Good grammar skills are essential.

grammar quiz

You'll use them when you write papers and take exams for classes, in your college admission essay, and on standardized tests. You won't leave them behind when you graduate, either: you'll rely on these skills when you write cover letters for job applications, professional emails, thank-you notes, blog posts... We could go on and on, but why not put your skills to the test? Try the exercise below to see if your grammar knowledge makes the grade. 

Choose the phrase that correctly replaces the underlined part of the sentence. Choose A if you think the underlined phrase is correct.


1. Blair thought Kati's hairstyle was the most unique, but whom had designed her hideous dress?

(A) was the most unique, but whom had designed
(B) was the most unique, but who designed
(C) to be the most unique, but whom had designed
(D) was unique, but who had been designing
(E) was unique, but who had designed

Answer: (E) was unique, but who had designed

"Unique" is an absolute adjective; you can't be more or less unique. That gets rid of A, B, and C. Choice D uses the past perfect continuous ("had been designing") for no good reason. Pas perfect is more appropriate because it makes clear that the dress was designed at an earlier time than the moment Blair had this thought.




2. The suits which hung on the rack were made for Chuck and I.

(A) which hung on the rack were made for Chuck and I
(B) which hung on the rack were made for Chuck and me
(C) that were hanging on the rack having been made for Chuck and I
(D) that hung on the rack were made for Chuck and me
(E) hanged on the rack and they were made for me and Chuck

Answer: (D) that hung on the rack were made for Chuck and me

"That" is better than "which", because the clause "that were made for Chuck and me" defines which dresses we mean. Also, the clause is not set off by commas, which is another indicator that "which" would not be appropriate. That eliminates A and B. In C, the clause "having been made" functions as an adjective, leaving the sentence with no verb. Also in A and C the pronoun case is incorrect: made for "me", not made for "I". Choice E is awkward and uses "hanged", which only applies to people (grotesquely enough), not suits.




3. In 1978, a low point for fashion, great amounts of people wear polyester blazers.

(A) great amounts of people wear
(B) great amounts of people were wearing
(C) great numbers of people wore
(D) a great amount of people wore
(E) large numbers of people are wearing

Answer: (C) great numbers of people wore

"Amount" applies to nouns you cannot count, such as "water." Cross out A, B, and D. E has a tense problem; the sentence is referring to 1978, so you need the past tense ("wore"), not present continuous ("are wearing").




Want more grammar exercises, or to brush up on your skills? Check out our book Grammar Smart. It's a guide to perfect usage, and packed with drills and quizzes.

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