explore our site—we guarantee you'll have a reel-y great time!


Let's Play!

1. "The cake, ____ had candles on top, was made of chocolate." Which word is grammatically correct to use in this sentence?


1. "The cake, ____  had candles on top, was made of chocolate." Which word is grammatically correct to use in this sentence?

1. witch

2. which

3. that

4. wich

The correct answer is "which." "That" is used to define something, while "which" gives the reader new information in a separate clause.



2. "I drink ____ than 3 cups of coffee a day." Which word is grammatically correct to use in this sentence?


2. "I drink ____ than 3 cups of coffee a day." Which word is grammatically correct to use in this sentence?

1. fewer

2. less

3. lesser

4. few

The correct answer is "fewer." If something can be counted, use "fewer." If you can't count it, use "less."



3. "On the weekends, I like to swim, bike, and play hockey." What is the special name for the third comma in this sentence?


3. "On the weekends, I like to swim, bike, and play hockey." What is the special name for the third comma in this sentence?

1. Cambridge

2. Harvard

3. Eaton

4. Oxford

The Oxford comma is still widely used in the United Kingdom but has been largely abandoned in American English.



4. "Who's dog is this? I wonder if it's the one whose digging in my garden." Which word(s) is(are) used incorrectly in this sentence?


4. "Who

1. whose

2. Who's

3. Both are incorrect

4. Both are correct

"Who's" is short for "who is" and "whose" is used to describe something that belongs to someone else. So, in this sentence, they're both used incorrectly.



5. "I have three cats Fluffy, Scratch and Pinky." What is missing in this sentence?


5. "I have three cats Fluffy, Scratch and Pinky." What is missing in this sentence?

1. Colon

2. Semicolon

3. Comma

4. Exclamation point

Colons are used to separate a complete sentence from a list, so there should be a colon after the word "cats."



6. "My mother is a great swimmer." Which part of this sentence is the predicate?


6. "My mother is a great swimmer." Which part of this sentence is the predicate?

1. My mother

2. is

3. is a great swimmer

4. great swimmer

The correct answer is "is a great swimmer." The predicate contains a verb and describes something about the subject.



7. "The books were lined up neatly on a shelf in the library." How many nouns are there in this sentence?


7. "The books were lined up neatly on a shelf in the library." How many nouns are there in this sentence?

1. 0

2. 1

3. 2

4. 3

There are 3: books, shelf, and library.



8. "It's raining cats and dogs" is an example of which of the following?


8. "It

1. Jargon

2. Hyperbole

3. Idiom

4. Technique

An idiom is a phrase that has a meaning that doesn't relate to the actual words being used.



9. "He watched the ball like a hawk eyes its prey." This sentence is an example of which of the following?


9. "He watched the ball like a hawk eyes its prey." This sentence is an example of which of the following?

1. Simile

2. Metaphor

3. Juncture

4. Incomplete sentence

A simile compares two things directly; it almost always uses the word "like" or "as."



10. "I had never felt so blue." This sentence is an example of which of the following?


10. "I had never felt so blue." This sentence is an example of which of the following?

1. Platitude

2. Discourse

3. Bounty

4. Metaphor

A metaphor is a figure of speech that is used to make a comparison.



11. "The lottery ticket, which I bought last week, wasn't a winner." In this sentence, the word "which" acts as which of the following?`


11. "The lottery ticket, which I bought last week, wasn

1. Verb

2. Noun

3. Relative pronoun

4. Personal pronoun

In this sentence, it acts as a relative pronoun. Relative pronouns connect the clauses they introduce to other clauses in the sentence.



12. "I walked to the store, bought a few groceries, and grabbed the bus home." How many verbs are in this sentence?


12. "I walked to the store, bought a few groceries, and grabbed the bus home." How many verbs are in this sentence?

1. 0

2. 1

3. 2

4. 3

There are 3: walked, bought, and grabbed.



13. "I don't know anything about baseball." In this sentence, "about" acts as a what?


13. "I don

1. Question

2. Adverb

3. Adjective

4. Preposition

It acts as a preposition in this sentence. Prepositions come immediately before a noun or pronoun and show how it relates to another word in the sentence.



14. "Sarah had a terrible time at the party and never danced with nobody." This sentence contains which of the following?


14. "Sarah had a terrible time at the party and never danced with nobody." This sentence contains which of the following?

1. Disjuncture

2. Double negative

3. Alternate clause

4. Split infinitive

To say she "never danced with nobody" is a double negative. Usage of double negatives are not accepted in Standard American English (SAE).



15. "Travelling to Florida, the weather got warmer and warmer." This sentence contains which of the following?


