Grammar And Punctuation Quiz

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Quizzes Created: 5 | Total Attempts: 13,696
Questions: 16 | Attempts: 1,012

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Grammar And Punctuation Quiz - Quiz

Warning: this grammar and punctuation quiz isn't for the faint of heart. Think you know your grammar and punctuation like the back of your hand? The questions on this quiz aren't anything tricky but many college graduates don't do well answering them. How do you measure up?


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    My favorite music is alternative rock from the __________. 

    • A.

      90s

    • B.

      '90's

    • C.

      90's

    • D.

      '90s

    Correct Answer
    D. '90s
    Explanation
    Apostrophes are used for possession and for indicating that something was removed from a word (like in the contraction "don't," where the 'o' in "not" was removed). If a word isn't possessive, then it doesn't need apostrophe before the 's.' In this case, the 1990s don't possess anything, so no apostrophe is needed before the 's.' Because we removed the "19" from the word, however, an apostrophe IS needed before the '9.'

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  • 2. 

    Ethan Curtis wants to write a Christmas card from his family members. Which of the following is the correct way to write his last name?

    • A.

      Merry Christmas from the Curtis'

    • B.

      Merry Christmas from the Curtis's

    • C.

      Merry Christmas from the Curtises

    • D.

      Both A and B are correct.

    Correct Answer
    C. Merry Christmas from the Curtises
    Explanation
    Apostrophes are used for possession. If something is plural, but doesn't possess anything, then it doesn't need an apostrophe. In this sentence, members of the Curtis family don't possess anything, so their last name doesn't need an apostrophe. Because there are multiple members of the family sending the card, however, the last name needs to be plural. The rule is that if a word ends in an 's' and needs to be plural (but not possessive), then we add an 'es' at the end. So, "Curtises" is correct.

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  • 3. 

    Neither of the students _______ to be in the editing class.

    • A.

      Want

    • B.

      Wants

    Correct Answer
    B. Wants
    Explanation
    Just like in the first question, what matters here is the subject. "Neither" is a singular noun because it identifies a specific individual at a particular moment in time. If "neither" is singular, then the verb (to want) needs to be conjugated as a singular (in this case, "wants").

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  • 4. 

    Each of the drivers ___________ responsible for putting seatbelts on the passengers.

    • A.

      Is

    • B.

      Are

    Correct Answer
    A. Is
    Explanation
    What matters here is the subject. "Each" is a singular noun because it identifies a specific individual. If "each" is singular, then the verb (to be) needs to be conjugated as a singular (in this case, "is").

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  • 5. 

    Would you like to come to Whole Foods with Sarah and ______?

    • A.

      I

    • B.

      Me

    Correct Answer
    B. Me
    Explanation
    Try taking Sarah out of the sentence. Would you still say "I"? Probably not. If you have a prepositional phrase (the word "with" is a preposition here), then use "me" instead of "I."

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  • 6. 

    ________ did you step on?

    • A.

      Who

    • B.

      Whom

    Correct Answer
    B. Whom
    Explanation
    Best way to remember this? If you can answer the question with "him," as in "I stepped on him." Then you should used "whom." Both "him" and "whom" end in 'm' so it should be easy to remember.

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  • 7. 

    There are __________ cookies here than there were ten minutes ago. Who’s the punk that stole my snickerdoodles?

    • A.

      Less

    • B.

      Fewer

    Correct Answer
    B. Fewer
    Explanation
    "Less" is used for things that are hard to quantify, as in "I know less about myself than I did before." "Fewer" is used for things you can count, as in "there are now fewer snickerdoodles because that punk thought he deserved more than everybody else."

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  • 8. 

    Which sentence is punctuated correctly?

    • A.

      My three favorite pizza combinations are sausage peppers and onions mushrooms extra cheese and anchovies and hamburger sun-dried tomatoes pepperoni and sliced red potatoes.

    • B.

      My three favorite pizza combinations are: sausage, peppers, and onions, mushrooms, extra cheese, and anchovies, and hamburger, sun-dried tomatoes, pepperoni, and sliced red potatoes.

    • C.

      My three favorite pizza combinations are sausage, peppers, and onions; mushrooms, extra cheese, and anchovies; and hamburger, sun-dried tomatoes, pepperoni, and sliced red potatoes.

    Correct Answer
    C. My three favorite pizza combinations are sausage, peppers, and onions; mushrooms, extra cheese, and anchovies; and hamburger, sun-dried tomatoes, pepperoni, and sliced red potatoes.
    Explanation
    In complex lists, where there are grouped items in a list, you need a semicolon to separate the groups (otherwise you have a bunch of singular items separated by commas, but no clear indication as to how they are distinguishable from each other or grouped in sections). You don't use colons to introduce a list if there is a verb right before the list (in this case, "are" is the verb, so a colon should not be used).

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  • 9. 

    The president, as well as several other ___ executives, ___ of our proposal.

    • A.

      Top-level, approve

    • B.

      Top level, approves

    • C.

      Top-level, approves

    • D.

