Test your grammar - Guardian test

(208 Posts)
Feenie Sat 09-Feb-13 11:39:14


Am relieved I scored 14 out of 14, since I am a Literacy cordinator!

I only knew what a gerund was because I remembered it from the English Language unit I had to study for my Lit degree - not sure it is of much use to your average 11 year old, really.

9/14. <stands in corner with dunces hat on>

Feenie Sat 09-Feb-13 11:44:31

<stands with Sparkling for mistyping coordinator>

<loses points for not noticing mispelling>

Hassled Sat 09-Feb-13 11:46:19

I've let myself down and I've let grammar down.

AlwaysReadyForABlether Sat 09-Feb-13 11:46:26

13 out of 14. Think I got the gerund one wrong.

Pascha Sat 09-Feb-13 11:47:57

11/14. I confused the abstract and collective nouns.

Wallison Sat 09-Feb-13 11:51:14

Full marks. One of the nouns questions was unnecessarily tricky, I think.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 09-Feb-13 11:54:23

14/14 here too.
But I'm old and have an English degree.

BrianButterfield Sat 09-Feb-13 11:56:09

14/14 - am a secondary English teacher so I should really!

I am still bottom of the class. sad I got an English Language A at GCSE many moons ago. I need a refresher course.

shrinkingnora Sat 09-Feb-13 11:58:22

13 - phew. I nearly got 14 but doubted myself.

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Sat 09-Feb-13 11:58:45

11. I am a child of the sixties and never had a grammar lesson in my life. I know what sounds right but not why....

Northey Sat 09-Feb-13 12:01:54


Filled with (abstract) pride smile

EmpressMaud Sat 09-Feb-13 12:05:41

I got 14 correct too. I would add that I hadn't come across some of the terms before, but it was just a matter of common sense to quickly work out.
This is year six standard, though?

10/14, also a child of the '60s so was not taught grammar (I'm also a primary teacher!)

maizieD Sat 09-Feb-13 12:15:52

Forgot that one of the nouns could be collective as well as abstract
Failed the 'active voice' blush

I don't recall my 1960s Grammar School's English grammar lessons going into quite such technical detail. Certainly didn't have to know this sort of thing for the 11+.

Poor Y6ssad

Dillydollydaydream Sat 09-Feb-13 12:15:56


thornrose Sat 09-Feb-13 12:16:21

I scored 9 (I'm a TA blush) using mainly common sense and what "felt" right. I don't remember being taught grammar (beyond the very basics) at school.

<hugs thorn>

MardyBraWouldDoEddieRedmayne Sat 09-Feb-13 12:20:50


<punches air>

HugAndRoll Sat 09-Feb-13 12:22:23

11/14 I got the three before the last question wrong.

MardyBraWouldDoEddieRedmayne Sat 09-Feb-13 12:22:34

I learned more about grammar from learning foreign languages than I did in English lessons.

thornrose Sat 09-Feb-13 12:22:57

This dunces hat is bloody uncomfortable.

bruffin Sat 09-Feb-13 12:23:15

10 another child of the 60s not taught grammar at all at school.

StuntNun Sat 09-Feb-13 12:23:30

I didn't learn any of that stuff in school, I didn't even know English had gerunds. My education was pitiful in that respect.

openerofjars Sat 09-Feb-13 12:25:59

11 out of 14 which is shameful for an English teacher but I am seriously hungover.

cumbrialass Sat 09-Feb-13 12:26:03

14/14, year 6 teacher and Latin O Level ( nearly 40 years ago mind!)

Polishes halo grin

DeepRedBetty Sat 09-Feb-13 12:26:24

13 and I fell over on the gerund. I got an A for O level English (shows age), but we didn't 'do' gerunds. They seem to be an attempt to make English follow the grammatical rules of Latin, and if Y6 are meant to know what they are in English then hats off to them.

IAmLouisWalsh Sat 09-Feb-13 12:26:50

14/14. Phew.

mrz Sat 09-Feb-13 12:28:03

Full marks but the polar bear sentence was very odd IMHO

BalloonSlayer Sat 09-Feb-13 12:28:25

I got 13 out of 14! But it was really 12, as I didn't have a scooby about the gerund one and I guessed, and my guess was right.

