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Practice Quiz #1 (Answers)

Part I: Identify the bolded words in the following sentences as a noun, an article, a pronoun, a verb, an adjective, an adverb, a preposition, a conjunction, or an interjection: 1. Jimmy plotted his revenge against his traitorous friends. [verb]

[noun] [preposition] [adjective]

2. Jenny is an avid reader of mystery novels. [(indefinite) article] [adjective] [adjective]

3. Jimmy decided on a plan, but he didn’t know to execute it. [(indefinite) article]

[(coordinating) conjunction] [pronoun] [verb]

Part II: Identify the independent (or main) clauses, subordinate clauses, and/or phrases in the following sentences: 1. [In a perfect world,] [the Ottawa Senators would have Roberto Luongo or Martin Brodeur as their goaltender.] [phrase]

[independent clause]

2. [After he had a heart-to-heart talk with his therapist,] [Martin Gerber realized that he had missed his calling][, so] [he finally retired from hockey to drive the zamboni.] [subordinate clause] [, + coordinating conjunction]

[independent clause] [independent clause]

3. [Gerber pursued his new career energetically,] [although he was unsure of himself and didn’t know exactly how to proceed.] [independent clause]

[subordinate clause]

Part III: Classify the following sentences according to their structures (simple, compound, complex, compound-complex): 1. [Although I’ve tried numerous ways to get students excited about sentence structures,] [I almost always fail.] [Complex: 1 subordinate clause + 1 independent clause]

2. [I want to do well in this class,] [so I’m going to study hard,] [even if it means missing the next Sens game.] [Compound-complex: 2 independent clauses + 1 subordinate clause]

3. [Writing this practice grammar quiz really isn’t all that much fun], but [I know it will help me do well on the upcoming quiz.] [Compound: 2 independent clauses (joined by a comma + a coordinating conjunction)]

Part IV: Focusing on punctuation, identify whether or not the following sentences are grammatically correct, and revise those that are not. Make minor changes only: add / subtract punctuation, add / subtract a missing / unnecessary coordinating conjunction, subject, or verb, and so on. Do not substantially rewrite the sentence. 1. This winter has been very long, I think it might never end. [Incorrect; 2 independent clauses here; a comma is not a enough to join them.] [3 options for correction: “… long, and I…” / “… long. I …” / “… long; I…”. A colon could work here, too, but the sentence structure doesn’t really call for it---clauses not in apposition.]

2. I went for a bicycle ride along the Ottawa River pathway which was particularly beautiful that day. [Incorrect; the phrase “which was particularly beautiful that day” is non-restrictive.] [1 option for correction: “… pathway, which…”.]

3. I went to a baseball game, and afterwards met up with a few friends downtown.

[Incorrect; only 1 independent clause here, and the comma separates the subject from the verb.] [2 options for correction: “… game, and afterwards I met…” / “… game and afterwards….”.]

4. I never realized how many students read Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, before coming to university. [Incorrect; Shakespeare has many plays, so “Shakespeare’s play” is not an apposite for “Hamlet.”] [1 option for correction: “… Shakespeare’s play Hamlet before…”.]

5. When I was at the game, I met: my aunt Melinda; my aunt Valerie; and my cousin Katrina. [Incorrect; what comes before the colon is not an independent clause, so the colon is not being used properly; secondly, the series here has no internal punctuation, so there’s no reason to use the semi-colons to separate the items in the series.] [2 options for correction: “When I was at the game, I met my aunt Melinda, my aunt Valerie, and my cousin Katrina” / “When I was at the game, I met the following people: my aunt Melinda, my aunt Valerie, and my cousin Katrina.]

6. The player’s were frustrated; it’s hard to win a game when your goalie can’t stop a puck. [Incorrect; the word following “player’s” is not followed by a noun, so “player’s” cannot be correct; all other uses of apostrophes in this sentence are OK.] [1 option for correction: “The players were frustrated…”.]

7. I’ve only got one thing on my mind this semester; writing a good final essay for ENG 1120. [Incorrect; what comes to the left of the semicolon (an independent clause) is not of equal grammatical value as what comes on the right of the semicolon (a phrase), so this semicolon is not being used properly.]

[2 options for correction: “… this month: writing…” (apposition---preferred option) / “… this month; I have to write a good…” (make the phrase into an independent clause, so now the semicolon is being used properly---involves some rewriting).]

8. Learning about commas isn’t terribly fun, interesting or engaging but I’m staying focused because I want to become a better writer. [Incorrect; list should be in serial comma, and the two independent clauses (“Learning about … or engaging” and “I’m staying … better writer”) must be joined by a comma + a coordinating conjunction.] [3 options for correction: “… terribly fun, interesting, or engaging, but I’m…” (preferred option) / “… terribly fun, interesting, or engaging. However, I’m staying…” / “… terribly fun, interesting, or engaging; however, I’m staying…”.]

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