PARCC Grammar Practice Online Questions

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1. Everyone in the bank-including the manager and the tellers, ran to the door when the fire alarm rang.

Correct! Wrong!

1. D: The modifying phrase inserted between subject and predicate should be set off on both sides by dashes, not just one. Non-matching punctuation marks, like a dash before it but a comma after it [sentence, (A), (C)], or a dash before but a colon after it (B), are incorrect and asymmetrical. An apostrophe (E) indicates possession and is incorrect in a non-possessive plural noun. There is no reason for the incorrect, extraneous close-quotation mark after the verb (E) either.

2. To no ones surprise, Joe didn't have his homework ready.

Correct! Wrong!

2. E: "No one's is a possessive pronoun and needs the apostrophe." Omitting it [sentence, (A), (B), and (C)] is incorrect. "No one" is spelled as two words, not one (B) or one hyphenated word (C). An apostrophe after the s (D) denotes a possessive plural, not a possessive singular.

3. If he would have read "The White Birds," he might have liked William Butler Yeats' poetry.

Correct! Wrong!

3. E: The past unreal conditional should consist of "if" plus the past perfect of "to read" (auxiliary verb "had" with "read"). Adding "would" or "could" to the past perfect [sentence, (A), (B), (C), and (D)] is incorrect. In the "If...then" past unreal conditional construction, "would have" is only used in the second ("then" understood) clause, never in the first "If" clause. Also, "of" [(C), (D)] is a preposition, an incorrect substitute for the auxiliary verb "have."

4. After the hurricane, uprooted trees were laying all over the ground.

Correct! Wrong!

4. C: The correct past progressive tense of the verb "to lie" is "were lying." "Were laying" (A) is acting on an object, e.g. "Workers were laying uprooted trees on the side of the road." Without the auxiliary verb "were," "lying" (B) is incomplete and does not form a predicate for the subject "trees." "Were laid" (D) means somebody/something laid them there, not that the trees themselves were lying there. "Was laid" is singular, not plural as "trees" are.

5. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), the great transcendentalist philosopher, wrote in his essay "Self-Reliance" of the need for an individual to develop his capacities.

Correct! Wrong!

5. A: A comma (B), colon (C), or semicolon (E) is incorrect and unnecessary between the noun and its proper name.

6. The recently built children's amusement park has been called "a boon to the community" by its supporters and "an eyesore" by its harshest critics.

Correct! Wrong!

6. A: No punctuation other than the quotation marks is required or correct after "and" and around "an eyesore." Commas [(B), (C)], semicolons (C), or dashes [(D), (E)] are incorrect. Omitting quotation marks (D) is incorrect since the sentence is quoting people; and the first phrase has them, so the second also should. The apostrophes [(D), (E)] are incorrect: the irregular possessive pronoun "its" does not have an apostrophe.

7. I always have trouble remembering the meaning of these two common verbs, affect (to change" or "to influence") and effect ("to cause" or "to accomplish)."

Correct! Wrong!

7. B: The end quotation mark should come after the word but inside the end parenthesis. Putting it after the period, outside the end parenthesis (A) is incorrect. Omitting the end quotation mark (C) is incorrect. Omitting parentheses and capitalizing the infinitive verb example (D) are both incorrect. Omitting the open parenthesis (E) is incorrect. Both quotation marks and parentheses always come in pairs.

8. My class just finished reading-"The Fall of the House of Usher", a short story by Edgar Allan Poe.

Correct! Wrong!

8. C: There should not be any punctuation between the verb and its object, even if the object is a title in quotation marks as it is here. Therefore, a dash (A), comma [(B, (D)], colon (E), or any combination of two [(A), (E)] is incorrect. Additionally, omitting quotation marks around the title [(B), (E)] is incorrect.

9. After it was repaired it ran perfect again.

Correct! Wrong!

9. B: The verb is modified by the adverb "perfectly," not "perfect" [(A), (C), (D)], an adjective for modifying a noun. "After it was repaired" indicates past tense, so for agreement, the verb should also be the past tense "ran." "Could run" (C) and "would run" (E) are not past tense but unreal subjunctive mood. There is no such construction as "could of" (D), which incorrectly substitutes the preposition "of" for the auxiliary verb "have," part of the past perfect tense.

10. "Are there two E's in beetle," asked Margo?

Correct! Wrong!

10. D: The question mark comes after the question, inside the quotation marks. A line of dialogue or a quotation normally has a comma [(A), (C), (E)], but inside the end quotation mark when it is a statement. When it is a question it has a question mark, which should NOT go at the end of the sentence [(A), (E)] containing the question, when that sentence is a statement. Also, the adverb "there" is misspelled as the possessive plural third-person pronoun "their" in (B) and (C).

11. The circus audience received a well-deserved round of applause for the perfectly timed acrobatic stunt.

Correct! Wrong!