DeepRedBetty Sat 09-Feb-13 12:28:44

CumbriaLass I've got Latin O level too. But I think I got it for winging it with the Social History paper and the lucky chance that the only two of Pliny's letters I got round to revising were the two that came up.

Parisbanana Sat 09-Feb-13 12:29:36

I got 10. The first 10. I think I have a very good working knowledge of grammar, just don't know the names of things. I know we were never taught names when learning English in primary school, I learnt any names of grammatical stuff when doing MFL at secondary.
Oh and recently learnt what a subordinate clause is from 10 year old ds!

bruffin Sat 09-Feb-13 12:31:37

Ds 17 is dyslexic so has problems got 11so show how bad the 60/70s were for teaching grammar.

eminemmerdale Sat 09-Feb-13 12:34:43

13 grin Did English at O and A level in v distant past..

JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 12:34:50

My score is lower than any of yours blush

Under 10!

Cat98 Sat 09-Feb-13 12:36:51

Ok - 11 out of 14 but that is probably shameful as I have an English lit degree!

14. But I have ended relationships over misplaced apostrophes, so I'd be a hypocrite and a half if I'd scored any less

JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 12:38:50

I'd add the 80s to that bruffin - I didn't start school until 1977.

Salbertina Sat 09-Feb-13 12:48:01

13 and blush with myself...

Euphemia Sat 09-Feb-13 12:48:03

14/14 booyah!

JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 12:50:04

I don't know what most of the grammar terms actually mean!

I am a graduate in my 40s. There is no hope for me is there?

13/14, didn't know what a gerund was (first year GCSEs here)

Well I scored 6, there I said it and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I am a child of the failed 70s comps. I worked hard independently from school in my late 20s and managed to get a good degree, but I'll admit the grammar questions passed me by.

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 09-Feb-13 12:55:00

14/14. [smug]

I was taught English grammar at school (in the 1970s), also learned Latin, which helped.

Salbertina Sat 09-Feb-13 12:55:34

I went to a crappy 80s comp (thanks parents!) all my grammar knowledge from teacher training much later!

dikkertjedap Sat 09-Feb-13 12:56:53

14/14 - would have been worrying otherwise as I am a primary school teacher grin

11/14. Got truth and pride the wrong way round and had no idea on Gerund. hmm

notnowImreading Sat 09-Feb-13 13:02:34

14. English teacher. Hurrah for the teachers - we seem to be doing well.

fraktion Sat 09-Feb-13 13:03:18

14 but as an EFL teacher with a postgrad in linguistics it would have been really shameful if I hadn't.

9. Not bad considering I have no idea what 'gerund' means. I'm 26, went to regular, good state schools.

jamaisjedors Sat 09-Feb-13 13:03:52

Phew - 14 - I teach English as a foreign language so that was a relief - not that any of that stuff comes up in my day-to-day work anyway.

AmelieRose Sat 09-Feb-13 13:04:57

14 - English teacher and head of literacy. Phew!

ClayDavis Sat 09-Feb-13 13:05:49

13/14. Gove might have me back as a teacher should I want to go back.

Maryz Sat 09-Feb-13 13:08:28

I didn't know what a gerund was blush.

The rest are ok. But the "abstract and collective noun" bit was a guess. I know abstract, and I know collective, but both are a bit odd.

I got 8.
I got everything wrong that asked something technical like active voice or subordinate. I don't understand any of the terms used. I was never taught anything like that at school.
I have 1992 grade B in English Lit & Lang and studied English no more.

I do have excellent grammar in daily life. I have to in my job.

nickelbabe Sat 09-Feb-13 13:17:48

the first question was a vocabulary test, not grammar and punctuation. hmm

Teahouse Sat 09-Feb-13 13:19:19

A 10/14 for me too ;0(

nickelbabe Sat 09-Feb-13 13:21:08


question 13 - i clicked the right answer and it registered something completely different!!!!

the worst thing was, it registered the most completely wrong answer.

i would have got 14 if it hadn't done that.
i was robbed.

nickelbabe Sat 09-Feb-13 13:23:47

Shattered - i had to think about terms, too. I was the same, 92 grade Bs and no further study. (although A-level German helped)

LynetteScavo Sat 09-Feb-13 13:28:12


Never heard of a gerund. confused

14/14, yay! First year of GCSEs, so not the finest era for the teaching of English, but we had a teacher who believed in teaching grammar and slipped it into the cracks in the curriculum.

