Can You Pick the Grammatically Correct Sentence?

By: Jennifer Post

Can You Pick the Grammatically Correct Sentence?
Image: Getty Images / Moment / Carol Yepes

About This Quiz

We live in a day and age where Internet language is creeping its way into the way we speak and write. Abbreviations are all the rage with texting and instant messaging, mixing up the spelling of words like "doughnut" and "donut" based on how big companies spell it, and completely omitting punctuation is becoming increasingly more popular.

But let's go back. Back to the days of spelling tests, sentence structure and learning the difference between verbs, adjectives and nouns. Do you remember in elementary school learning the basics of the English language? Where did we lose that long the way? People these days have a need for instant gratification, and a way to achieve that is to shorten our speech and get our point across as quickly as possible. 

The trouble with that is, the one thing that people used to look to for official rulings in situations of misspellings and mispronunciations was the dictionary. But the dictionary lost a little bit of credibility as soon as the word "bootylicious" made its official debut. So if you're ever questioning whether or not you are spelling something correctly, pronouncing something correctly=, or using the right comma, turn to this quiz! Can you find all the grammatically correct sentences?

What sentence below has the correct comma usage?
Many scientists, such as Einstein, have beards.
To separate nonessential words from the rest of the sentence, use commas around those words. If used correctly, the sentence should still make complete sense if you take those words out.
Many scientists such as Einstein, have beards.
Many scientists, such as Einstein have beards.
Many scientists such as, Einstein, have beards.

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Which sentence below uses the semi-colon correctly?
Some people; like bacon other people prefer sausage.
Some people like bacon other people; like sausage.
Some people like bacon; other people prefer sausage.
A semicolon is used to join two separate clauses that are closely related in topic into one sentence. This is helpful to prevent having a bunch of short, choppy sentences in your writing.
Some people like; bacon other people prefer; sausage.

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Which sentence below uses infer/imply correctly?
I didn't mean to infer that you didn't like her.
I didn't mean to imply that you didn't like her.
"To imply" is something that the speaker does, while "to infer" is something the listener does about something the speaker said. They are often used interchangeable, but they should not be, and are entirely different words with different meanings.
I didn't mean that you didn't like her, imply.
I didn't mean that you didn't like her, infer.

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Which word is possessive?
They're
Their
"Their" is possessive, meaning that whatever follows that word is owned by someone. "Their" is always followed by a noun.
There
Tear

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Which of the following sentences contains a "danger" word?"
I must get home at 12.
If the clock strikes 12, then I must go home.
"Danger" words are called such because they introduce a thought that requires a follow-up clause, and many people forget them. Three most common danger words are "if," "when," and "because."
Twelve o'clock is when I must be home.
I'm expected home at 12.

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Which of the following sentences is a run-on sentence?
There was an issue with my credit card but I called the credit card company but no one was able to fix it.
A run-on sentence is a sentence that contains multiple independent clauses that are not separate by any punctuation, or incorrect punctuation. They should not be used, even sparingly.
There was an issue with my credit card. I called the credit card company but no one was able to fix it.
I called the credit card company because there was an issue with my credit card; no one was able to fix it.
No one at the credit card company was able to fix the issue with my credit card.

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What sentence has the proper parallel structure?
Will you be shopping, or to run?
At the party, there will be eating and to play games.
He enjoys to play guitar and singing.
I like reading books and drinking tea.
Parallel structure refers to words keeping the same tense and the way the words match each other. If you use a verb ending in -ing, all other verbs in that same sentence must also end in -ing, for example.

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Which of the sentences below contains a sentence fragment?
I still watch all of the cooking channels. Even after what happened.
A sentence fragment is one that doesn't have a subject, a verb, or both. It lacks an independent clause and therefore, is not a complete sentence.
I still watch all of the cooking channels, even after what happened.
Even after what happened, I still watch all of the cooking channels.
I still watch, even after what happened, all of the cooking channels.

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Which sentence has a correctly placed modifier?
While walking on the beach, she spotted a man's shiny sunglasses.
A modifier is a describing word, so think of what is being described. In the example above, the sunglasses are shiny, not the man.
While walking on the beach, she spotted a shiny man's sunglasses.
While walking on the beach, she spotted a man's sunglasses, shiny.
While walking on the beach, a shiny man's sunglasses were spotted.

