How Well Do You Really Know Your Grammar Terminology?


By: Heather Cahill

6 Min Quiz

Image: lechatnoir/E+/gettyimages

About This Quiz

So, you know the grammar. But do you know the terms themselves? You'll need a big vocabulary in order to ace this quiz! Think back to English class where you learned about all of the different types of sentences, words and phrases. This quiz will test you on all types of grammar-related words – maybe even some that you've never heard of!

Do you know what words like participle, superlative and interrogative mean? Can you identify an example of a exclamatory sentence? Do you know a run-on sentence when you see one? If those are too easy for you, then tell us what the base form of a verb is! These questions might be a lot harder than you think!

Do you know the definition of a noun or a verb? Do you know what words like clause, contraction and conjugation mean? Do you know the meaning of adjunct? Try not to look in a dictionary while you complete this quiz!

So you were the top of your English class due to your impeccable grammar? You'll have to prove it to us. If you think you know your grammar terms without the help of a dictionary, take this quiz to see your score!

This word is used for a person, place or thing. What is it?

This might just be one of the easiest terms to remember! The correct term is a noun. As long as you remember the three "Ps," you'll always remember what a noun is.


Which of the following could be an interjection?

"Oh no!" is an example of an interjection. Interjections are any impulsive phrase that can stop the flow of the sentence.


Which of the following is an ellipsis?

An ellipsis is a series of three dots (...) that are used as a pause. Following the ellipsis, the sentence finishes itself where it left off.


What term is used for the main focus of a sentence?

This would be the subject of the sentence. The subject in this sentence, "The old car was getting rusty," is the car. This is because the rest of the sentence is in reference to it.


This comes before a verb. What is it?

An infinitive is a word that is in front of a verb. For example, the infinitive in the phrase "to run," would be the word "to."


Is it true or false that the term "base form" refers to verbs?

This is true. The base form of a verb is the verb by itself with no endings attached. For example, run, talk and jump are all examples of base form verbs.


What term is used for a verb form?

The correct term is participle. There are a few types of participles such as past participles and present participles. These are important, as they paint the picture for the tense that the activity happened in.


The word "the" is the only word of its kind in English. What is it?

The only word in the English language to be a definite article is "the." The only time that "the" is used is when the listener is aware who or what "the" is referring to.


Which of the following is used for a form of a sentence?

The correct term is a phrase. There are countless types of phrases such as verb phrases or absolute phrases. The word "phrase" is somewhat of a blanket term for all of the types.


Is it true or false that conjugation is the process of converting verb tenses?

This is true. The conjugation of verbs is determined by the subject of the sentence. For example, if the subject is "they," the conjugation of the verb "run" would be "ran."


What type of verb is the connector of a sentence?

Linking verbs do exactly as they sound, link a sentence together. An example of a sentence with a linking verb is: "The barbecue smells amazing." The linking verb in this sentence would be the word "smells."


What term is used for words such as who or whose?

The correct term is relative pronoun. The purpose of these words is to give an introduction. For example, "Bill, who is Jenny's son, will be coming over tonight."


Which of the following terms are used for action words?

A verb is an action word in a sentence. For example, the verb in the sentence "He walked to the store," is "walked." Walking is the action that is being completed in the sentence.


Which term is used to describe the act of someone doing something within a sentence?

This is active voice, which is one of two voices in writing. The other voice is passive voice, which means that something is being acted upon, rather than performing the action.


Is it true or false that a contraction is a type of noun?

This is false. A contraction is where two words are put together to form one. A few examples of contractions include, isn't, would've, can't and they'll.


Which of the following terms is a blanket term for something added to either the beginning or end of a word?

The correct term is the affix. There are two different types, which are the prefix and the suffix. The prefix goes ahead of the word and the suffix goes behind.


Which term is used for a comma that connects two independent phrases?

This is called a comma splice. It is a grammatical error that is placed in the middle of two phrases. For example, "I love New York, it's a beautiful city" would be an example of a comma splice.


What works alongside a noun?

An adjective is a word that works alongside a noun as it helps to describe it. For example, the adjective in the sentence "Peter is very short" is the word short. It is used to describe Peter.


Which type of sentence uses two different types of clauses?

This sentence is known as a complex sentence. They are made up of two different clauses, a main clause and a dependent clause.


Is it true or false that "function" refers to the purpose of a word in a sentence?

This is true. Each word in a sentence has a function. For example, in the sentence "I ran to the store," the purpose of the word "I" is to act as the subject and give context to the sentence.


What type of clause cannot be on its own?

A dependent clause cannot stand on its own and needs to be part of a full sentence to make sense. For example, the dependent clause in "I ran all the way up the hill," is "all the way up the hill."


Which term is used for a sentence that is incomplete?

Just like the name suggests, fragment is used for a sentence that is incomplete. Here is an example: "Because it was time to confront them." This sentence needs to have a little more to it to make it complete.


Which word could be considered an interrogative?

An interrogative is a word that starts off a question, hence the name "interrogative." All of the 5 "Ws" can be included under this term.


What type of verbs end in something other than -ed or -t?

An irregular verb has unique endings that are not like your regular verb. Some examples of irregular verbs are clung, drawn and hung.


Which of the following words would be a superlative?

Bravest is a superlative because it is used in a fashion that means the subject is of the highest level of bravery. Superlatives always refer to the best or highest ranking.


What does an adjunct add to a sentence?

Adjunct is the subject of adding more detail into a phrase. For example, instead of saying "George left," you could say, "George left the party early."


What is cohesion?

Cohesion is a well-crafted sentence that makes sense and has a clear subject. It can also refer to a complete body of writing.


What kind of sentence is filled with emotion?

Exclamatory sentences are very emotional sentences. They can be happy, sad or even angry, and most often contain an exclamation mark.


What term is used for direct orders used in writing?

An imperative sentence is a direct order that is implied to be referencing the person that they are speaking to. An example of this is, "Go to the store."


Is it true or false that "lexicon" refers to the vocabulary of someone?

This is true. Lexicon refers to a person's vocabulary. Lexicons differ for everyone, as one person might have a larger lexicon than the next.


What is it called when a sentence has two complete phrases without punctuation?

This is called a run-on sentence. Here is an example of one: "I went to the store I couldn't find the frozen food aisle."


Which of the following words is used for a word that works with a verb?

An adverb works alongside a verb in order to give further meaning to it. An example of this would be, "The speech was given beautifully," where "beautifully" would be the adverb.


Which term is used for a word that helps to determine a noun?

Articles are words that do this. These words include "a," "the" and "an."


What term is used when someone is speaking of themselves?

This is referred to as first person. An example of first person would be: "I went to the mall today to buy some new clothes." The subject is speaking of themselves and their actions.


Is it true or false that "negative" is words like no or nothing?

This is true. Negatives are important in English and also include words like hardly or weren't. Double negatives however, are an incorrect usage of two of these negatives.


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