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How Is Your Grammar Fitness?

May 26, 2014 by in category Blogs with 0 and 0
Home > Writing > Blogs > How Is Your Grammar Fitness?

Our upcoming OCCRWA Online Class is Grammar that Matters with MM Pollard, editor with Black Velvet Seductions and Grammar Teacher Extraordinaire. She joins us today to talk about the class and to give everyone a little quiz:


Today, almost everyone, it seems to me, is studying, promoting, or writing about physical fitness. I Yahooed “physical fitness” and got over eight million hits, yes the number 8 with 6 zeroes following it.

The TV show The Biggest Loser promotes the goal of becoming physically fit by offering money to the person who loses the most weight. Many fitness clubs have the same contests and offer prizes for their biggest losers.

But what about grammar fitness?

I was curious after finding over eight million hits for “physical fitness” on the Internet, so I Yahooed “mental fitness” and got 363,000 hits.

Raise your hand if you think The Big Bang Theory promotes mental fitness. I’m undecided. The smart characters are dorky, don’t you think?

But what about grammar fitness?

I admit it—I’m a grammar geek. I Yahooed “grammar fitness” and got 5,760 hits, most of which referred to one computer program named Grammar Fitness.

A computer program is what I found. Can’t think of a TV show that promotes grammar fitness? Can you? Let me know, seriously.

Notice a trend here? Obviously, people are more concerned about the way they look than about the way their mind and their language work.

Oh, but they should be concerned, especially writers. Why? Because every time writers write, they use grammar to express their thoughts. Good grammar usage equals clear thoughts. Bad grammar usage equals muddled thoughts.

Now, which would you rather read, the clear thoughts of a writer or her muddled thoughts? 

I ask you, “How is your grammar fitness?” Find out by taking this short quiz. You may have more than one correct answer, so be careful. The answers are at the end of the quiz.

1.   Give the four principal parts of the verb “to drag.”

2.   Which sentence shows correct subject-verb agreement?

a.   Mrs. Simmons or her twelve children likes to play loud music at night.

b.   Mrs. Simmons or her twelve children like to play loud music at night.

 3.   Which sentence shows correct subject-verb agreement?

a.   My classmates and I, along with my teacher, goes to Chicago on a class trip in May.

b.   My classmates and I, along with my teacher, go to Chicago on a class trip in May.

 4.   Which sentence shows correct subject-verb agreement?

a.   The child hugging her stuffed animals are my niece.

b.   The child hugging her stuffed animals is my niece.

 5.   Which sentence shows correct pronoun-antecedent agreement?

a.   Everyone should listen to their own heart.

b.   Everyone should listen to his own heart.

 6.   Which sentence shows correct pronoun-antecedent agreement?

a.   All of the pie was gone in about five minutes.

b.   All of the pies were gone in about five minutes. 

 7.   Which sentence shows correct comparison?

a.   There is no woman quite like my aunt.

b.   There is no other woman quite like my aunt.

8.   Which sentence shows correct comparison?

a.   Harry likes Allison much better than he likes Bethany.

b.   Harry likes Allison much better than Bethany does.

c.   Harry likes Allison much better than Bethany.

9.   Fill in the blank with the correct preposition.

a.   We tried ___ stop the car.

b.   He never argues ___ his wife.

c.   I am grateful ___ you __ your assistance.

d.   Pat applied ___ admission ___ the university.

e.   Scuba diving is different ___ snorkeling.

f.    She dropped the expensive vase ___ accident.

g.   I have developed feelings ___ Helen.

Answers are right here.

1.       Give the four principal parts of the verb “to drag.”

Present: drag

Present participle: dragging

Past: dragged

Past participle: dragged

 2.   Which sentence shows correct subject-verb agreement?

b.  Mrs. Simmons or her twelve children like to play loud music at night.

3.   Which sentence shows correct subject-verb agreement?

b.  My classmates and I, along with my teacher, go to Chicago on a class trip in May.

4.   Which sentence shows correct subject-verb agreement?

b.  The child hugging her stuffed animals is my niece.

5.   Which sentence shows correct pronoun-antecedent agreement?

b.  Everyone should listen to his own heart.   Okay, I’m a purist!

6.   Which sentence show correct pronoun-antecedent agreement?  Both are correct.

a.  All of the pie was gone in about five minutes.

b.  All of the pies were gone in about five minutes. 

7.   Which sentence shows correct comparison?

a.  There is no other woman quite like my aunt.

8.   Which sentence shows correct comparison?  A and B are correct.

a.  Harry likes Allison much better than he likes Bethany.

b.  Harry likes Allison much better than Bethany does.

9.   Fill in the blank with the correct preposition.

a.  We tried ___ stop the car.  TO

b.  He never argues ___ his wife.  WITH

c.  I am grateful ___ you __ your assistance.  TO   FOR

d.  Pat applied ___ admission ___ the university. FOR   TO

e.  Scuba diving is different ___ snorkeling.  FROM

f.  She dropped the expensive vase ___ accident.  BY

g.  I have developed feelings ___ Helen.  FOR

 
So, how did you do? If you think you need improvement, or just a grammar refresher, I’d love to see you in class!

 

MM Pollard,

Editor, Black Velvet Seductions

 
It’s Alina, back again. Registration is now open for MM’s upcoming workshop, Grammar that Matters, which begins June 16th. 
 
Click here for more information and to register for this month-long workshop.
 
Alina K. Field
Online Class Coordinator

 

 

 

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