      Top level, approve

    Correct Answer
    C. Top-level, approves
    Explanation
    "Top-level" is being used as a single adjective, so it needs to be hyphenated. Whenever you have a string of words that function as one adjective (as in "my two-year-old daughter just ate my proposal," or "it's just a get-up-and-go kind of morning"), the words need to be hyphenated.

    In this sentence, "as well as other top-level executives" is separated by commas, making it commentary outside of the central part of the sentence, which is really about the president. So, in this instance, the subject is the president, which is singular, and so the verb "approve" needs to be conjugated with as a a singular.

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  • 10. 

    Assuming the CEO is doing the speaking, which punctuation is most correct?

    • A.

      The CEO was not optimistic. "Profits are down 18% from last year."

    • B.

      The CEO was not optimistic: "Profits are down 18% from last year."

    • C.

      The CEO was not optimistic, "Profits are down 18% from last year."

    • D.

      The CEO was not optimistic; "Profits are down 18% from last year."

    Correct Answer
    B. The CEO was not optimistic: "Profits are down 18% from last year."
    Explanation
    In this case, the colon is most correct. The period in the first answer is confusing because it indicates two completely distinct thoughts and we don't know who actually said the quote. The comma in the third answer is incorrect because the introductory clause "The CEO was not optimistic" doesn't properly lead into a quote; in fact, it is a complete sentence. If you want to use a comma, you have to re-word the sentence to say, "According the the CEO, who was not optimistic, "Profits are down...." The colon is better than the semicolon in the last answer because colons are used to directly lead one complete sentence into another complete sentence; colons suggest that there is something very important coming up to clarify the first statement.

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  • 11. 

    You’ll have to talk to ____________ about what they were doing at the chocolate factory.

    • A.

      Hubert—he’s Ms. O’Connor’s best friend—

    • B.

      Hubert, he’s Ms. O’Connor’s best friend,

    • C.

      Hubert. he’s Ms. O’Connor’s best friend.

    • D.

      Hubert- he’s Ms. O’Connor’s best friend -

    Correct Answer
    A. Hubert—he’s Ms. O’Connor’s best friend—
    Explanation
    If you ever want to put a sentence within a sentence, em dashes are the way to do it. In this case, the inserted sentence "he's Ms. O'Connor's best friend" provides important details to clarify the context. If the information was just superfluous and wasn't critical for clarity, parentheses would be more appropriate. If you want to use commas, as in answer 2, then avoid the complete sentence. Just say, "Hubert, Ms. O'Connor's best friend, ..."

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  • 12. 

    I just bought me 10 new ________.

    • A.

      DVDs

    • B.

      DVD's

    • C.

      DVDes

    Correct Answer
    A. DVDs
    Explanation
    Some will argue that when you use an acronym, an apostrophe is needed when you make the acronym plural. This is wrong. For clarity's sake, acronyms are always capitalized, so making them plural simply requires an 's.' Adding an apostrophe suggests some kind of possession. In this sentence, the DVDs don't own anything, so the apostrophe only creates confusion (and actually creates a sentence fragment).

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  • 13. 

    I just watched my favorite episode of ______________. a. The Simpsons. b. "The Simpsons." c. The Simpsons.  d. The Simpsons. 

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    Correct Answer
    C. C
    Explanation
    Entire series of television shows are italicized. If you want to indicate a specific episode, then the episode name will be in quotes. Remember, if it is a part of something bigger, then it is in quotes. If it is as big as it gets, then it is italicized. So: a book is italicized, its chapters are in quotations; a magazine title is italicized, its articles are in quotations; a CD album is italicized, its individual songs are in quotations.

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  • 14. 

    Choose the correct sentence. a. The German word for “water” is Wasser. b. The German word for ‘water’ is Wasser. c. The German word for water is “Wasser.” d. The German word for water is Wasser.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    Correct Answer
    A. A
    Explanation
    When you refer to a specific word in a sentence (water), you need to put it in quotation marks. If you use a foreign word in a sentence, you need to italicize it. You don't need to italicize AND put in quotation marks.

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  • 15. 

    Which sentence uses proper punctuation and capitalization?

    • A.

      A. As Jenny Smith noted in Making a Difference, “it is worth investigating every nuance, for the devil will be in the minutia.” (213)

    • B.

      B. As Jenny Smith noted in Making a Difference, “it is worth investigating every nuance, for the devil will be in the minutia” (213).

    • C.

      C. As Jenny Smith noted in Making a Difference, “It is worth investigating every nuance, for the devil will be in the minutia,” (213).

    • D.

      D. As Jenny Smith noted in Making a Difference, “It is worth investigating every nuance, for the devil will be in the minutia” (213).

    Correct Answer
    D. D. As Jenny Smith noted in Making a Difference, “It is worth investigating every nuance, for the devil will be in the minutia” (213).
    Explanation
    When introducing a quote, a comma should come before the quote. When quoting an entire sentence from the original author, the quoted sentence should be capitalized. When citing sources, the source should come after the quotation but before the period.

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  • 16. 

    Which one do you like?

    • A.

      Option 1

    • B.

      Option 2

    • C.

      Option 3

    • D.

      Option 4

    Correct Answer
    A. Option 1

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