I also have a degree in English and some extremely pedantic friends. grin

ZenNudist Sat 09-Feb-13 13:37:03

11, didn't get mother-to-be, active voice or gerund.

I have an English lit degree but was never taught grammar (except the basics) at school or uni. I went to private school and we didn't have English language lessons. In other words I think I did ok!

mejon Sat 09-Feb-13 13:39:02

10/14 for me too - another 60s/70s educated child who wasn't taught grammar - plus I did all my education through the medium of Welsh grin.

conistonoldwoman Sat 09-Feb-13 13:40:54

13/14 .Although we were taught these elements I have absolutely no recollection of it!! It just sticks with you. Certainly wasn't taught this stuff at junior school. Poor Year 6's. Why can't it be introduced at the start of KS3? We certainly need something. Standard of some NQT English worrying.

WhichIsBest Sat 09-Feb-13 13:40:56

I got the one wrong about the foot of the stairs.
And the one about a collective abstract noun.

toomuch2young Sat 09-Feb-13 13:42:35

No idea what a gerund is never heard of it and my top mark at gcse was an A in English Lang!!


CloudsAway Sat 09-Feb-13 13:50:36

14/14 as I knew what answer they were wanting for things, but I don't agree with some of them, and I think it's a dreadful test for actually testing grammar and punctuation.

Several things described as 'sentences' have no full stops.

I think it's arguable as to whether 'team' is abstract or concrete. You might be able to see a team, but I think it's the players that you see; the concept 'team' is abstract to me. I can see how someone would argue the other way though.

'to the foot of the stairs' is surely two prepositional phrases, not one.

I am not convinced that 'He thought he might...' is a conditional sentence. If it had said 'He might...' then yes. But adding 'He thought...' beforehand surely makes it grammatically past tense, even if it happens to express a conditional idea.

And I think several of the questions are not really testing what they purport to test. A multiple choice test concentrating on grammatical terms doesn't seem to be effective in my mind, although I agree that some degree of terminology is needed.

DameMargotFountain Sat 09-Feb-13 13:53:09


product of crap merged 'we're closing this school next year so have all the teachers no-one else wants for your O levels/cses' comp here too.

it was good fun though grin

schilke Sat 09-Feb-13 13:55:14

13/14 for me.

In Latin and English grammar, the gerund is a non-finite verb form used to make a verb phrase that can serve in place of a noun phrase. The English gerund ends in -ing (as in I enjoy playing football); the same verb form also serves as the English present participle (which has an adjectival or adverbial function), and as a verbal noun.

So there you are. Clear as mud!

LineRunner Sat 09-Feb-13 13:58:54


Product of compulsory Latin.

fouranddone Sat 09-Feb-13 14:00:40

Sparklingbrook I got 9 too, I am actually quite impressed I got that many correct!grin

Lostonthemoors Sat 09-Feb-13 14:02:34

Scored 14/14 - which is surprising because we were never taught any grammar at school - just learned it in German A level grin

savemefromrickets Sat 09-Feb-13 14:03:07

12. Vague recollection of Latin (although most memories involve seeing how long a creme egg would last for)...

VillaEphrussi Sat 09-Feb-13 14:11:13

Phew 14. But product of a linguistics degree. Would've been an entirely wasted 3 years if not!

sleepyhead Sat 09-Feb-13 14:14:30

14/14, but I don't see what antonyms have to do with grammar, and the polar bear sentence was absolutely tortuous.

We didn't get taught much formal grammar at school beyond verb=doing word, vowel=naming word, adverb describes the verb, adjective describes the noun. I did a grammar English Language paper at uni though, and learnt about parsing sentences via Laura Ingalls Wilder grin

noisytoys Sat 09-Feb-13 14:19:30

9 out of 14

Thumbwitch Sat 09-Feb-13 14:27:04

13/14 - got the prepositional phrase wrong through not reading the question carefully enough blush[dim]

Doing Latin did help with e.g. the gerund question, as it was never touched upon in any other language I did at school (4: English, French, German and Russian).

