Year-End Quiz



To close out 2015 we have put together a comprehensive pop quiz based on the year’s GrammarBook.com grammar posts. The quiz comprises twenty-five sentences that may—or may not—need fixing. Think you can fix the ones that need help?

You’ll find our answers directly below the quiz. Each answer includes, for your convenience, the title and date of the article that raised the topic.

This quiz is not for dilettantes. Good luck, and we hope to see you back here after the holidays.

 

Jumbo Pop Quiz: 2015 in Twenty-five Questions

1. I have an affinity for pizza.

2. People that like a couple drinks before dinner are my idea of good company.

3. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

4. We dined with people from Chicago, Illinois, Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California.

5. There are three different pools on the property.

6. Do you have any future plans you can tell us about?

7. It was a hazel doormouse with golden-brown fur and large black eyes.

8. Fifty dollars are too much to pay for a toaster.

9. The differences between us and them are miniscule, so take your pick.

10. Toby has gotten himself into trouble this time.

11. The dry soil has drank up every last raindrop.

12. The hotel is in close proximity to the corporate, financial, and fashionable heart of the city.

13. In Big Sur the view from our balcony was simply incredulous.

14. Erik was born on June 5, 1975 in Oslo, Norway.

15. Hanging around with fantastic writers rubs off on you after awhile.

16. Choose the more likely sentence:
A) Ruben compared Giorgio’s spaghetti to dog food.
B) Ruben compared Giorgio’s spaghetti with dog food.

17. Here is what I want from the store: Onions, potatoes, and broccoli.

18. The challenge so enervated her that she rushed out and sprinted two miles.

19. These two crooks just wanted to steal each others’ money.

20. Storm clouds creeped unnoticed over the distant mountains.

21. Luckily, the guide found them and lead them to safety.

22. She loved three men equally, so choosing a husband was a difficult dilemma.

23. McCloy knew he’d lied to Anita, but his alibi was, “I didn’t want to hurt her.”

24. The conflict centers around the atrocities of war.

25. I am writing in regards to employment opportunities at your firm.

 

Jumbo Pop Quiz Answers

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

1. I have a fondness for pizza.* (Words in Flux, 1-13)

2. People that like a couple of drinks before dinner are my idea of good company. (Nice Publication—Until You Read It, 1-27)

3. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. CORRECT (Media Watch, 2-17)

4. We dined with people from Chicago, Illinois; Brooklyn, New York; and San Diego, California. (The Man Who Hated Semicolons, 3-31)

5. There are three pools on the property. (Media Watch, 5-5)

6. Do you have any plans you can tell us about? (A Twenty-first Century Usage Guide, 5-12)

7. It was a hazel dormouse with golden-brown fur and large black eyes. (A Twenty-first Century Usage Guide, 5-12)

8. Fifty dollars is too much to pay for a toaster. (What Kind of Rule Is Usually?, 5-19)

9. The differences between us and them are minuscule, so take your pick. (Spell Check, 5-26)

10. Toby has gotten himself into trouble this time. CORRECT (Misbegotten Views on Gotten, 6-30)

11. The dry soil has drunk up every last raindrop.
(Irregular Verbs Can Be a Regular Pain, 7-7)

12. The hotel is close to the corporate, financial, and fashionable heart of the city.* (Don’t Put It in Writing, 7-14)

13. In Big Sur the view from our balcony was simply incredible. (Grammar, Vocabulary Go Hand in Hand, 7-28)

14. Erik was born on June 5, 1975, in Oslo, Norway. (Media Watch, 8-4)

15. Hanging around with fantastic writers rubs off on you after a while. (Media Watch, 8-4)

16. A) Ruben compared Giorgio’s spaghetti to dog food. (Compare To vs. Compare With, 8-18)

17. Here is what I want from the store: onions, potatoes, and broccoli. (Colons and Capitals, 8-25)

18. The challenge so energized her that she rushed out and sprinted two miles. (You Can Look It Up, 9-15)

19. These two crooks just wanted to steal each other’s money. (Each Other vs. One Another, 9-29)

20. Storm clouds crept unnoticed over the distant mountains. (Why Irregular Verbs Are Strong, 10-6)

21. Luckily, the guide found them and led them to safety. (Why Irregular Verbs Are Strong, 10-6)

22. She loved three men equally, so choosing a husband was a difficult predicament.* (Slipshod Extension, 10-13)

23. McCloy knew he’d lied to Anita, but his excuse was, “I didn’t want to hurt her.”* (Slipshod Extension, 10-13)

24. The conflict centers on the atrocities of war.* (When Idioms Become Monsters, 10-20)

25. I am writing in regard to employment opportunities at your firm. (Give the Gift of Pedantry, 12-1)

Posted on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, at 2:31 pm

If you wish to respond to another reader's question or comment, please click its corresponding "REPLY" button. If the article or the existing discussions do not address a thought or question you have on the subject, please use the "Comment" box at the bottom of this page.

