Expect to be quizzed on the following. If an item has a *, expect it more.


    1.      *Nouns: Subject and Object. A noun is a person, place, thing or idea. It usually is either the subject of a sentence—it performs an action, including being—or an object—action is done to it. A compound subject is when two or more nouns share the same verb (Harry and Sally ate dinner).

    2.      Pronouns. A pronoun is any word that takes the place of a noun but is not as specific. These include words for people—“I,” “we,” “they,” etc.—and words for places and things—“both,” “some,” “there,” etc. 

    3.      *Pronouns—Subjective, Objective, Possessive Case. If a pronoun is the subject of a sentence (see #1 above), use the subjective case (“he did this, she is that”); if it is the object of a verb, use the objective case (“to him, to her”); if it shows possession, use the possessive case (“his, her, their,” etc.) This comes in handy using “who” vs. “whom.” “Who” is the subject, so use it when you’d use “he.” (“Who called you?”) “Whom” is the object, so use it when you’d use “him.” (“Whom did you call?”)

    4.      Gerunds, Infinitives. A gerund is an “-ing” verb used as a noun—as the subject or object of a sentence (ex: “Running is my hobby.” Or: “I like running.”) An infinitive is the word “to” + the root of a verb (“to run.”) It can be used as a noun also. (ex: “To run is my hobby.” Or: “I like to run.”)

    5.      *Noun Related Issues: Capitalization. Capitalize names, brand names, book and movie and article titles, geographic areas, days of the week, months, holidays, religions, nationalities, races, languages, and countries. Capitalize titles of people—Mom, Dad, Captain Courageous, Doctor Jones—when you use them as or with names; but do not capitalize those titles—my mom, my dad, my doctor—when you use them as a description (with “my” or “his/her/their/our”). Do not capitalize seasons (summer).

    6.      *Noun Related Issues: Showing Possession. Add ’s to show possession. Do not add ’s if there is nobody owning anything! (“Hundred’s of dollar’s” is wrong!) Do not add an apostrophe for possessive pronouns, which have possession built in (“it’s” only means “it is.” You wouldn’t write “her’s” would you?) For plurals or words that end in s already, just add an ’ (Dr. Jones’ whip) (Note: some say that an extra ’s—“Dr. Jones’s whip”—is also correct.). For plurals that do not end in s, add an ’s (women’s). For compound subjects, add an ’s to just the last one if they own the same thing (Greg and Alice’s wedding), but add an ’s to each if what own is different for each of them (Greg’s and Alice’s toes).



    1.      3 Types of Tenses: The regular past, present, and future tenses are obvious (I did, I do, I will do). The “perfect” tenses include a form of the word “have.” (Past Perfect: I had done. Present Perfect: I have done. Future Perfect: I will have done.) The “progressive forms,” which mean the action continues for a while, include the word(s) “was/am/will be” plus the –ing form of the verb. (“I was doing, I am doing, I will be doing.”)


    2.      *Active vs. Passive Voice. Active voice is stronger: I hit the ball. Passive voice has no guts: the ball was hit. Notice that the subject and object switch between active and passive voice. (In active voice “I” is the subject; in passive, “the ball” is the subject.) The only times worth using passive voice are when the subject—who did the action—doesn’t matter (“School was cancelled”), or when you want to downplay the role of the person who did the action (“Your car was damaged.”) 

    3.      *“Subjunctive Mood” (if I were… I would). When fantasizing or considering the future, “If I was” is wrong; you must say “If I were” (“If I were a millionaire, I would…”). The only time “If I was” is right is when considering the real life past: “If I was awake another ten minutes that night, I would have seen the U.F.O.”). So: if you can follow it with “I would/could (do),” you need to use “If I were.”  

    4.      Transitive” Verbs require a direct object. (“I kicked” doesn’t sound complete without an object: what did I kick? “I kicked the ball.”) Some verbs can be either transitive or not: When you say, “I ate,” ate is intransitive; when you say “I ate dinner,” ate is transitive. Consider “transitive” just a new vocab word.

    5.      *Verbals: Participle, Infinitive, Gerund. More vocab: When forms of verbs are used as nouns or adjectives, they get new names. As a group, all verbs used in other ways are called verbals. When a verb is used as an adjective, it is called a “participle.” A “present participle” is the –ing form (“Burning Man”). A “past participle” is the –ed form (“burned paper”). The rest is review from Nouns, #4: verbs used as nouns are called “gerunds” (“Wrestling is my sport.”); the “to + the root” form of the verb is known as the “infinitive,” and can be used as a noun.   