Tiggles Sat 09-Feb-13 14:28:20

13 mainly as a product of Latin lessons, although learnt about the passive voice in science lessons as methods had to be written in the passive voice and Word always used to put green grammar lines underneath it.

JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 14:28:43

I'm still winning!

TreadOnTheCracks Sat 09-Feb-13 14:36:52

11, pleased with that may have been lucky guesses, child of the early 70's (small town school) never taught any grammer (or spelling).

Portofino Sat 09-Feb-13 14:44:15

13/14. <<beams>> I did get A for English though.

Startail Sat 09-Feb-13 14:47:02


First and the last two, just never heard the terms.

louschmoo Sat 09-Feb-13 15:05:21

14 here grin but I'm a former EFL teacher so I should know my stuff when it comes to grammar!

bizzey Sat 09-Feb-13 15:23:42

thon...you can pass the hat to me now blush !!!!!!

LineRunner Sat 09-Feb-13 15:28:32

Yes, that polar bear sentence was reet daft.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Sat 09-Feb-13 15:34:21

13/14, some were educated guesses, and no idea about a gerund. Again, child of the sixties, never taught grammar beyond basics, we were supposed to absorb it naturally by reading. hmm I do have A level English Lit, but it didn't help. I liked 'pride' as an abstract and collective noun, though. smile

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Sat 09-Feb-13 15:44:28


I got 8. 70s child here and I don't remember being taught any grammar. Not collective, abstract or passive at all. I guessed gerund - and got it right.

8 shock the shame. I have an English Degree, although in Literature, and we were never really taught grammar at my Grammar School in the 70s.


JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 16:00:21

I still win the thicko prize!

catnipkitty Sat 09-Feb-13 16:02:02

11 out of 14...and I went to a very sought after garmmat school in the 80's....most of the test meant little to me and was educated guesswork. Poor year 6's.....

ByTheSea Sat 09-Feb-13 16:03:13


BabyRoger Sat 09-Feb-13 16:08:17

12. I did latin. Still don't know what a gerund is though.

Mominatrix Sat 09-Feb-13 16:08:40


Marlinspike Sat 09-Feb-13 16:17:51

10. Never did any English grammar, so guessed a fair bit from doinga French A level (a head-hanging E 30 years ago.....)

Jux Sat 09-Feb-13 16:31:55

Phew, 14/14. Oh, the relief!

SpeckleDust Sat 09-Feb-13 16:32:57


I don't remember learning any of the grammar terms like gerund or antonym but must've picked up most of it at some point.

I did Latin O level too but remember very little of It (24years have passed since then!)

Bunnyjo Sat 09-Feb-13 16:58:03

14. Not a teacher, but I did get As in English Language and Literature many moons ago...

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sat 09-Feb-13 17:07:36

< rusty schoolgirl Latin also>

IamtheZombie Sat 09-Feb-13 17:15:23

12/14. May Zombie plead that she is American as her defence?

13/14 and I have a 2:1 degree in English (including linguistics) and a Latin O level. My brain has mostly been eaten by the menopause smile

NTitled Sat 09-Feb-13 17:18:37

14. We had endless grammar lessons at school in the 80s, in English, Latin, French, German and Spanish. Glad that my DC are having endless grammar lessons at school now too!

BertieBotts Sat 09-Feb-13 17:23:02

13/14, but I've been revising grammar as am currently doing a CELTA. Four weeks ago I would have probably got about 4 right!

LynetteScavo Sat 09-Feb-13 17:31:24

I don't ever remember having any grammar lessons at school..except one, in the equivalent of Y6, we had one lesson on nouns/adjectives/verbs. At the end of the lesson the teacher told anyone who hadn't understood to put up their hand. Nobody did. I was one of the brighter DC in the class, and I hadn't a clue, so I'm damn sure there were at least 25 other DC who also had no clue!

BertieBotts Sat 09-Feb-13 17:32:57

We only ever studied nouns/verbs/adjectives/adverbs - that was it. This was in the 1990s.

BooksandaCuppa Sat 09-Feb-13 17:34:13

I rushed and misread the prepositional phrase one, too (rushed clicking on the answer, I mean) so also got 13/14.

