What Have We Learned This Year?



To close out 2014, we have put together a comprehensive pop quiz based on the year’s GrammarBook.com grammar tips. The quiz comprises twenty-five sentences that may need fixing. Think you can fix them?

Our answers follow the quiz. Each answer includes, for your convenience, the title and date of the article that raised the topic.

This quiz is by no means a pushover. Good luck, and we hope to see you back here after the holidays.

The Year in Twenty-five Questions

1. The day was cold, cloudy, and a storm was coming.

2. He is either coming with us or he is waiting for the next train.

3. My friend (and her brother) are arriving today.

4. Dobbs is one of those people who loves Jane Austen.

5. A collection of books were on display.

6. She ordered him off of her property.

7. I asked him to lend me a couple dollars.

8. Both young actress’s dream is to play Juliet.

9. Roy and Juanita Simms arrived on foot because the Simms’ car was in the shop.

10. We were all in the mood for some New Orleans’ food.

11. When Nick writes a letter, you can’t tell his As from his Ss.

12. Who sang the song Bali Ha’i in the Broadway play called South Pacific?

13. Their favorite classic movies are based off of old fairy tales.

14. The couple was having their first quarrel.

15. A husband, who forgets anniversaries and birthdays, may be headed for divorce court.

16. A friend of mine, living in San Diego, loves the weather there.

17. My grandmother, Gladys, claimed she once had a drink with the writer, Norman Mailer.

18. When you decide to hone in on your weaknesses, you have a hard road to hoe.

19. That fancy place had a $18 dessert on the menu.

20. Some of Hemingway’s best books, i.e., The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, were written before 1950.

21. The exhibit includes major works by many iconic artists: Ernst, Klee, Picasso, etc.

22. The jeweler has unusual gems such as black opals, star garnets, alexandrites, etc.

23. When they doubled my salary, I literally started living like a king.

24. He suggested a Donne sonnet, but soon learned she was disinterested in poetry.

25. His claim of owning a diamond mine in Delaware begs the question, Is this man sane enough to be walking around?

 

Jumbo Pop Quiz Answers

An asterisk (*) indicates that there are more correct answers than one.

1. The day was cold, cloudy, and stormy.* (An Unparalleled Letdown, 2-18)

2. He is either coming with us or waiting for the next train.* (Simple Words, Fancy Label, 2-25)

3. My friend (and her brother) is arriving today. [(All About) Parentheses, 3-23]

4. Dobbs is one of those people who love Jane Austen. (The Wicked Of, 3-31)

5. A collection of books was on display. (The Wicked Of, 3-31)

6. She ordered him off her property. (More Of, 4-16)

7. I asked him to lend me a couple of dollars. (More Of, 4-16)

8. Both young actresses’ dream is to play Juliet. (Apostrophes: Worth the Trouble, 5-6)

9. Roy and Juanita Simms arrived on foot because the Simmses’ car was in the shop. (Apostrophes and Proper Nouns, 5-13)

10. We were all in the mood for some New Orleans food. (Apostrophes and False Possessives, 5-19)

11. When Nick writes a letter, you can’t tell his A’s from his S’s. (Apostrophes: Not Always Possessive, 6-3)

12. Who sang the song Bali Ha’i in the Broadway play called South Pacific? (Italics vs. Quotation Marks, 6-16)

13. Their favorite classic movies are based on old fairy tales. (Based Off Is Off Base , 6-23)

14. The couple were having their first quarrel. (Collective Nouns and Consistency, 7-8)

15. A husband who forgets anniversaries and birthdays may be headed for divorce court. (Essential, but Is It Important? 8-19)

16. A friend of mine living in San Diego loves the weather there. (Essential and Nonessential Elements, Part II, 8-26)

17. My grandmother Gladys claimed she once had a drink with the writer Norman Mailer. (Essential and Nonessential Elements, Part III, 9-2)

18. When you decide to home in on your weaknesses, you have a hard row to hoe. (A House Is Not a Hone, 9-23)

19. That fancy place had an $18 dessert on the menu. (Wails from My Inbox, 10-2)

20. Some of Hemingway’s best books (e.g.The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms) were written before 1950.* (Note also the added parentheses in the sentence.) (i.e. vs. e.g., 10-7)

21. The exhibit includes major works by many iconic artists: Ernst, Klee, Picasso, et al. (All About etc., 10-15)

22. The jeweler has unusual gems such as black opals, star garnets, and alexandrites. (All About etc., 10-15)

23. When they doubled my salary, I really started living like a king.* (Fighting for Literally, 11-11)

24. He suggested a Donne sonnet, but soon learned she was uninterested in poetry. (Don’t Dis Disinterested, 11-18)

25. His claim of owning a diamond mine in Delaware raises the question, Is this man sane enough to be walking around?* ( Begging the Question, 12-1)

 

Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014, at 7:40 pm

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8 Comments on What Have We Learned This Year?

8 responses to “What Have We Learned This Year?”

  1. Steeve Cantave says:

    Which is correct: Let the countdown begin(or begins).

  2. Dwayne P. says:

    Even though I’m a native English speaker, I still get so much out of your blog. Thank you for your hard work.

    Quick question: could you point me in the write direction to resolve the following “verb agreement,” confusion.

    The sample sentence is:
    Top officials, like Donald Tusk, president of the European Union, (SAY / SAYS) now is the time to work closely with Libya and nearby African nations.

    I would normally go with “say.” It’s the qualifier (like Donald Tusk … ), that’s throwing me for a loop. Donald is the one who said that the countries need to work closely with Libya and nearby African nations, the other top officials in the room simply agreed.

    What’s your take?

    Thanks again for your great work.

    • The subject of your sample sentence is the plural noun “officials,” which takes the plural verb “say.”

      Your explanation indicates that the sentence is not as accurately written as it could have been, but it is grammatically correct. An alternative sentence might be:

      Top officials agree with Donald Tusk, president of the European Union, who says …

      Thank you for your kind words.

  3. Patrick Hogan says:

    I wanted to respond to the email about subject-verb agreement when a quantity or number is used to modify a noun. (“There is/are seven pounds of potatoes in the kitchen.”) Why not take the pirate escape route and use “be” ? “There be seven gold doubloons in me treasure chest.”

  4. DiMarkco Chandler says:

    You have a comma after the word paper in the following example: “The three items, a book, a pen, and paper, were on the table.” The preceding sentence can be found under Rule 11 of your “Comma” section.

    I became confused over the comma that follows the word, paper, in the above sentence after taking Comma Quiz 1. My confusion appeared after I examined the fifth question of your first Comma Quiz which reads as follows:
    Correct Answer: D I need sugar, butter, and eggs from the grocery store.

    Explanation: use commas to separate words and word groups in a series of three or more.

    Your Answer: B I need sugar, butter, and eggs, from the grocery store.

    I wanted to place a comma after eggs which I thought was consistent with Comma Rule 11.

    Specifically, what rule governs the following sentence that mandates that a comma be placed after the word, paper: “The three items, a book, a pen, and paper, were on the table.”

    Please Help!

    • The sentence “The three items, a book, a pen, and paper, were on the table,” contains an appositive. An appositive is a nonessential word, clause, or phrase. Appositives are set off by commas. The phrase “a book, a pen, and paper” could be left out of the sentence and the sentence would still make sense. “The three items were on the table.” Therefore, the phrase is considered nonessential and is set off by commas. See our post Commas with Appositives for more information and examples. The sentence “I need sugar, butter, and eggs from the grocery store,” does not contain an appositive. It contains a series of three or more. No comma is necessary after the last item in the series.

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