26 Comments on Year-End Quiz

26 responses to “Year-End Quiz”

  1. Leanne Cole says:

    I am a little confused about using the apostrophe in a specific situation. I am an editor of a magazine and we have a section for people to send in images for it. There is some confusion whether this gallery should be called,
    Readers Gallery,
    Reader’s Gallery or
    Readers’ Gallery.

    Can you help.
    I have your book, fantastic and so easy to use.
    Thanks

    • Since you have a gallery for multiple readers, you could write Readers’ Gallery. However, some writers prefer to omit the apostrophe and use the word readers as an adjective describing the word gallery.

  2. Truthseeker says:

    I found this sentence using whomever in a political blog: ” I am looking forward to watching Sander [sic] or Clinton mop the floor with either one of these dangerous fools, or whomever else the GOP manages to nominate.”

    Politics aside, is the use of whomever correct? It seems to me whoever might be correct. Please untangle the spaghetti.

  3. Beth P. says:

    Hello out there in Virtual World! Please re-visit the year-end quiz at item #22. My sensibilities (and the Encarta New World) insist that the sentence was correct before it was “corrected”. Loving three men is the predicament. Choosing one is a dilemma.

  4. Barbara H. says:

    Hi, and Merry Christmas!
    My question is about #13 on the year-end quiz.

    13. In Big Sur the view from our balcony was simply incredible.
    I understand the reason for using “incredible” instead of “incredulous”, but why is there not a comma after Sur? It’s an introductory phrase stating where the people were to have such an incredible view. I would think that a comma is necessary.

    Please explain why or why not.

  5. Karla K. says:

    2. People that like a couple of drinks before dinner are my idea of good company. (Nice Publication—Until You Read It, 1-27)

    Shouldn’t this be: People who like a couple of drinks before dinner are my idea of good company. (Nice Publication—Until You Read It, 1-27)

  6. JJJ says:

    So, possessive question:
    Let’s say I ate at a restaurant called “Joe’s”.

    What’s the proper way to refer to the food they serve. “Joe’s’s food?”

  7. Rob says:

    I have a question about commas which are used by appositives with coordinating conjunctions.

    Examples:

    Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. Why isn’t the correct usage “crying and, as she wept, she stooped and looked in.”

    Where should the commas be in other examples?

    I would do that for you but, of course, it is illegal.

    I am fine and, as you may be aware, my mother already knows how I am. (Should the comma be before or after the “and?” Why?”

    Bus drivers are well trained and, therefore, they are less likely to get into an accident. (In this example, my English teacher said that this was correct. Why is that the case?)

    Thanks.

    Rob

    • Your examples would probably be punctuated differently by different editors. The trend these days is to be sparing with commas whenever possible. However, our Rule 3b of Commas requires a comma preceding the conjunction in all of your examples. Therefore, we recommend the following:
      Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and, [this comma is optional] as she wept, [this comma is optional] she stooped and looked in.
      I would do that for you, but, of course, it is illegal.
      I am fine, and, [this comma is optional] as you may be aware, my mother already knows how I am.
      Bus drivers are well trained, and, therefore, they are less likely to get into an accident.

  8. Nancy Wheeler says:

    A tv newscaster continually makes a serious grammatical error when reporting the news. I want to tell him about it but I don’t know what it’s called. eg: “Mr. Harper, he said blah blah blah”. “The weather, it is going to be cold.” What is the term for this error? I just discovered your blog today. Thank you.

  9. Debbie says:

    My question was answered for me that the second comma is supposed to be in the following sentence, but could someone tell me why?

    Through Jesus’ love and obedience to God, sinners are reunited to God, making it possible for us to receive faith that both presses on toward the goal of heaven and is able to establish healthy Christian priorities and balance on earth for generations.

    It seems that sometimes a comma is used in this situation and sometimes it isn’t. I know the second part of the sentence isn’t a independent clause, but should there be a comma because it is just added information?

  10. Debbie says:

    Thank you! Another question: Should there be commas around “even confidence” in the following sentence because it is nonrestrictive or nonessential in the same way as the sentence in my previous question:

    There is also tremendous strength and comfort(,) even confidence(,) in knowing Jesus is already at work.

  11. Phyllis says:

    In the following sentence, shouldn’t “is” be “are” since there are more than one items?

    17. Here is what I want from the store: onions, potatoes, and broccoli. (Colons and Capitals, 8-25)

  12. David says:

    In number 22, it seems to me that “choosing a husband” is no more a “predicament” than a “dilemma.” Surely “problem” would be a better choice.

  13. Joe Lasinis says:

    I continue to hear television personalities make grammatical errors that hurt my ears, especially like these examples: “The team, they are happy,” or “The quarterback, he ….” I know that both examples are incorrect, but I don’t know what grammar rule covers it! Can you help?

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