80s comp - no grammar lessons at all - but did do French and German A Level and so knew lots of grammar from that - including gerund. Also knew lots of rhetorical terms etc from English A Level. Can't believe so many don't know 'gerund' who did do languages?

I did a module on grammar, including parsing, as part of English Lit degree and the range of grammar ability we'd all come in with was astonishing.

I also agree that being able to use grammar is more important than knowing the technical terms - though, to some extent, you can't have one without the other. Listening to year 7s the other week going over the difference between subject and object (so, for example, they knew when to use 'I' instead of 'me') reminded me that both are important.

shushpenfold Sat 09-Feb-13 17:36:28


Chottie Sat 09-Feb-13 17:38:27

8 sad another child of the 60s...........

LillethTheCat Sat 09-Feb-13 17:40:30

I got 9 which was more than I thought it would be. There was only one which I knew for definite and that was the there/their/they're one.

Ive seen posters describe the users of Mumsnet as bright and clever. They weren't talking about me obviously grin

hurricanewyn Sat 09-Feb-13 17:45:41

7/14 here. I thought I had a good grasp of grammar too blush

5- I was at primary school in the 90's and we didn't do any grammar. God knows how I managed my last job really!

mrz Sat 09-Feb-13 17:50:22

Did no one grow up with First Aid In English in primary school?

Feenie Sat 09-Feb-13 17:51:18

I still have one, and I still use it grin

mrz Sat 09-Feb-13 17:53:32

Me too ...just noticed it's available for Kindle

I got 11/14.

I scored 11 !
A child of the 60s here too .
Actually quite pleased with myself !

pointythings Sat 09-Feb-13 17:56:44

13/14. Which I think is quite good for someone who is not English, but I am kicking myself for doubting the one I got wrong as my first instinct was right...

BertieBotts Sat 09-Feb-13 17:57:47

Nope, have never heard of First Aid in English.

Feenie Sat 09-Feb-13 17:57:48

Can't find it, mrz sad

mrz Sat 09-Feb-13 18:02:35

Sorry Feenie I got excited about nothing ...when I put First Aid in English into google it said kindle but clicking on the link takes me to a paperback blush

DS1(yr2) got 3/14 I'm impressed seeing as he's only 6, he's a clever boy

gwenniebee Sat 09-Feb-13 18:03:52

Hurrah! 14. I'm a primary teacher; phew!

Titchyboomboom Sat 09-Feb-13 18:15:51

10, which I thought was bloody marvellous considering I went on gut feeling and not knowledge

Feenie Sat 09-Feb-13 18:17:59


mrz Sat 09-Feb-13 18:20:06

sorry sad

ClayDavis Sat 09-Feb-13 18:24:58

We had Haydn Richards Junior English, I think.

sydlexic Sat 09-Feb-13 18:30:37

14 for me and DS 12. Educated guesses for me,

mrz Sat 09-Feb-13 18:31:24

We still use those Clay

ClayDavis Sat 09-Feb-13 18:36:11

Did find one in Waterstones the other day. I suspect you use it more progressively than being handed the text book and an exercise book and having half an hour a week to work through it at your own pace.

Haberdashery Sat 09-Feb-13 18:41:07

14/14! Quite pleased with that as I was at primary school in the 70s and don't think I have ever had a lesson on English grammar in my life. But I did learn Latin at secondary level which helped me with the gerund thing.

moonstorm Sat 09-Feb-13 18:43:18

10/14 (could have been 12/14, but I doubted myself)

But I fail to see how knowing some of these will improve literacy. Technical knowledge will definitely be improved, but literacy is about being able to use the skills. You can have a technically gifted musician who does not play musically, or a less technically gifted musician who I would rather listen to because they make beautiful music.

I don't need to know a sentence contains a subordinate clause or is written in the active/ passive voice to write beautifully.

Spelling is very important. Reading lots and lots (that's for the teachers who hate 'got', 'lot' and 'nice' grin)will help with writing and composing written work well. This grammar knowledge will aid grammar knowledge... There's a time and a place for that...


Shallishanti Sat 09-Feb-13 18:44:04
bigbadbarry Sat 09-Feb-13 18:49:12

14/14 but I should hope so, I am a copyeditor

ChristmasJubilee Sat 09-Feb-13 18:55:28

11 but I'm very old!