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Which sentence makes the most sense?
My mom lost my sister in the mall once, but when she found her, she was so happy.
When my mom lost my sister in the mall, she was so happy when she found her.
My mom was so happy when she found my sister in the mall.
This common mistake is called a vague pronoun. Is the "she" referring to the mom or the sister? It should be clear in the sentence who the pronoun is referring to. If you can't make it clear, be more specific with the subject.
My sister got lost separated from my mom but in the mall but she was so happy that she found her.

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Which sentence below uses the correct form of comparison?
My biscuits were fluffier, tastier and healthier.
My biscuits were fluffy, tasty, healthy.
My biscuits were fluffy, tasty healthier
My biscuits were fluffier, tastier and healthier than yours
In a comparison situation, a lot of people forget the part of the sentence that states what they're comparing. If you choose to structure your sentence this way, make sure it is a complete comparison.

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Which sentence below refers to a business or entity correctly?
To keep up with competition, Apple stepped up their design game.
To keep up with competition, Apple knew they needed to step up their design game.
To keep up with competition, Apple had to step up its design game.
When using a company or an entity in a sentence, you should never use plural terms when referring to it later in the sentence. Since we don't identify genders to companies, it is easy to see where that desire to use "they" comes from, but it should be avoided as it is not grammatically correct.
Apple stepped up their design game in order to keep up with competition.

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Which sentence is worded correctly?
Jim is the guy that has green eyes.
Jim is the guy which has green eyes/
Jim is the guy who has green eyes.
When writing about a person, you always use "who" and not "that." "That" has become acceptable in everyday conversations, but it's a slippery slope. You wouldn't want to end up using it professionally because you got so used to saying it casually.
Jim is the guy whom has green eyes.

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Which sentence below features a double negative?
She was overweight and had crooked teeth.
The movie wasn't that great, but at least the popcorn was edible.
I didn't want no popcorn with that horrible movie.
This is a classic example of bad grammar. Just like math, two negatives equal a positive, so if you didn't want no popcorn, you do, in fact, want popcorn.
Even the brightest rainbow couldn't turn this day around.

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What is the subject in the following sentence: "All the girls over there are drinking wine."
Wine
All the girls
The subject of a sentence tells you who the rest of the sentence is about. Include any modifiers to the subject as well, as there is a difference between "girls" and "all the girls."
Girls
There

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What is the predicate in the following sentence: "All the girls over there are drinking wine."
Over there
Drinking wine
The predicate is the action to the subject. So if "all the girls" is the subject, to figure out the predicate, look at the sentence to see what action the girls are performing.
Are
Wine

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Which sentence below has the correct capitalizations?
When does the President leave office?
When does the president leave office?
The only time the word "president" is capitalized is when it precedes the president's name, or is being used in place of the person's actual name, such as Mr. President.. Other than that, it should always be lower case.
When does President leave office
When does president Trump leave office?

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Which word below is not an adverb?
Eventually
Never
The common misconception is that all adverbs end in -ly and all words ending in -ly are adverbs. That is false. When looking for the adverb, look for the words that describe how, where, or when something happens.
Diligently
Bubbly

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Which sentence below has a transitive verb?
I sent a postcard from my vacation.
Verbs can either be transitive or intransitive. The former needs a direct object, while the latter cannot have one. "Sent" is the transitive verb, while "a postcard" is the direct object.
The postcard arrived.
All the postcards have been sent, and my vacation ended.
My postcard never arrived.

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In the sentence, "Mia shot the puck across the ice," what are the nouns?
Mia, puck, ice
A noun is either a person, a place, or a thing. In the example above, there are three words that fit that description. The word "across" is a preposition.
Ice
Puck
Across

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Which sentence below uses the correct plural form of "cactus"?
There were three cactuses in her yard.
There were three cacte in her yard.
There were three cacti in her yard.
There are a lot of plural words that don't just add an "s" at the end, and "cactus" is one of them. The plural is actually "cacti" although others have become acceptable in casual speech.
There were three cactus' in her yard.

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Which of the below is a compound sentence?
Amy ate turkey. She got really full.
Amy ate turkey, and she got really full.
A compound sentence uses words like "and," "or," or "but" to connect two independent clauses. This is used to prevent short, choppy sentences in writing.
The turkey made Amy really full.
Eating turkey makes you full.

