National Grammar Day


Happy National Grammar Day! (And please don’t go overboard celebrating!)

In honor of the day, here’s a short quiz for you to try. Scroll down for the answers.

Instructions: Mark each sentence with a √ (for correct) or an X (for incorrect).

Part I

1.  Whom did Sarah say was going to give the keynote address?

2.  Peter graduated, got a job, and he’s on a fast track to a promotion.

3.  The Human Resources office asked Linda and I to review their application form.

4.  When peoples’ wishes are ignored, political unrest is likely.

Part II

5.  If your credit card was refused, you didn’t receive the tickets you wanted.

6.  Grace is one of those teachers who make a huge difference in students’ lives.

7.  Several students earned 100s on this morning’s test.

8.  We need fresh tomatoes, green peppers and carrots for tonight’s salad.

ANSWERS AND CORRECTIONS

X 1.  Who did Sarah say was going to give the keynote address? (Think: He was going to give the keynote address = Who was going to give the keynote address? Click here to learn more.)

X2.  Peter graduated, got a job, and is on a fast track to a promotion. (Not parallel)

X3.  The Human Resources office asked Linda and me to review their application form. (Thumb rule)

X4.  When people’s wishes are ignored, political unrest is likely. (Of the people = people’s)

Part II

These are all trick questions! Experts disagree about the correct answers for all four of these, so you’re free to take your pick.

5.  If your credit card was refused, you didn’t receive the tickets you wanted. (Some experts use the subjunctive here: “were refused”)

6.  Grace is one of those teachers who make a huge difference in students’ lives. (Some experts think it should be “Grace…makes”; others – me, for instance – think it should be “teachers…make”)

7.  Several students earned 100s on this morning’s test. (In the past an apostrophe was required in 100’s, but that practice is changing)

8.  We need fresh tomatoes, green peppers and carrots for tonight’s salad. (This is an “Oxford comma” sentence. Journalists don’t use an apostrophe after “green peppers,” but in other situations you’re perfectly free to use it)

How did you do?

Frustrated Student Writing

 

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