BillyBollyDandy Sat 09-Feb-13 18:56:16


Went to a grammar school, and got an Eng. Lit. degree from a RG uni.
Whoopsie blush

GW297 Sat 09-Feb-13 18:58:25

I only got 11 too!

vamosbebe Sat 09-Feb-13 18:59:49

Knowing your grammar can help learn a foreign language. All my Spanish 10 year olds can string complex sentences together because they learn their own grammar, whereas I was buggered when it came to learning French at the same age as, suddenly, we had all these rules and weird words like 'adverb', 'gerund' and 'passive voice', the majority of us were flumoxed!

I got 13, got the prepositional one wrong. A couple of years ago I would have got significantly fewer but I work in a primary school and pay close attention in the grammar lessons!

blibblibs Sat 09-Feb-13 19:14:16

Your not Dreams, I got 7 sad

Jux Sat 09-Feb-13 19:25:30

Shallishanti, as soon as people started talking about gerunds, I thought of Molesworth. We didn't cover gerunds at school, but reading that very page prompted me to ask my dad, and lo! all was revealed (well not really).

seeker Sat 09-Feb-13 19:30:35

I got 12- but I disagree with the test on the abstract/collective noun section. How arrogant is that!

JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 19:31:46

Me too Blibb!

seeker Sat 09-Feb-13 19:34:51

But I know about freinds because of my extensive knowledge of th Shortbread Eating Primer.........

seeker Sat 09-Feb-13 19:35:16

Gerunds! I meant gerunds!

ClayDavis Sat 09-Feb-13 19:35:45

Was a bit sneaky that one seeker. I'm not sure 'polluted' is a very accurate antonym for 'hygienic'.

Oh well Bil and Jen, don't worry we'll survive! Despite my rather lax learning in the 70s and 80s I've managed to scrape a living! grin.

Wellthen Sat 09-Feb-13 19:44:06

13 out of 14, got the gerund wrong as I checked afterwards. I'm quite impressed actually as I don't have an English degree and dont really remember being taught grammar at school. I'm a child of the 90s so just before the literacy hour.

I am a primary school teacher though and have been upping my grammar content in response to this new test (I teach year 5). For the posters who asked if it was year 6 standard I would say yes, after grammar teaching I would expect year 6s to be getting around 10 out of 14 but it isnt reflective of the example materials we've been given. They focus more on word class, missing punctuation and putting correct words in to make a sentence make sense.

Anja1Cam Sat 09-Feb-13 19:47:36

13 yay - English is my third language... grin

JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 19:48:04

Is an antonym an opposite? I guessed that it was. Polluted is not the opposite of hygienic imo!

14/14, but I am a languages teacher. If pupils in this country were taught the grammar of their own language properly, we wouldn't be so rubbish at learning foreign languages. Drives me mad!

elah11 Sat 09-Feb-13 20:02:38

I got 12 and I never learned anything but the most basic grammar in school (Irish 70's/80's education system!)

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Feb-13 20:07:52

I wish I'd not seen this thread, I was chuffed to bits to get 10, and DH was when he matched my score, but I was a bit crestfallen when 12 YO DD also got 10 hmm

Although I'm very pleased for/proud of her grin

JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 20:11:52

I'm not getting ds to do it Agent grin

CorrieDale Sat 09-Feb-13 20:19:05

14/14. Forgive the boast - today has not been been riddled with triumph so I have to find it where I can!

12 for me - could do better. grin

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Feb-13 20:25:51

Could do better...'with a little application to the subject' Sauv? grin

I had my fair share of those at school.

Well done Corrie, it's all up from now on <buff crystal ball>

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Feb-13 20:26:27

That should be <buffs>, unless it's a particularly handsome ball?

JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 20:36:01

Buff balls <ponders>

iklboo Sat 09-Feb-13 20:36:15

14. Had to dig 'gerund' out of the memory banks though. I left school 28 years ago!!

soimpressed Sat 09-Feb-13 20:49:09

12 for me. I only knew the answers because I have studied foreign languages. English language wasn't even taught at my secondary school so we certainly didn't learn any grammar.

