Can You Correct These 35 Basic Grammar Mistakes?

EDUCATION

Becky

6 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Are you a proud, card-carrying member of the grammar police? Do you fight the urge to correct the multitude of errors your friends and family members make all over the internet? We challenge you to take this How Stuff Works grammar quiz to find out how well you really know your grammar rules.

There are a ton of grammar rules that you'd need to follow to be a perfect writer, and we don't expect you to know them all, but there are some that far too many people don't know - and they should. For instance, the number of people who cannot differentiate between the words their, there, and they're is often frustrating. To avoid misusing these words in the future, here's a little tip: the word "their" is possessive, the word "there" indicates placement and the word "they're" is a contraction that combines the words "they" and "are." Some other similar types of grammar mistakes include the misuse of the words to, too and two; the misuse of the words affect and effect; the misuse of the words your and you're; and the misuse of the words a lot, alot and allot (hint, alot is not a word).

Let's get started to find out how much you really know about grammar.

Insert the correct word into this sentence. She said _______ going to the fair on Friday.

The correct sentence is, "She said they're going to the fair on Wednesday." These three words are commonly misused. The correct word, they're, is a contraction that combines the words "they" and "are."

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? She is prettier and smarter.

This sentence is an incomplete comparison. "She" is pretty and smarter than who or what?

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? After declining for weeks, Barry tried a new tactic to increase sales.

This sentence has a dangling modifier. What has been declining for weeks - Barry or sales? To correct this sentence, write "Barry tried a new tactic to increase sales, after they had been declining for weeks."

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. The cigarettes had a negative ______ on her health.

The correct sentence is "the cigarettes had a negative effect on her health." These two words are often confused. The word "affect" is a verb, and the word "effect" is a noun.

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? The athlete with the most points attributed to their name will get his or her name in the paper.

This sentence has a pronoun agreement error. The sentence should read, "The athlete with the most points attributed to his or her name will get his or her name carved into a plaque." Because the subject of the sentence is ONE athlete, the use of "their," which is plural, is incorrect.

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. I gave up ___ many shifts this week.

The correct sentence is "I gave up too many shifts this week." These three words are often confused. The use of the word "too" means "excessively."

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? Brian and me went to the store.

This sentence has a me vs. I error. Break down the sentence into two separate sentences, to see if it makes sense. Brian went to the store. Me went to the store. Because the sentence "I went to the store" makes more sense, the sentence should read "Brian and I went to the store."

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? She explained the do's and dont's of the job to Mike.

This sentence has a punctuation error. The sentence should read, "She explained the do's and don'ts of the job to Mike."

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. They raised ______ children to be polite to everyone.

The correct sentence is, "They raised their children to be polite to everyone." These three words are often confused. The use of the word "their" shows possession.

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? Our brand is better and cheaper.

This sentence is an incomplete comparison. The brand is "better and cheaper" than what?

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. She spent ______ of time on the painting.

Let's get serious - "alot" is not a word. The sentence should read, "She spent a lot of time on the painting."

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. She went ___ the store with Mary.

The correct sentence is, "She went to the store with Mary." These three words are often confused. The word "to" is a preposition.

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. I am taller _____ you.

The sentence should read "I am taller than you." These two words are often confused.

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. The mirage wasn't really ______ at all.

The correct sentence is, "The mirage really isn't there at all." These three words are often confused. The use of the word "there" indicates location.

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? She bought berries bananas and peaches at the store.

This sentence has a punctuation error. Use commas to separate items in a series. The sentence should read, "She bought berries, bananas and peaches at the store.

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. I'd like to _______ that he's available for Monday's meeting.

The correct sentence is "I'd like to ensure that he's available for Monday's meeting. These three words are often confused. The word "ensure" means to make sure.

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. She borrowed ____ books from Pam.

The correct sentence is, "She borrowed two books from Pam." These three words are often confused. The use of the word "two" in this sentence indicates a value or number.

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? The dog had _____ than five puppies.

The correct sentence is, "The dog had fewer than five puppies." When you are talking about something you can count, use the word "fewer."

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. We cooked the steak, _____ we ate it.

The correct sentence is, "We cooked the steak, then we ate it." These two words are often confused.

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. I can't tell you how much I appreciate _____ help.

The correct sentence is, "I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help." These two words are often confused. The use of the word "your" indicates possession.

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. I should _____ gone to the party.

The correct sentence is "I should have gone to the party." These two words are often confused.

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? A bird can fly high using their wings.

This sentence has a pronoun agreement error. The sentence should read, "A bird can fly high using its wings." Because the subject of the sentence, the bird, is singular, the use of the word "their," which is plural, is incorrect.

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? His grade point average is higher.

This sentence is an incomplete comparison. His grade point average is higher than what or whose?

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. I have to say, _______ the best friend I have.

The sentence should be, "I have to say, you're the best friend I have. These two words are often confused. The word "you're" is a contraction that combines the words "you" and "are."

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? His car is the one who overheats all of the time.

The sentence should read, "His car is the one that overheats all of the time." Use the word "that" when referring to an inanimate object.

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? The birthday present is not her's.

This sentence has a punctuation error. The sentence should read, "The birthday present is not hers."

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? After growing strong, Joan harvested the vegetables.

This sentence has a dangling modifier. What grew strong - the vegetables or Joan? To avoid a dangling modifier, write "Joan Harvested the vegetables, after they grew strong."

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? The test was failed by half the class.

This sentence is an example of passive voice. To use active voice, the sentence should read, "Half the class failed the test."

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. The dog wagged ____ tail.

The correct sentence is, "The dog wagged its tail." These two words are often confused. The use of the word "its" is possessive.

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. How does your attitude ______ your job?

The correct sentence is, "How does your attitude affect your job?" These two words are often confused. Affect is a verb, and effect is a noun.

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? She went on a tour of the white house.

This sentence should read, "She went on a tour of the White House." Remember to capitalize White House, because it is a proper noun.

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? The brakes were slammed on by the man to avoid an accident.

This sentence is an example of passive voice. To avoid passive voice, the sentence should read, "The man slammed on the brakes to avoid an accident."

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What type of grammar error is in this sentence? When you get done with that report, can you send it to Bill and I?

This sentence has a me vs. I error. Break down the sentence into two separate sentences, to see if it makes sense... ... can you send it to Bill? ... can you send it to I? The use of I is incorrect. The sentence should read "... can you sent it to Bill and me?"

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Insert the correct word into the sentence. I wanted to let you know that _____ raining outside.

The correct sentence is "I wanted to let you know that it's raining outside." These two words are often confused. The word "it's" is a contraction that combines the words "it" and "is."

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