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.
Rafiki Means Friend
by Denny Dart
Derived from the 2006 ELA exam. Grammar Questions Created by Kweller Prep (and Shane Werther!)
1. When she was twelve years old Raha earned a scholarship to study at a boarding school in England. No Error.
A: Comma is necessary after “old” and before “Raha.”
2. She kissed her little sisters’s chubby cheeks and she patted the cow’s brown shoulder. No Error.
A: “ Sister’s” is incorrect. Sentence should read, “Sister’s round cheek”
3. Additionally, she hugged Mama’s wide waist. Than, Raha and her father Baba rode the crowded bus to the airport. No error.
A: THAN is wrong here. THAN is only used for comparison. For example, “She is taller than I am.” However, THEN is used for time sequence. For example. “First then second.”
4. “I named you Raha, which means happiness.” Baba said. “Remember that.” No Error.
A: You need a comma after “happiness” (,) not a period.
5. As the plane took off, Raha looked out the window at the goat herds and brown rivers of kenya. No Error.
A: “Kenya” is a proper noun and must be capitalized.
6. She gazed down at the green ﬁelds where she used to run like the wind No Error.
A: The period is missing after “wind.” You need to end this sentence with a period.
7. At school in England, Raha wished Baba had told her to study hard and to practice running everyday. That was much easier than staying happy. No Error.
A: The adjective everyday (written as one word) means routine, ordinary, or commonplace. The adverb every day (two words) means “each day”. Here you need to have a space between “every” and “day”. Example: "There is nothing in philosophy which could not be said in everyday language." (Henri Bergson) Again, “everyday” is an adjective which means “daily”. An adjective is a describing word and it usually modifies a noun (person, place, or thing).
8. The teachers gave her dozens of math problem to solve, essays to write, and books to read. No Error.
A: “problems” not “problem” -- Sentence should read: “The teachers gave her dozens of math problems to solve, essays to write, and books to read.”
9. She ran to her classes through cold rain, while clutching her books in side her blue blazer. No Error.
A: “inside” is one word.
10. At school in England, it wasnt easy for Raha to stay happy. No Error.
A: “Wasn’t” not “wasnt”: The apostrophe is missing.
11. Her running coach John, gave her a striped shirt and white shorts, shoes with cleats for sprints, and another pair of shorts with spongy soles for cross-country. No Error
A: You need a comma after “coach” before “John”
12. Raha have always run barefoot at home, and the shoes felt tight on her toes. But all the other runners wore shoes, and Raha didn’t want to be different. No Error.
A: “had” not “have”
13. The team practiced every weekday afternoon. On saturdays, everyone watched rugby— except for Raha. No Error.
A: “Saturdays” needs to be capitalized because it is a day of the week and a proper noun.
14. On Saturdays. She ran alone on country lanes lined with thistle and blackberries. She ran over ﬁelds thick with mud. No Error.
A: After “Saturdays” you need a comma not a period. Also, “She” should be in lowercase.
15. The cold air stung her throat, and her shoes got stuck in the mud, slowing her down. She missed running barefoot and speedily under the hot african sun. No Error.
A: “African” must be capitalized because it is a proper noun.
16. Each day at lunch, Raha sat alone in the large hall, eating rubbery roast beef and Brussels sprouts. No Error.
A: No Error. By the way, Brussel sprouts are a vegetable consisting of the small compact bud of a variety of cabbage.
17. She wished she was home, eating spicy soup from a calabash (wooden) bowl and laughing with her family. Her mouth craved ﬁsh, coconut, and sweet golden papaya. No Error.
A: "She wished she were home” is correct. This is an example of the rarely used subjunctive in English. "Were" is the form of "be" to use after "wish" - in all persons - when you are referring to a present situation that is a fantasy, that may be untrue, that describes the situation the way you want it to be, NOT the way that it REALLY is. In THIS sentence, the reality is that she is being wishful, so “were” is appropriate.
18. One Saturday. Raha ran up a hill and found herself in a barnyard. One of her classmates, a student named Thomas, stood just inside the barn doors. After he greeted her Raha asked, “Why aren’t you watching rugby?” No Error.
A: You need a comma after “her” and before “Raha.” By the way, rugby is a form of football.
19. “I have to help my father said Thomas. “Would you like to see the cows.” No Error.
A: You need a question mark (?) After “cows”
20. Raha entered the barn, and the familiar smell of cows surrounded her. “We have a cow at home.” she said. “I call her Raﬁki. That means friend.” No Error.
A: You do not need a period after “home” but a comma (,)