Will the fact that I can't always spot a collective noun make any difference to my level of literacy though? hmm

thegreylady Sat 09-Feb-13 20:49:42

14 retires English teacher/GCSE examiner

thegreylady Sat 09-Feb-13 20:49:53


CocktailQueen Sat 09-Feb-13 20:54:22

14 out of 14 - but then I'm an editor so I should have got a good mark!! Tricky though.

tiggytape Sat 09-Feb-13 21:03:08

13 out of 14. I've never even heard of a gerund!
Mind you, despite A Levels and a good degree, I only knew the answers to any of them through helping the kids with their homework.
We did none of this at school. I went to an airy-fairy primary school where creativity was not stifled by trivial considerations like correct spellings and being taught grammar.

Iggity Sat 09-Feb-13 21:27:13

Only 11; some of it came from studying another language, some were guesses. I also had a rubbish English teacher at school until aged 14 but by then, it was probably nearly impossible for the decent teacher to help as she was more focused on getting us through the curriculum. I did get A in GCSE English but then headed down the science road.

jalapeno Sat 09-Feb-13 21:34:12

11 for me, I had to guess most of them blush

What is a gerund?

jalapeno Sat 09-Feb-13 21:39:27

Oh...I googled it...We only got as far as verb in middle school. I don't even know what an adverb is blush

ninja Sat 09-Feb-13 21:42:10

14 which I'm surprised by as I wasn't completely sure on all of them. I was never particularly good at English and was tought some grammar, but used more common sense!

usualsuspect Sat 09-Feb-13 21:44:00

9 I went to a secondary modern school in the 70s.We weren't considered bright enough to learn grammar.

plainjayne123 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:00:47

I was pleased to get 9 as I wasn't taught any grammar but answers could be intelligently guessed

MrsShrek3 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:04:56

14/14 grin grin
thanks to mandatory Latin o'level

nagynolonger Sat 09-Feb-13 22:29:02

13 out of 14. Not too bad really English was always my worst subject. I think I was working out want wasn't the answer to some........I couldn't have done it if it wasn't multiple choice.

Hulababy Sat 09-Feb-13 22:36:36

12 out of 14.

Got gerund wrong, and antonym

JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 22:42:33

dp (with his FIRST in English Lit from a proper MN endorsed university) got five

JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 22:44:20

He did keep muttering 'this isn't fucking English, it's Latin' all the way through.

LineRunner Sat 09-Feb-13 22:46:20


deleted203 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:49:37

14. Have English as part of my degree though.

louisianablue2000 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:49:47

13, got gerund wrong. Scottish and a scientist who learnt all my grammar in french lessons at school.

DieWilde13 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:53:00

13/14, but only because I'm a foreigner and it took me ages of googling to understand why pride is a collective noun!

Dromedary Sat 09-Feb-13 22:57:00

13 - just using common sense. I don't see the point of learning English grammar.

My DD who has been taught loads of English grammar only got 6.

theweekendisnear Sat 09-Feb-13 22:58:22

12/14. I'm a foreigner.

catladycourtney1 Sat 09-Feb-13 23:05:02

14/14. I'm a child of the 90s but I can't really remember being taught grammar, besides a couple of lessons on passive and active voice when I was too young to really understand it. A lot of it is common sense, like others have said.

SanityClause Sat 09-Feb-13 23:05:09

I got 13, but realised at the end I had forgotten the second meaning of pride. Silly of me, because it was obvious that one of the answers was going to be "abstract and collective", from the way the other questions were written.

80sMum Sat 09-Feb-13 23:13:32

12. Oh dear!
I went to school in the 1960s when the formal teaching of grammar had evidently gone out of fashion, so I was never taught it. I didn't even know what a pronoun was until I started going to French classes in my early 30s and learned French grammar!

TheOldestCat Sat 09-Feb-13 23:28:40

14, but only because I work as an editor and studied language as well as literature for my English degree.

I didn't learn much about grammar until university - and then much of it was taught through other languages (eg 'you see how this works in french'). So I'm glad that grammar lessons are back.

GW297 Sun 10-Feb-13 00:35:58

I didn't know what a gerund was either. Glad I'm not the only one!

