Last week, I posted a grammar quiz….and the answers. In today’s post, I will explain the correct answers further. Here we go. . .
1. Maddie is the taller of the triplets, and Andy is the taller of the twins.Answer: Maddie is the tallest of the triplets, and Andy is the taller of the twins. Explanation: Use the -est(superlative) form of the adjective when comparing more than two!
2. Jeannie wished she were a princess, and she often acted as if she was!
Answer: Jeanie wished she were a princess, and she often acted as if she were!
Explanation: Use the subjunctive form of the verb for wishes and things that aren’t true. Click for more info.
3. Every boy on the team brought their track uniform.Answer: Every boy on the team brought his track uniform. Explanation: Every is singular, so the pronoun representing it later in the sentence should also be singular. In this case we know we are talking about only boys, so we can easily use his. Click for more info.
4. Who are you talking about?Answer: Whom are you talking about? Explanation: Who is used for the subject of a sentence. Whom is used for an object. In this sentence, it is the object of the preposition about. You could also say, “About whom are you talking.” Click here for more info.
5. There are 103 boys in the club, but there are only six girls!Answer: There are 103 boys in the club, but there are only 6 girls! Explanation: I received a lot of flack about this one! Yes, it is standard to spell out numbers under 10, and in humanities writing, all numbers under 100. However, if you have two numbers in a sentence, and they both refer to similar or the same things, you should write them in the same way.
6. When Steve drove by Doug, he waved at him.Answer: When Steve drove by Doug, Doug waved at him. There are other answers as well. Explanation: We don’t know who waved. Did Steve wave? Or did Doug wave? Somehow you need to rewrite the sentence to make it clear who waved.
7. Either Jane or Susan will perform her original composition.Answer: Correct as is. Explanation: Either…or takes a singular verb and singular pronoun. We know they are both female, so we say her.
8. He gave cookies to her and I.Answer: He gave cookies to her and me. Explanation: Take out her. He gave cookies to me. You wouldn’t say he gave cookies to I, would you? Click for more info.
9. It is they who donated all the money anonymously.Answer: Correct as is. Explanation: After the verb is, we use the pronoun that would be used as a subject, for example, it is they, it is she, etc.
10. I swam in the school pool every evening this week.Answer: I have swum in the school pool every evening this week. Explanation: The correct answer has put the verb in the present perfect tense (have swum) rather than the simple past tense. Why? The present perfect is used for something that happened in the past and is likely continuing. The simple past is used for something that is finished.
11. I feel really bad about the accident.Answer: Correct as is. Explanation: Bad is an adjective; badly is an adverb. After a verb of emotion (rather than an action verb), we use an adjective.
12. While I was at the library, I read about the Aztecs in the garden.Answer: While I was in the garden at the library, I read about the Aztecs. Explanation: The prepositional phrase about the Aztecs is misplaced. It should go near the word or words it describes. It is probably not the Aztecs who were in the garden; you were in the garden at the library.
13. He is taller than me, but shorter than her.Answer: He is taller than I, but shorter than she. Explanation: Put in the missing words to find the correct answer. He is taller than I (am), but shorter than she (is).
14. I have drunk all the milk, so we need more.Answer: Correct as is. Explanation: It is have drunk and not have drank.
15. I saw the boy whom they said got the touchdown.Answer: I saw the boy who they said got the touchdown. Explanation: Use who because it is the subject of got. Whom is used for objects, not subjects. You can see the answer by switching the sentence around: They said he got the touchdown. If you would use he in the sentence, you would use who. Click for more info.
16. Written by one of my favorite authors, I enjoyed every page of that book.Answer: Written by one of my favorite authors, every page of that book was enjoyable. Or I enjoyed every page of that book, which was written by one of my favorite authors. Explanation: The participial phrase at the beginning of the sentence needs to describe the word that comes right after it. Written by one of my favorite authors does not describe I. Click for more info.
17. She looks like she saw a ghost.Answer: She looks as if she saw a ghost. Explanation: Use like for a simple comparison where like is followed by a noun. Use as if or as though when both a subject and verb follow. Click for more info.
18. He chose my brother and myself to be on the hiring committee.Answer: He chose my brother and me to be on the hiring committee. Explanation: You cannot use myself unless the subject of the sentence is I. Click for more info.
19. These are my favorite type of apples.Answer: These are my favorite types of apples OR This is my favorite type of apple. Explanation: These is plural and type is singular. They must both be either singular or both plural.
20. Either my cousins or my uncle are coming with us.
Answer: Either my cousins or my uncle is coming with us.
Explanation: When you have or and on one side there is a plural noun (cousins) and on the other side is a singular noun (uncle), the verb agrees with the closer noun, in this case uncle, singular. So the verb is singular (is coming).
Next Week: The Punctuation Quiz!