    1.      *Don’t use an adjective in place of an adverb.  Adjectives describe nouns. Adverbs describe verbs. The two can be similar but have slightly different forms: an adverb is often an the adjective form plus –ly. (Adjective: “graceful.” Adverb: “gracefully.”) People often incorrectly use the adjective form behind a verb (“She moves graceful” is incorrect; it should be “gracefully.” “She is graceful” is correct.) The most common mistake is with good/well. Good is an adjectives; well is an adverb. People look or feel well, not good. (To complicate things, though: "well" has an adjective meaning suggesting wellness. It's okay to say "I am well." It's just not okay to say "I'm doing good.")

    2.      *Don’t end a sentence with a preposition. Prepositions are those little connecting words that show relationships in place or time: over, under, on, in, along, before, after,--etc. In proper writing, don’t end a sentence with one. The word “which” helps. “I remember the path we walked along” will become “I remember the path along which we walked.” It can sound awkward, but you get used to it.

    3.       Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunctions. A conjunction is a joining word that shows relationships between ideas. Coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet) connect equal sentence parts. Subordinating conjunctions (because, although, if, when, since, until, as, before) create a dependent clause—meaning that part of the sentence may have a subject and verb, but it still can’t stand alone as a complete sentence. (Also, as a general rule you are not supposed to begin a sentence with a conjunction).

    Grammar Practice Quiz 1: Parts of Speech


    Circle each noun (1 point each). Label each one subject (SUB) or object (OBJ) (1 point each).

    1.      The dogs howled at the puppets.         (4 points)


    2.      The delicious-looking moon made my stomach rumble.          (4 points)


    3.      The pumpkin was crushed by Kibbles.       (4 points)


    Circle all pronouns (1 point per pronoun). 


    4.      Anyone can see that the driver is having trouble with her car. (2 points)

    5.      We went over to the driver and asked if she could use our help. (3 points)

    6.      Referring to gasoline, I told her, “You get some, girlfriend!” (4 points)


    Capitalization and Possession. Find one error in each of these sentences. Correct it.


    7.      Parker is captain of the girl’s softball team. 

    8.      The womens’ dresses were all made by Armani. 

    9.      Edgar and Evilyn’s toes were intertwined.

    10. I asked dad to drive me to Francis’ house.

    11. Sarah and Jessica’s house is in the south.


    Identify the following sentences as Active or Passive voice. (Write “A” or “P” in the blank.)


    12. Most American men love baseball.                              ________

    13. All the players have been given a new contract.            ________


    Change the following from active to passive voice. (Write the new sentence beneath the first.)

    14. Suzanne is baking mud cookies.


    15. Les and Wes have planned a huge puppet show.


    Change the following from passive to active voice. (Write the new sentence beneath the first.)


    16. Swimming will also be suggested. 


    17. After the games, dessert for everyone can be served.


    Circle the correct choice:


    18. If I was/were rich, I would also be afraid.


    19. If I was/were one minute earlier to the Post Office that day, I’d have been shot too. 


    Match the Verbal to its definition: (put the correct letter in the blank)


    20. Gerund             _____                          a. “to” + the root form of a verb

    21. Infinitive          _____                            b. –ing or –ed form of a verb used as an adjective

    22. Participle          _____                          c. –ing form of a verb used as a noun


    Circle each verbal. Then label it a gerund (GER), infinitive (INF), or participle (PAR).


    23. Lester wants to call his friends in New York City.

    24. Listening is not easy for some people.

    25. The delighted child squeals when the dog chases him.


    Circle the technically correct form—adjective or adverb—of the word.


    26. Austin won the match easy/easily

    27. This sure/surely seems like a rip-off. 

    28. Only the bad/badly ice skaters performed bad/badly

    29. I’m doing good/well, thanks. 

    30. She runs fast/quickly. 


    Prepositions. Fix the sentences below so that they are correct as formal writing.


    31. Notice the ease Carlos hits the ball with.

    32. I am the one she is sitting next to. 


    EXTRA CREDIT: (1 point each)

    Write each form of the verb (and object) phrase “eat paste.” Can you do all 12 basic forms the English language has to offer? The first one is done for you.

    1. Past:                                        I ate paste.
    2. Present:                                   I ___________________________________________.
    3. Future:                                     I ___________________________________________.
    4. Past Perfect:                            I ___________________________________________.
    5. Present Perfect:                        I ___________________________________________.
    6. Future Perfect:                          I ___________________________________________.
    7. Past Progressive:                      I ___________________________________________.
    8. Present Progressive:                 I ___________________________________________.
    9. Future Progressive:                   I ___________________________________________.
    10. Past Perfect Progressive:          I ___________________________________________.
    11. Present Perfect Progressive:      I ___________________________________________.
    12. Future Perfect Progressive:        I ___________________________________________.

Last Modified on August 17, 2016