15. "Travelling to Florida, the weather got warmer and warmer." This sentence contains which of the following?

1. Dangling participle

2. Double juncture

3. Reverse participle

4. None of the above

The participle of the verb should describe an action taken by the subject of the sentence. In this case, the weather isn't the thing that's travelling, so that means the sentence contains a dangling participle.



16. "The wonderful and artistic movie made me really think about life." How many adjectives are in this sentence?


16. "The wonderful and artistic movie made me really think about life." How many adjectives are in this sentence?

1. 1

2. 2

3. 3

4. 4

The correct answer is 2: wonderful and artistic.



17. "Justin likes extreme sports, such as skydiving." Does this automatically mean Justin goes skydiving?


17. "Justin likes extreme sports, such as skydiving." Does this automatically mean Justin goes skydiving?

1. Yes

2. No

3. Maybe

4. Impossible to say

Using "such as" gives examples of what the subject does. So, based on this sentence's construction, we can tell that Justin enjoys skydiving, among other extreme sports.



18. The big apple becomes the biggest apple by adding a what to the word "big"?


18. The big apple becomes the biggest apple by adding a what to the word "big"?

1. Antecedent

2. Prefix

3. Suffix

4. Prolapse

You would add the suffix -est. A suffix is a group of letters that are added to the end of a word to alter its meaning.



19. "May I go to the store? I can bring you back the newspaper." In this sentence, are "can" and "may" used correctly?


19. "May I go to the store? I can bring you back the newspaper." In this sentence, are "can" and "may" used correctly?

1. "May" is correct, "can" is incorrect

2. "May" is incorrect, "can" is correct

3. Both are correct

4. Both are incorrect

"May" is always used to indicate permission, while "can" refers to ability, so both are used correctly.



20. "The devil himself couldn't stop me from going." In this sentence, "himself" is an example of which of the following?


20. "The devil himself couldn

1. Reflexive pronoun

2. Reciprocal pronoun

3. Demonstrative pronoun

4. None of the above

Reflexive pronouns refer back to the subject of a sentence. "Himself" in this case refers back to "devil."



21. "My friend is ____ me how to drive because I'm having problems ____ on my own." Which of the following correctly fills in the blanks of this sentence?


21. "My friend is ____ me how to drive because I

1. teach/learn

2. learn/teach

3. learning/teaching

4. teaching/learning

"Teaching/learning" is the correct answer. Teaching is something that's done to a person, while learning is what somebody does to themselves. These actions are ongoing, which is why they use their progressive verb forms.



22. "He could play the piano ____ than I ever could." Which of the following correctly fills in the blank of this sentence?


22. "He could play the piano ____ than I ever could." Which of the following correctly fills in the blank of this sentence?

1. Beautifuller

2. Beautifully

3. Beautifullest

4. More beautifully

The correct answer is "more beautifully." Adverbs that have more than two syllables usually require you to add "more" when you're comparing two things. Those with one syllable usually just add -er.



23. "Its not falling that hurts, it's hitting the ground." Is either "its" or "it's" used correctly in this sentence?


23. "Its not falling that hurts, it

1. "Its" is used correctly and "it's" is used incorrectly

2. "Its" is used incorrectly and "it's" is used correctly

3. Both are used correctly

4. Both are used incorrectly

"Its" is used incorrectly. Use "it's" when you're using the short form of "it is" and "its" when something belongs to a place, person, or thing.



24. Which of the following is the correct way to say that the children have games?


24. Which of the following is the correct way to say that the children have games?

1. Childrens's games

2. Childrens' games

3. Children's games

4. Children games

The correct answer is "children's games." Normally, plural forms of nouns have an apostrophe after the “s.” Children, however, is an irregular noun, so the apostrophe comes before the “s.”



25. "The effect of drinking too much beer is having to go to the bathroom all the time. Don't let that affect you." Are either of these sentences correct?


25. "The effect of drinking too much beer is having to go to the bathroom all the time. Don

1. Both sentences are incorrect

2. Both sentences are correct

3. Only the first sentence is wrong

4. Only the second sentence is wrong

Both sentences are correct! "Effect" is usually a noun that means "as a result of something." "Affect" is usually a verb that means "to influence something."



26. "_____ going to the mall." Which of the following is the correct way to fill in this blank space?


26. "_____ going to the mall." Which of the following is the correct way to fill in this blank space?

1. They're

2. There

3. Their

4. There's

"They're" is the correct answer. It is a contraction of "they are." "There" describes placement while "their" is a possessive pronoun.



27. "Heck! I forgot my wallet at home." In this sentence, "heck" is an example of which of the following?


27. "Heck! I forgot my wallet at home." In this sentence, "heck" is an example of which of the following?

