Susan 馃悵 Rooks, The Grammar Goddess

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American Grammar Checkup: More Devilish Details in a New Quiz!

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Since many connections here seem to love quizzes鈥娾斺妔hort ones that don鈥檛 seem too daunting鈥娾斺奾ere鈥檚 another one for you!

And for the one that preceded this, click here.


Which ones are correctly written in each of the examples below? And remember, I play by the American grammar rules; yours may be different.

1A Susan lives in Boston, Ma., in a blue house.
1B Susan lives in Boston, Mass., in a blue house.
1C Susan lives in Boston, MA, in a blue house.

2A John received his PhD in physics.
2B John received his Ph.D in physics.
2C John received his Ph.D. in physics.

3A Today鈥檚 date is October 9th, 2017.
3B Today鈥檚 date is October 9, 2017.
3C Today鈥檚 date is October 9 2017.

4A Dear Mr. Smith,
4B Dear Mr. Smith;
4C Dear Mr. Smith:

5A I like dogs; Ann prefers cats; and Helen likes both.
5B I like dogs, Ann prefers cats, and Helen likes both.
5C I like dogs, Ann prefers cats and Helen likes both.

6A The cars of the Jones are in the middle parking lot.
6B The cars of the Joneses are in the middle parking lot.
6C The car鈥檚 of the Joneses are in the middle parking lot.

7A Who鈥檚 book is that on the table?
7B Who鈥檚 book is that on the table?
7C Whose book is that on the table?

8A Sharon was cited for littering.
8B Sharon was sighted for littering.
8C Sharon was sited for littering.

9A The list includes: paper, scissors, and glue.
9B The list includes paper, scissors, and glue.
9C The list includes many things: paper, scissors, and glue.


Answers and explanations:

1A Susan lives in Boston, Ma, in a blue house.
1B Susan lives in Boston, Mass., in a blue house.
1C Susan lives in Boston, MA, in a blue house.

The version that has two capital letters is only supposed to be used in a full address, and there is no such abbreviation as Ma. for Massachusetts.


2A John received his PhD in physics.
2B John received his Ph.D in physics.
2C John received his Ph.D. in physics.

Although I prefer 2C, 2A is also considered correct.


3A Today鈥檚 date is October 9th, 2017.
3B Today鈥檚 date is October 9, 2017.
3C Today鈥檚 date is October 9 2017.

We never put the nd, rd, st, or th after a day鈥檚 number when we use the year.


4A Dear Mr. Smith,
4B Dear Mr. Smith;
4C Dear Mr. Smith:

In a business letter, if we address someone using a title, we should use a colon, not a comma, because it鈥檚 more formal. If we write Dear Sam, then we can use a comma because it鈥檚 an informal way of addressing the recipient. BUT: We never use a semicolon after a salutation.


5A I like dogs; Ann prefers cats; and Helen likes both.
5B I like dogs, Ann prefers cats, and Helen likes both.
5C I like dogs, Ann prefers cats and Helen likes both.

While both B and C are considered acceptable, B includes the Oxford comma, and you all know I鈥檓 a strong advocate of that mark.


6A The cars of the Jones are in the middle parking lot.
6B The cars of the Joneses are in the middle parking lot.
6C The car鈥檚 of the Joneses are in the middle parking lot.

Yes, we often do have to make a last name plural, adding either an s or an es. And we don鈥檛 use an apostrophe to form plurals.


7A Who鈥檚 book is that on the table?
7B Who鈥檚 book is that on the table?
7C Whose book is that on the table?

Who鈥檚 = who is. Whose is the possessive pronoun.


8A Sharon was cited for littering.
8B Sharon was sighted for littering.
8C Sharon was sited for littering.

Homophones (words that sound the same or similar, but don鈥檛 mean the same thing and aren鈥檛 spelled the same) are tough words to use correctly.


9A The list includes: paper, scissors, and glue.
9B The list includes paper, scissors, and glue.
9C The list includes many things: paper, scissors, and glue.

In the American system, we do not put a colon after any word that can鈥檛 logically end a sentence used to introduce a list within a sentence. We need to have a full, complete sentence to use the colon this way.


So, how did you do? If you want more help with these or any other American grammar issue, you can go to my website鈥娾斺www.GrmamarGoddess.com鈥娾斺奱nd type a word in the search box. You鈥檒l see the posts I鈥檝e written about that topic.

If this post helped you, I hope you'll consider sharing it in other hives, so your connections here can learn as well. Thanks!

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Comments

don kerr

4 years ago #11

#11
Susan \ud83d\udc1d Rooks, the Grammar Goddess I still find myself double tapping between sentences!
#6
I'm glad you enjoyed the quiz, Jim \ud83d\udc1d Cody, and thanks for the kinds words.
#5
Well, Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr, single spacing between sentences has hard for many of us to get used to, myself included. Now I'm OK with it, but it took me a couple of years for my thumbs to not hit the space bar twice . . . and in terms of the Oxford comma, I still recommend it but I know many who don't like it or want to use it. It's not a rule, but I think it's a great habit to get into, just in case.
#4
And you're always one of the first to comment and appreciate others' posts, , so that YOU for that.
#3
Thanks, Deborah Levine! I can only imagine how tough it is to move back and forth between two similar but not exactly the same systems! I have enough trouble with my one US system sometimes!
#1
Thanks so much, CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit! I like creating the quizzes, especially when they can help others (re)learn some of the small points that are easy to miss.
#2
And you may be right about that, Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador!

don kerr

4 years ago #4

Susan \ud83d\udc1d Rooks, the Grammar Goddess Nailed it! However, I have ceased to use the Oxford comma and I now only use single spacing between sentences. My Grade 9 typing teacher would be displeased.

David B. Grinberg

4 years ago #3

Thanks for the pop quiz, Susan, to sharpen our grammar skills for the week ahead. Very helpful, as always!
Thank you, Susan. This quiz is a great reminder of little things to watch for. I feel many errors may be attributed to hurrying rather than not knowing.

CityVP Manjit

4 years ago #1

In the past I have been negligent of grammar rules, but a quiz like this opens my mind as to the subtle nuances of grammar because this quiz demonstrates the reasoning behind this. Excellent !

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