English Grammar Quiz

Articles, Colons, Semi-colons, Adjectives, and Adverbs

If you need to refresh your memory before you take this quiz, here are the lessons:

Pick the choice in parentheses that best completes the sentence. Answers and explanations can be found at the end of the quiz.

  1. (The / A) staff meeting has been moved to Thursday.
  2. The following items are on the agenda for today ( : / ; ) the grand opening of our midtown location and construction of our booth for the spring expo.
  3. We have been waiting over (a / an) hour for the meeting to start.
  4. Although the candidate list has not been officially announced, Ellen is the (presumptive / presumptively) nominee for the new position.
  5. I thought I would never feel comfortable speaking up in meetings ( : / ; ) however, I now frequently participate in our weekly staff roundtable thanks to the experienced teachers at the English Island in Atlanta.
  6. Our relationship with our clients is too one-sided. We need two solutions that allow us to (active / actively) engage with current and potential customers.

Answers and Explanations

  1. Correct answer: The
    Explanation: In the context of the conversation, “staff meeting” refers to a specific event. Nouns referring to specific people, places, things, and events are preceded by the definite article the.
  2. Correct answer: : (colon)
    Explanation: Colons are used to connect clauses when what comes after the colon tells us more about what came before the colon. In this sentence, the events after the colon specify what is on the “agenda.”
  3. Correct answer: an
    Explanation: The indefinite article an precedes nouns that begin with a vowel or vowel sound. The “h” in “hour” is silent, so the word sounds like it begins with the vowel “o” (our).
  4. Correct answer: presumptive
    Explanation: “Nominee,” the word being described, is a noun. Adjectives (presumptive) modify only nouns while adverbs (presumptively) modify everything but nouns.
  5. Correct answer: ; (semi-colon)
    Explanation: Use a semi-colon to join two independent clauses when the ideas in each clause are closely-related.
  6. Correct answer: actively
    Explanation: “Engage” is a verb, so the modifier must be in the adverbial form.