Has anyone done this quiz?

(40 Posts)
PanicMode Mon 15-Apr-13 09:49:13

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationquestions/9987757/Good-grammar-test-can-you-pass.html

I thought my grammar was fairly solid, but was quite shocked by the result.

prism Fri 19-Apr-13 14:03:50

Looks like a bit of linguistic willy waving from someone who knows a lot of Latin and probably wishes we still spoke it.

Can't take that sibling question seriously at all. hmm

somebloke123 Thu 18-Apr-13 10:09:52

Well he does happen to be the best teacher in the world (in the opinion of Himself).

gwynneteaching.com/

Habbibu Thu 18-Apr-13 08:04:44

Have you read about the guy who set the test? It explains a lot. He's essentially a Latinist who has set himself up as an authority on English grammar, and is much beloved of Michael Gove and Prince Charles.

duchesse Thu 18-Apr-13 07:54:40

Miranda- as in: "Be 'long dreckly", often heard around these parts?

Agree with Senua about 'directly'. Unless they think 'directly' has the West Country meaning of 'now' hmm

75% Yay! guessed some

The only one I dropped was the "first(ly)" one. Some of them represent major bugbears.

The Evelyn question was awful. It would have been much more natural without the names:

This is my sister, who lives in New York, my brother who doesn't, and my only other sibling.

The final sibling is both male and an inhabitant of New York.

PanicMode Mon 15-Apr-13 19:19:47

I too, like the "tutored ear". I think that sums up how grammar should work quite nicely. (Poor sentence construction but am catching up and dashing out of the door.....)

BOF Mon 15-Apr-13 17:11:56

I do like that phrase "the tutored ear"...yes, I agree with that.

somebloke123 Mon 15-Apr-13 15:10:55

Suzie - yes I agree there, but I do think that language is not all logical. For example the phrase "by and large" or the statement "It's early days yet" are both widely accepted correct idioms - and not just regionalisms or slang, and yet when you try to analyse them they don't make sense.

I tend to draw a parallel with music. There are rules of harmony and the default position is to obey them, but the tutored ear is the final judge.

I certainly wouldn't interpret this as an "anything goes" attitude. I do think knowledge of the rules is important, even if you end up breaking them on occasion.

I quite like "Fowler's Modern English Usage" on this issue. His discussion of the split infinitive is particularly good I think.

Suzieismyname Mon 15-Apr-13 14:49:22

Er, this is Pedants' Corner, somebloke!
I disagree with your 'ultimate test'. Most of my inlaws would say, "Have you drawed a nice picture?", or "I haven't broke it.". Just because someone says something in a particular way all the time, it doesn't mean that they are correct!

somebloke123 Mon 15-Apr-13 14:08:46

Also in the first question, no one apart from a complete anal retentive would ever say "Do you see whom I see".

Grammar rules are not totally immutable and self consistent. The ultimate test is how they read or how they sound to the ear.

WMittens Mon 15-Apr-13 13:22:05

From the explanations:

7. “Come and sit near me.”

"Near" is an preposition governing the pronoun “me”.

I feel perfectly justified in doubting the integrity of this quiz, and thus my abysmal score is not representative.

Trills Mon 15-Apr-13 13:08:33

The point is that properly constructed sentences make sense and don't leave ambiguity about what you mean (except where that is your intention).

Yes. That.

(neither of those were proper sentences, but I think they communicate my agreement in a clear and unambiguous manner smile )

Yes xxDebStarxx I was at secondary school between 1984 - 1989. Was it really during "saint" Maggie's time that it was decreed that school children should not learn grammar?

So, they are highlighting some subtle difference between saying -

Amanda, who lives in New York

and Mark who doesn't (without the comma)?

Frankly I'd say that is a very obscure piece of nitpicking, rather than being about the proper use of grammar. It's the kind of thing that gives pedants a bad name!

Anyone who worded that sentence in that way, in the expectation of communicating accurately with other people, is an idiot. Which entirely goes against the reasons why some of us think that grammar matters. The point is that properly constructed sentences make sense and don't leave ambiguity about what you mean (except where that is your intention).

EugenesAxe Mon 15-Apr-13 12:09:34

So well done Trills, although I thought duchesse's suggestion was very gallant, and nice.

EugenesAxe Mon 15-Apr-13 12:07:59

I didn't notice that there are explanations on the correct answers at the bottom of the quiz. Here is the explanation for Evelyn; I do understand now, just about!

“I should like to introduce you to my sister Amanda, who lives in New York, to my brother Mark who doesn't, and to my only other sibling, Evelyn."

The absence of a comma before "who doesn't" makes that clause part of the definition of Mark, implying that there are other brothers. Try reading the sentence with the word "Mark" omitted.

xxDebstarxx Mon 15-Apr-13 11:59:15

Lily I must be close in age to you because I was in school when they didn't teach grammar! I also got 50%.

senua Mon 15-Apr-13 11:17:20

grin @ gender issues.

Which of these names is in fact the nominative feminine singular of the gerundive mood imported direct from Latin?

Would someone like to explain why this says 'direct' and not 'directly'?

somebloke123 Mon 15-Apr-13 11:15:48

58% - a bit chastening as I thought I would do better.

senua Mon 15-Apr-13 11:15:11

Ooops. My post was edited several times. Hence grammatical garbage. <gets coat>

Trills Mon 15-Apr-13 11:14:45

So:

"my brother who doesn't" suggests that there is also a brother who does.

Is that it?

Frankly I think whoever is supposedly uttering that sentence is being an arse. If someone referred to "my brother" and "my sister" and "my sibling" I'd think that the other sibling was probably having some gender identity issues, and that the speaker was unsure with how to refer to them or uncomfortable referring to them with their chosen gender.

50% here too! I don't even know what a preposition is. I was at school when they didn't teach grammar. BUT I think I write well, in normal life!

senua Mon 15-Apr-13 11:13:45

The Evelyn question is a bit suspect. I think the reasoning that the speaker has the brother-who-doesn't live-in NY, which implies that he is trying to differentiate him from another brother. Therefore the only other sibling, Evelyn, must be male.

I'm glad that it wasn't a timed test.

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