1. Verb

2. Conjunction

3. Preposition

4. Interjection

It is an interjection, used to make an exclamation of emotion, typically. You can usually spot an interjection when you see a single word followed by an exclamation point. Wow!



28. "I quickly changed my mind when I saw the train coming." In this sentence, "quickly" is an example of which of the following?


28. "I quickly changed my mind when I saw the train coming." In this sentence, "quickly" is an example of which of the following?

1. Adjective

2. Adverb

3. Aperture

4. Asymetrical noun

The correct answer is that it is an adverb. Adverbs are modifiers like adjectives, but they modify verbs, adjectives, or even other adverbs instead of nouns.



29. Every complete sentence must contain which of the following?


29. Every complete sentence must contain which of the following?

1. A verb and a noun

2. A verb and an adjective

3. A verb and a subject

4. A verb and a pronoun

Sentences are made up of one or more clauses, but the main clause must always contain both a verb and a subject to express a complete thought.



30. What is a gerund?


30. What is a gerund?

1. A form that acts like a noun but is derived from a verb

2. A form that acts like a verb but is derived from a noun

3. The past participle of a verb

4. The future injunctive

A gerund is derived from a verb but acts like a noun. Cooking is used as a gerund in the following sentence: “Cooking is hard.” Cooking is used as a verb in the following sentence: “I was cooking all evening.”



31. Which of the following is the shortest complete sentence?


31. Which of the following is the shortest complete sentence?

1. To stop.

2. The farm.

3. Up now.

4. I am.

"I am," is a complete sentence. It has a subject (I), a verb (am), and completes a thought.



32. What is a pangram sentence?


32. What is a pangram sentence?

1. One that uses graphic symbols

2. One that has more than 4 verbs

3. One that contains every letter in the alphabet

4. One that has no single-syllable words

A pangram is a sentence that contains every letter in the alphabet.



33. "When you kiss me" is an example of which of the following?


33. "When you kiss me" is an example of which of the following?

1. Dependent clause

2. Incomplete sentence

3. Sentence fragment

4. All of the above

All of these are correct. This is an incomplete sentence because it does not form a complete thought. A clause is sometimes called a sentence fragment. It is a dependent clause because it cannot form a sentence on its own.



34. "I want to play soccer, but I don't have a ball." In this sentence, "but" acts as a what?


34. "I want to play soccer, but I don

1. Conjunction

2. Inflextion

3. Perpositor

4. Intercession

Conjunctions are the little words like "and" that link clauses in a sentence together.



35. What are the curved brackets shown here called?


35. What are the curved brackets shown here called?

1. Apostrophes

2. Parentheses

3. Quotation marks

4. Colons

Parentheses are used to insert an explanation or additional thought into a sentence that is otherwise grammatically complete.



36. The three articles in English are "a," "an," and "the." Which one is called a definite article?


36. The three articles in English are "a," "an," and "the." Which one is called a definite article?

1. A

2. An

3. The

4. None of them

"A" and "an" are indefinite articles because they refer to one of several things, whereas "the" applies only to one object and is therefore "definite."



37. The arrangement of words and phrases to create sentences is called what?


37. The arrangement of words and phrases to create sentences is called what?

1. Parsing

2. Linguistics

3. Syntax

4. Coherence

The correct answer is syntax, the branch of linguistics that deals with the arrangement of sentences. Parsing a sentence is what we do when we analyse its components.



38. "The flock of sheep slept on the muddy pasture." What is the collective noun in this sentence?


38. "The flock of sheep slept on the muddy pasture." What is the collective noun in this sentence?

1. Pasture

2. Muddy

3. Sheep

4. Flock

The correct answer is flock. A collective noun describes a group of people, animals, or things.



39. "Debbie could only find part-time work as a dry cleaner." In this sentence, "part-time" is a what?


39. "Debbie could only find part-time work as a dry cleaner." In this sentence, "part-time" is a what?

1. Compound adjective

2. Compound noun

3. Compound verb

4. Adverb

Compound adjectives are two or more adjectives that are linked by a hyphen to modify the same noun.



40. How many words are there in the English language?


40. How many words are there in the English language?

1. Under 10,000

2. Between 10,000 and 50,000

3. Between 50,000 and 100,000

4. Over 100,000

There are currently over 170,000 words in the Oxford English Dictionary, and new words are being added all the time. By the time they are four, most kids already know about 5,000 words.



41. The word "grammar" comes from Greek, and means what?


41. The word "grammar" comes from Greek, and means what?

1. The art of calligraphy

2. to write

3. To argue

4. The art of letters

Grammar comes from a Greek word meaning "the art of letters."




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