Grammar for Grownups Quiz 74

Capitalizing on the Seasons

Did you notice that fall has arrived? Can Old Man Winter be far behind? Why did I capitalize “Winter” and not “fall”? Try to find a pattern among the following. Capitalize away where you see fit.

  1. If this be autumn, can winter be far behind? (Careful!)
  2. In spring a young fancy turns to love.
  3. Young spring must give way to mother summer.
  4. When winter winds howl, deserted autumn takes cover.
  5. The wild winter gives way to miss budding spring.
  6. Why is sonny summer’s sunshine thought a blessing…
  7. …while the weak rays of winter are viewed with woeful wonder?
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Grammar for Grownups Quiz 73

Are You Listening?

Use the following homonyms in a single sentence. Move slowly; these are the words that slip by in your writing when yur not paying attention.

  1. Your, you’re, yore
  2. There, their, they’re
  3. Pair, pare, pear
  4. Holy, holey, wholly
  5. Praise, prays, preys
  6. New, gnu, knew
  7. Maine, main, mane
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Grammar for Grownups Quiz 72

Verb Oddities

You know how crazy is U.S. language. The verbs are the craziest. Here are some of them in action. Look closely at the following sentences and replace the verb with the best one.

  1. Hey, man, I catched your gig last night.
  2. I drived for two hours and bringed my best friend with me.
  3. I thinked your guitar haved a sweet sound.
  4. My friend goed to sleep but waked up when the horns jived.
  5. I don’t think she finded much fun in what you guys done.
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Grammar for Grownups Quiz 71

Nouns and Pronouns

You know the difference between nouns and pronouns. The pronouns are images of the nouns. Look closely at the following sentences and clarify which noun the pronoun represents.

1. Dr. Anderson examined the patient in his office.

2. When the attorney walked in, the judge recognized her mistake.

3. The child shared her bubblegum with his sister.

4. After the service the minister met the guest and called out his name.

5. Did the conductor and the flutist ever express his disappointment?

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Grammar for Grownups Quiz 70

Those Pesky Hyphens

You know how to use hyphens within compound words. Look closely at those compounds that begin with common prefixes: un, non, self, pre. Where would you use a hyphen in the following words – or would you?

  1. un common
  2. un equal
  3. un American
  4. non commissioned
  5. non stop
  6. self centered
  7. self ish
  8. pre pared
  9. pre paid
  10. pre eminent
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Grammar for Grownups Quiz 69

You Think You Know Words?

What is your opinion of the use (and mis-use) of the following words? Which of these choices do you use – and how?

  1. flammable or inflammable
  2. between or among
  3. use to or used to
  4. disinterested or uninterested
  5. hard or difficult
  6. formally or formerly
  7. all told or all tolled
  8. oriented or orientated
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Grammar for Grownups Quiz 68

That Dratted Apostrophe!

Q: What’s the difference between the meanings of these words: runs, run’s, and runs’?

A: Depends on how it’s used and what the writer means it to mean.

Insert an apostrophe where needed in the following underlined words:

  1. A whales spout is an amazing sight.
  2. Dont let it be said that Jacks a dummy.
  3. When Jacks mother Doris saw him on Mothers Day, she smiled.
  4. Boys will be boys, she said, her hearts beat up three notches.
  5. The political cant over redistricting cant be understated.
  6. Several times, when better times prevailed, the Times ran birth announcements.
  7. The childrens birthday candles flames heated the room.
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Grammar for Grownups Quiz 67

How Long is a Dash?

The difference between a dash and a hyphen is length. The hyphen is found on the key just to the right of the zero (and yes, there’s a difference between zero and the letter “o”). The dash is longer and is generated differently on different computers. On my Mac, I hold down SHIFT/OPTION and hit the hyphen/underline key. (On a PC hold down ALT and hit 0151.)

The difference in use is monumental. The hyphen is used between compound word. The dash is used to indicate an inserted comment or clarification to a sentence. Try out these sentences and insert either a dash or hyphen:

  1. Spring cleaning (-, -) oh how I hate it (-, -) starts in April.
  2. There’s no fool like an over(-, -) anxious fool after April 1.
  3. April showers bring May flowers (-, -) or so it’s said.
  4. Apriil (-, -) the saddest month (-, -) brings warm weather.
  5. Enjoy the lazy, hazy, crazy days of pre (-, -) summer.
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Grammar for Grownups Quiz 66

Writing the Numbers

Writing out numbers can be tricky. Do you use numerals or words?

GUIDELINE #1: Write out numbers below ten; use numerals for numbers above ten.

GUIDELINE #2: Use numerals in nonfiction, written words in fiction.

Try these:

  1. My dad gave me ($20, twenty dollars, $20.00) for my evening out.
  2. The hospital has (4, four) units and (one hundred twenty-five, 125) physicians.
  3. The trees behind the house are at least (50, fifty) feet tall.
  4. My sister has grown to (four feet, three inches; 4 feet, 3 inches; 4′, 3″) tall. (fiction)
  5. The company was sold for three million dollars, $3,000,000, $3 million). (nonfiction)
  6. That fairy tale debases (2, two) of the (3, three) pigs in that story.
  7. When the (3, three) little pigs built their houses, they used a variety of materials. (fiction)
  8. Meet me at the brick house at (two o’clock, 2 o’clock, 2:00, 2:00 o’clock) tomorrow.
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Grammar for Grownups Quiz 65

Writing Dates

When writing out dates, use the form that best tells the story. NOTE: We don’t always pronounce dates the way they appear. Try these:

  1. When I was in my (thirties, 30s, ’30s 30’s, 30ies), I discovered a love of history.
  2. My favorite era covered the (sixties, 1960’s, 1960s, ’60’s, ’60s, 60ies).
  3. You’d think the (seventies, 1970s, 1970’s, ’70s, ’70’s) decade would be more fun.
  4. My friend was married on (February 14th, February 14, the 14th of February, the 14 of February).
  5. She’d rather have been wed on (the fourth of July, the Fourth of July, the 4th of July, July 4th, July 4).
  6. Whatever happened to jazz in the (eighties, ’80’s, ’80s, 80ies)? 7. The (’80’s, ’80s, 80s, 80’s) slang sounded awesome.
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