11. D: From the context, we assume the circus acrobats performed the stunt and received the applause that the audience gave. For the audience to receive applause makes no sense in this context [sentence, (A), (C), (E)]. Omitting the hyphen in "well-deserved" [(B), (C)] is also incorrect.

12. Looking directly at me, Mother said, "These are your options: the choice is yours."

Correct! Wrong!

12. E: A comma, not a hyphen (B) introduces dialogue/quotations. A semicolon, not a comma (B) separates two independent clauses. A colon (A) is incorrect, because the first clause does not introduce the second clause and is not explained by it. (C) omits quotation marks. Past perfect (D) is not incorrect in itself, but past tense in the original sentence was not incorrect and required no change.

13. Porcupine is from Latin porcus, "pig," and spina, "spine."

Correct! Wrong!

13. A: A comma after each italicized Latin word and after each English translation, inside the quotation marks surrounding the latter, is correct. Separating any of these terms with dashes is incorrect [(B), (C), (D), and (E)]. A dash followed by a comma is always incorrect, as is separating a pair with a hyphen (D). Both pairs should be separated by commas; (E) omits the comma from the second pair.

14. Seeing the dolphins, some sharks, a killer whale, and a Moray eel made the visit to the marine park worthwhile.

Correct! Wrong!

14. B: Each item in a series of three or more is separated with a comma. Omitting the last comma before "and" [(C), (D), (E)] is incorrect. The term "moray eel" is not a proper name but a common name for many types of eels and thus is not capitalized [(A), (D)] (unless it begins a sentence). Present verb tense [(C), (D)] is not incorrect, but these choices also include the identified punctuation [(C), (D)] and capitalization (D) errors.

15. Still, the fact that a planet exists outside our solar system encourages hope that other solar systems exist, and in them, perhaps, a planet that supports life.

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15. A: "A planet" is not a name, hence not capitalized; a comma should separate the independent clause from the following phrase (B); "outside" is one word [(B), (E)]. Adding "could be" (C) changes the meaning and is also ungrammatical, creating two unconnected predicates "...the fact could be...encourages..." requiring ", which" before "encourages" or changing "encourages" to ", encouraging..." "Fact" and "planet" are both singular nouns; "exist" and "encourage" (D) belong with plural nouns. The words "...does exists..." should be "...does exist" (E).

16. Mail-order shopping can be convenient and timesaving with appropriate precautions, it is safe as well.

Correct! Wrong!

16. E: A semicolon separates independent clauses. Omitting punctuation (A), including that semicolon and the hyphen from "time-saving" [(A), (B)], is incorrect. Spelling "time-saving" as two separate words [(C), (D)] is also incorrect. Substituting "should" (C) or "could" (D) for "can" alters the meaning.

17. Among the many fields of science, no matter what turns you on, there are several fields of study.

Correct! Wrong!

17. E: The word "science" is not capitalized [(B), (C), (D). The phrase "what turns you on" is slangy and not preferred. (If it ended the sentence, it would also be incorrect for ending a sentence with a preposition.) "Which you choose" is preferable. "Chose" [(C), (D)] is past tense, disagreeing with the present-tense predicate "are." "Of these" (D) is redundant. The interrupting modifier "no matter..." is enclosed by commas on each side, not a comma and dash (D).

18. The fact that boxing is known to cause head injuries and brain damage should lead us to inform the public and push for a ban on boxing.

Correct! Wrong!

18. A: Substituting "could" (B) or "will" (D) for "should" changes the sentence meaning. "Should of" (C) incorrectly substitutes the preposition "of" for the auxiliary verb "have;" there is no such construction. Even the correct form "should have led" (E) is subjunctive mood, past tense, disagreeing with the present-tense sentence context ("...boxing is known...lead..."); and a comma after "inform" is incorrect.

19. The first part of the test was on chemistry, the second on mathematics, and the third on english.

Correct! Wrong!

19. D: English is capitalized because it is a proper name as well as a school subject. Uncapitalized names (A) are incorrect. However, mathematics, like chemistry, is a school subject but not a proper name and hence, not capitalized (C). Semicolons [(B), (C)] only separate independent clauses, or phrases containing internal commas, but not several phrases in a series. A semicolon (E) introduces lists or explanations but never separates phrases in a series.

20. The Diary of Anne Frank showed a young girl's courage during two years of hiding.

Correct! Wrong!

20. B: Present tense is preferable when referring to an existing book rather than past tense [(A), (C), (E)] or present perfect tense (D). The author wrote it in the past, but the book still exists in the present. The possessive noun "girl's" has an apostrophe, which is incorrectly omitted in (C) and (E).

21. In August my parents will be married for twenty-five years.

Correct! Wrong!

21. C: "In August" is the future, requiring the future-tense auxiliary verb "will." "Have been married" is present perfect. Adding "will" to "have been married" makes the tense future perfect. Simple future tense "will be married" [(A), (D)] with "for twenty-five years" literally means they will get married in August and will be married for 25 years thereafter. "Will have married" (E) cannot be "for 25 years": being married is a continuous process; marrying is not.

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