Grammar and Usage
In the following sentences, four parts of each sentence are underlined. If you think any one of the underlined parts is incorrect, choose the letter under that part as your answer. If you think the sentence is correct as written, choose (E) as your answer. Please note: read together, all of the sentences in this section make up a story.
1. Costco Wholesale Corporation is a membership-only warehouse club who provides a wide selection of merchandise. No error.
A: WHO is wrong here; only use WHO when referring to people. You should use THAN or WHICH. In this example, use THAT.
2. As of July 2012, Costco is the second larger retailer in the United States. No error.
A: LARGER is wrong here. Use an “ER” ending only when you are absolutely positive that you are comparing TWO things; otherwise use “EST” endings. When you do not have a definite number, use EST. (ex: She is the eldest of her siblings.”)
3. Costco is the seven largest retailer in the world and the largest membership warehouse club chain in the United States. No error.
A: SEVEN should be replaced with SEVENTH. (ex: First, second, third store)
4. Costco’s main headquarters are in Issaquah Washington. No error.
A: You need a comma between the city and state. Latter part of the sentence should read: “Issaquah, Washington.”
A: “IT’S” is wrong here. Use IT’S only when you want to contract “IT IS”. Otherwise use “ITS” (no apostrophe) to show possession. Here, the “ITS” refers to “Costco”. ITS is a possessive pronoun that is gender neutral. The word “ITS” is used to describe something that is connected to an animal or an inanimate object. “IT’s” is a contraction for “IT IS” or “IT HAS.” (ex: “It’s a nice day.”)
7. Today Costco has a total of 632 locations, 451 of which are in the in the United States. No error.
A: You need a comma between TODAY and COSTCO. Remember, cities and states are always capitalized.
8. Founded by James (Jim) Sinegal and Jeffrey H. Brotman, Costco opened its first warehouse in Seattle, Washington, on September15 1983. No error.
A: You need a comma after 15 and before 1983. (“September 15, 1983”)
9. Sinegal started in wholesale distribution by working for Sol Price at both FedMart and Price Club. No error.
A: No Error.
10. Brotman, an attorney from an old Seattle retailing family had also been involved in retail distribution from an early age. No error.
A: You need a comma after FAMILY and before HAD. Please review comma rules carefully. Use a comma to separate the elements in a series of three or more things. The last comma—the one between the word “and” and the preceding word is often called the serial comma or the oxford comma. Use a comma to set off introductory elements as well.
11. Warehouses outside the United States is similar to those in the United States. No error.
A: IS is wrong here, You must use ARE because warehouses are plural.
12. Layout, signage, and even parking lot markings are generally identical to warehouses in the united states. No error.
A: United States should be capitalized. (France, Germany, United States and other countries are capitalized—cities and states are always capitalized as well)
13. Food Court menus are tailored to international tastes, with poutine on offer in Canada, seafood-topped pizza available in Asian and Mexican locations, clam chowder in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, jacket potatoes in the UK, and meat pies in Australia. No error.
A: There is no need to capitalize COURT. It is not a proper noun.
14. Memberships must be purchased in advance for one Year. No error.
A: There is no need to capitalize “year” here.
15. Purchases made with Costco Cash Cards also do not requires a membership, and there is no surcharge. No error.
A: “Requires” should be replaced with “require.” Many purchases require.
16. Canadian, United Kingdom and United States Costco locations only accept American Express, PIN-based debit cards (Interac in Canada), Costco credit cards, Costco Cash Cards, cash, checks, and EBT cards (food stamps). No error.
A: No Error.
17. While Costco welcomes members to bring up to too guests, only official members may pay for items. No error.
A: “too” should be replaced with “two”
18. American Express is the only accepted credit card in the United States, Canada, and Japan because this card charge Costco very low interchange fees (a percentage of revenue from total sales made), as Costco's margins are low in comparison to other retailers. No error.
A: “Charge” should be replaced with “charges”—one card “charges,” but many cards “charge.”
19. In addition Costco accepts Flexible Spending Account (FSA) debit cards for qualifying purchases at the pharmacy and optical departments in the U.S. No error.
A: You need a comma after “In addition”
20. Along with the additional benefits the executive membership offers, e.g., home loans, car insurance, and check printing services, executive members also receive a annual "2% Rewards Check" of up to $750.00 from Costco on all purchases made, excluding select items such as the following: gasoline, tobacco, stamps and in some states, alcohol. No error.
A: “An annual” not “a annual” – you need the article “an” for any words preceded with a vowel (a, e, I, o, u)