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Which sentence below uses the correct abbreviation for the word "pint"?
The recipe called for a pnt of milk.
The recipe called for a pt of milk.
Abbreviations can be tricky because there is seemingly no rhyme or reason to how things are abbreviated. The word "pint" for example, is abbreviated using the first and last letter, but the word "gallon" uses the first three letters.
The recipe called for a pint of milk.
The recipe called for a pi of milk.

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Where is the error in the following sentence: "Its always a pleasure speaking with you."
Always, because it's hyperbolic language.
Its, because it should be "it's."
"Its" is used when referring to an object, whereas "it's" is used to bring together the words "it" and "is." If you're ever in doubt, try saying the sentence with the words "it" and "is" instead of the "its" and if it makes sense, put in the apostrophe.
It should read "speaking to you."
There are no errors.

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Which sentence below features a common grammar error?
The outside bar is open, and it is first come, first serve.
Without the "d" at the end of "serve" it makes it seem like the person first to arrive at the outside bar will be serving everyone else. Since that is not the intention of the phrase, the "d" is very important, but often gets overlooked, especially when the phrase is delivered verbally.
The outside bar is open, and it is first come, first served.
The outside bar is first come, first served.
We run the outside bar on a first come, first served basis.

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How does one know where an apostrophe goes in a possessive context?
It goes in between the last letter of the word and an "s."
To indicate that something belongs to someone, you would put the apostrophe before the "s," as in "It's the girl's cake." There are other ways to use an apostrophe, but that is the correct way to show possession.
It goes at the end.
It goes between a consonant and an "s."
It depends on the word.

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Which sentence below uses the words "fewer" or "less" correctly?
There are fewer people here than when we started.
"Fewer" refers to something you can actually count, whereas "less" refers to a commodity like water or sand; something you can't really count. It can be tricky, so if you aren't sure, look it up.
There are less people here than when we started.
The sign says 10 items or less.
There are less grains of sand at this beach.

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What about this sentence is incorrect: "I accepted her invite"?
It should read "accept" not "accepted"
It should read "invitation" not "invite"
The word "invite" is a verb, so therefore, cannot be accepted as a thing, it can only be done as an action. The "invitation" is the noun that you are accepting.
It should read "Her invite has been accepted."
It is an incomplete sentence.

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Which sentence below is correct?
I went for a walk and then drank some water.
The word "then" is used when listing timely events. The other version, "than," is used when comparing two or more things.
I went for a walk then drank some water.
I went for a walk, than drank some water.
I went for a walk and than drank some water.

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Which sentence below uses the correct "lie" or "lay"?
I am going to lie down.
The form "lie" doesn't need an object, so it can be used as an action. "Lay" must have an object following it, but it is also the past-tense of "lie" so it can be used as an action only if a time in the past is also used in the sentence.
I am going to lay down.
I am going to lie this blanket on the couch.
Lay on the couch with me.

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Of the sentences below, which one is correct?
I am not a good singer, nor a good dancer.
I am neither a good singer, nor a good dance.
"Nor" is only used in before the second in a series of alternatives and only when "neither" introduces the first. "Or" is used when "not" is used to introduce the first, and "or" is used before the second alternative.
I am neither a good singer, or a good dancer.
I am nor a good singer or a good dancer.

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Why is the following sentence incorrect: "Which side of the bed are you sleeping on?"
Sentences should never end on a preposition.
A preposition is a positioning word, and should never be used at the end of a sentence. The correct version of the sentence above is "On which side of the bed are you sleeping."
Sentences shouldn't start with "which."
The sentence should start with "Of which."
The end of the sentence should say "in" not "on."

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What example below is a proper use of "since?"
Since I graduated, I've worked and started a family.
"Since" refers to time, while "because" refers to causation. When you are using "since" it must be used with the correct verb tense since it does refer to time.
I'm out of the office since you last called.
I've left that job since we last spoke.
We've been doing it this way since now.

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What mistake appears in the following sentence: "He went to work for a while."
He went to work "awhile" not "for a while."
"A while" and "awhile" are not interchangeable. "Awhile" is an adverb meaning "for a while" and "a while" is a noun.
"Went" should be "goes."
It is an incomplete sentence
It is a run-on sentence.

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Which sentence below is correct?
I'm trying to raise capitol for my business.
I like the use of capital letters on the Capitol building.
"Capital" refers to uppercase letters, money, or the seat of the government. "Capitol" refers to the building where the government sits, and nothing else.
I love visiting the capital building.
I've been told I talk in all capitol letters.

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