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Grammar Quiz

Updated on February 21, 2014

Two Kinds of People

There are two kinds of people: those who use standard grammar and them what doesn't.

It's a variation on an old joke, but there's some truth to it. We may not all fall squarely into one of those two categories, but most of us lean one way or the other. We either observe a certain standard when we write or speak or we figure that people know what we mean even if we don't follow a set of arbitrary rules.

Regardless of which kind of person you are, this quiz will test your knowledge of standard English grammar and usage. Whether you choose to use it in your speaking and writing is whole different issue.

Homophones

Let's start with homophones. They drive some people crazy -- both those who can't seem to get a handle on them and those who can't stand seeing them misused.

Homophones are words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings. They may be spelled the same, such as bat (the flying mammal) and bat (the equipment used in baseball or cricket). But the homophones in this quiz are all spelled differently.

The Must-Have Little Book for Writers

Every writer needs a copy of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. It doesn't matter whether you're writing the great American novel, articles for your local newspaper, or Squidoo lenses, this is the one manual you must have.

At only slighter more than 100 pages, it is concise and easy to easy to use as a reference. But if you have even the slightest interest in language, you'll find yourself reading it from cover to cover.

There is a reason there are more than one million of these in print. It is truly a pleasure.

Punctuation

Judging by the prose some writers produce, you would think they have salt shakers full of periods, commas, and other punctuation marks sitting on their desks. And when they finish writing a piece, they give it a good shake, allowing punctuation to fall haphazardly, landing wherever it might.

We're a little more deliberate in the way we punctuate, right? Let's see how you do.

Grammar Police or Grammar Delinquent

There is a battle waged on the internet every day between those who believe the world would a more pleasant place if people would just follow a few basic rules of grammar and others who believe that as long as they get their point across it just doesn't matter.

Which side are you on?

I'm much more likely to take you seriously if you can form a simple declarative sentence without multiple errors.

I'm much more likely to take you seriously if you can form a simple declarative sentence without multiple errors.

Submit a Comment

  • Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

    I love diagramming sentences.

  • benjamindlee 3 years ago

    Grammar says a lot more about a person than just the actual punctuation and so forth (as I type knowing I don't use proper grammar :).

  • Melanie Wilcox 3 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

    I say grammar rules! I'm a stickler for proper grammar. I can't even shorten words and use abbreviations in phone text messages. In fact, I use proper punctuation in texts as well. God forbid if I get the dreaded "k" back. -eheh

  • Deborah Carr 3 years ago from Orange County, California

    I try to be more understanding when I realize that English is not the first language for many people. However, some people don't even seem to try!

  • Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

    "Gotta" go with the rules. There are times to have a bit of fun as well.

  • sybil watson 3 years ago

    If you want to write, you need to be able to make yourself understood without spelling errors and improper syntax.

  • John Dyhouse 3 years ago from UK

    If you are trying to be an expert and want people to take you seriously you are much more likely to achieve this by showing that you are educated to a certain degree.

  • BarbaraCasey 3 years ago

    I'm a bit of a grammar and spelling fussbudget. I like to see the right words used well.

  • Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

    It's not my fault. I was raised that way.

  • pbovenkamp 3 years ago

    But I generally keep my opinion to myself regarding the grammar in other people's posts.

I have better things to do with my life than fret over a bunch of arbitrary rules of grammar.

Submit a Comment

  • Brian Stephens 3 years ago from France

    I really don't mind as long as I can work it out what was meant. But getting the punctuation correct makes it easier to do that.

  • norma-holt 3 years ago

    There are many using the internet who have no knowledge of grammar. I am glad that they are in there having a go and I can overlook the errors. As long as they make sense I accept their effort.

  • MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 3 years ago from Washington State

    My writing starts here first, miss rebellious just had to get the words out, then super editor, how well I was trained, thank you English teacher, takes over so I get to publish it, fun stuff.

Confusing and Misused Words

Okay, enough punctuation! Let's get back to some words that are often confused or misused. With the homophones above, it was about which spelling to use (because the words were pronounced identically). These words have similar pronunciations, but they aren't identical. So these can mess you up when you're speaking as well as when you're writing.

The Elements of Grammar

Margaret Shertzer's The Elements of Grammar is intended as a companion for Strunk and White's The Elements of Style (above). It doesn't quite measure up to that important book, but then nothing does. If you have Strunk and White's book, this isn't a bad addition. But if you only buy one language book, get The Elements of Style.

Pronouns

A pronoun is a word that can be used in place of a noun. But you probably wouldn't have lasted to question 21 of a grammar and usage quiz if you didn't know that. Let's see what else you know.

How did you do?

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    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      I got two of the punctuation questions wrong, otherwise perfect(ish) ha! This was really fun - thanks!

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      @MelanieKaren: "He bought lunch for ____." I always drop the proper name from the sentence if I cannot remember the rule.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 3 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      I need to study a bit more, but I am getting their (mistake on purpose!

    • benjamindlee profile image

      benjamindlee 3 years ago

      100% YES!!!!!!

    • BrianRS profile image

      Brian Stephens 3 years ago from France

      I did pretty well, but not a perfect score, I got a few wrong.

    • blestman lm profile image

      blestman lm 3 years ago

      Not bad for someone who didn't like English class

    • MelanieKaren profile image

      Melanie Wilcox 3 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @MelanieKaren: woohoo! I just received the Squid 50 Quizzes trophy. :) -eheh thanks

    • MelanieKaren profile image

      Melanie Wilcox 3 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      -heh. This was fun, but darn it! I got one wrong >.< For, "He bought lunch for Susan and ________." I chose "I." -doubt I'll be able to break that one though.

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      I did surprisingly well, I did however miss the compliment one! I didn't know that ;)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 3 years ago

      @Gypzeerose: I didn't have a perfect score. :(

    • Dave Lynch profile image

      David Edward Lynch 3 years ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

      I got a few wrong but overall I did well, thanks for the quiz!

    • profile image

      pier-blandon 3 years ago

      PERFECTO MUNDO ! I'M SO PROUD !!!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 3 years ago

      not bad and a well done quiz. Only a couple of errors.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 3 years ago

      So much fun!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Very well. It's always good to keep up on these things. Enjoyed my visit and giving it a tweet.

    • profile image

      Marelisa 3 years ago

      Fantastic. This was fun!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      Pretty well.

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 3 years ago from Washington State

      Oh, thanks for giving us the answer on #24! I LOVE quizzes, very helpful, thanks for the points too. Yes, I don't mind relearning these skills when it is fun like this!

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 3 years ago from UK

      Not sure if my downfall was the difference between english and american usage. I will have to check to make sure that I am nnot in the wrong. Most of the words I managed to get right however.

      Well done great quiz!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Fun way to brush up on the skills!

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 3 years ago

      Excellent quiz! I hope you don't mind that I linked to your quiz from my spelling amnesia lens.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Definitely a fun - and useful - quiz!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 3 years ago

      I hit the wrong button on the Michael Jordan question, but otherwise aced the exam. Very well written and fun!

    • Eric Mayo profile image

      Eric Mayo 3 years ago

      Ace!