FrankWippery Sun 10-Feb-13 00:52:46

14/14 and another with Latin as a compulsory subject from Lower Fifth to 'O' Level. I am a huge pedant though, so would have been horribly disappointed to get anything below top marks.

KatieMiddleton Sun 10-Feb-13 01:18:16

10 here and I have an English degree with a creative writing element blush I also have A* English Language GCSE, my mother was a teacher and I've had quite a lot of my writing published at work!! I'd never even heard of some of the terms mentioned although I puzzled most of them out.

In my defence I was never taught grammar at school past the very basics. I learnt more doing Latin and German. I'm a product of 1980s and 90s school education.

I'll add learning more about grammar to my Things-I-Would-Like-To-Do-Better list, along with brushing up my French, German and crafty stuff. Luckily my understanding of punctuation was good.

Jojobump1986 Sun 10-Feb-13 01:31:09

11, but partly because I didn't read the first question properly & partly because I assumed some of them were trick questions when I actually knew the right answer! No idea what a gerund is though - but I still got that one right! confused

Arseface Sun 10-Feb-13 02:58:44

14 - but am a journo, editor and huge fusspot!

Agree the collective noun was a bit of a trick question and not strictly a test of grammar.

Have sent the link to Fil, who will thoroughly enjoy both the quiz and the opportunity to bond over lack of proper grammatical instruction in schools today.

SnowLeopard27 Sun 10-Feb-13 12:28:55

14 smile. Latin has helped me there with all the different types of words/sentence forms.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Sun 10-Feb-13 12:47:18

I got 13 blush but in my defence I didn't read the question properly....

I'm studying English language at degree level, and half of these questions would not be out of place in one of my assignments. I didn't know what a gerund is until I started my course - I don't remember going into so much grammatical detail when I was at school (nineties).

I don't know what the current Y6 English curriculum is like, but either my degree is too easy or this is way beyond Y6. I would not have been able to pass this test when I was 15/16.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Sun 10-Feb-13 12:55:47

Having just read back through the thread..... What age is Year 6? When I was at school, Year 6 was the final year of school, i.e. GCSE year. Are they aiming this at 10/11 year olds then? In which case I am shock

JenaiMorris Sun 10-Feb-13 12:58:36

Y6 is fourth/top year juniors SayCool, in old money.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Sun 10-Feb-13 13:07:50

Ah... Thanks Jenai. Now I'm just blush

So I'm learning the same things at university that 10 year olds are learning??

<Cries at wasted tuition fees>

14/14! I am a primary teacher but maths was always stronger than language for me. smile

BrigitBigKnickers Sun 10-Feb-13 16:39:47

14/14 but only because I teach deaf kids and probably know more about grammar than the average bod.

posadas Sun 10-Feb-13 17:17:37

I scored 14...
but I don't think it's a good test.
While I'm sure it's useful for children to learn the names of parts of speech (gerund, active voice, etc), it's far more important to know how to write correctly. A better test would be to describe a situation -- ie Last year, we visited my grandmother during the summer holiday -- then ask which sentence would be a grammatically correct follow-on: a) I am happy to see her; b) I was happy to see her; c) I will be happy to see her. That example is too simple for Y6 but the general idea -- ie getting students to identify correct grammar -- would, I think, be a better test than simply knowing that one sentence is present tense and one is past tense, etc...

mrz Sun 10-Feb-13 17:35:46

The test Y6 children will sit in May requires them to know the terms. It replaces the writing test which required them to use grammar correctly hmm

Lizzabadger Sun 10-Feb-13 17:43:49

14 and ain't studied English since 'O' level

Trills Sun 10-Feb-13 17:44:29

I'm not really sure that knowing that a particular part of speech is called a gerund is necessary in order to be able to use it correctly.

(I agree with posadas)

tasmaniandevilchaser Sun 10-Feb-13 17:44:37

14 phew! As a former EFL teacher and foreign language student I would've been pretty embarrassed at much less

10 and guessed most of them based on common sense. Totally forgot pride is a collective noun even though I didn't know what a collective noun was five minutes ago.

JenaiMorris Sun 10-Feb-13 18:00:23

My grammar isn't that dreadful irl, despite having scored an embarrassing 7.

JenaiMorris Sun 10-Feb-13 18:12:42

Please nobody search my posting history to prove me wrong grin

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