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Results 1 to 10 of 155 (page 1 of 16)

Apostrophes 1

An English language quiz on the use of apostrophes.Can you tell if the apostrophes are used correctly in the following sentences?1. Samson asked the cashier for the key to the men’s room.correctincorrect2. Nathan and Simone’s descriptions of the crime did not match.correctincorrect3. You’re coffees getting cold.correctincorrect4. After the hockey game, Shauna went to the Smiths’ house for hot chocolate.correctincorrect5. Casey’s 6s and 0s looked the same.correctincorrect6. The director told us that it’s time to get down to business.correctincorrect7. Yoshi lived in London during the 1960’s.correctincorrect  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 44,749

Commas

A quiz on the use of commas.Think you know everything about commas? See if you can put the comma (or commas) in the right place in these sentences.1. John who was usually quite decisive could not decide where to go for his vacation.comma after "John"comma after "decisive"commas after "John" and "decisive"no comma needed2. The new equipment just arrived this morning so the technician will come and set it up tomorrow.comma after "arrived"comma after "morning"comma after "come"no comma needed3. After she had arrived at her office Kia realized she had left the hot-water tap running.comma after "office"comma after "realized"commas after "after" and "office"no comma needed4. The ring on his finger is solid gold.comma after "ring"commas after "ring" and "finger"comma after "finger"no comma needed5. The conference will take place on March 4 2006 at the new convention centre.comma after "4"commas after "4" and "2006"comma after "2006"no comma needed6. There was an old stone fence around the field.comma after "old"comma after "stone"commas after "old" and "stone"no comma needed7. François' favourite desserts are brownies fudge cookies and chocolate cake.comma after "brownies"comma after "fudge"commas after "brownies" and "fudge"no comma needed8. Swift Current Saskatchewan was incorporated as a city in 1914.comma after "Swift Current"comma after "Saskatchewan"commas after "Swift Current" and "Saskatchewan"no comma needed  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 35,978

Colons 1

An English-language quiz on colon usage.Can you tell if the colon is used correctly in each of these sentences?1. The committee now includes: the CEO, two managing directors, a researcher and two writers.correctincorrect2. After James retired, he took up some new hobbies: fly fishing, skating and scuba diving.correctincorrect3. Padma whipped up a ten-course meal, including: gazpacho, fried calamari and baked Alaska.correctincorrect4. The Yeungs enjoy listening to the music of some great Russian composers: Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff, and their favourite: Tchaikovsky.correctincorrect5. Miriam Toews, who was born in Steinbach, Manitoba, wrote: Summer of My Amazing Luck, A Boy of Good Breeding and A Complicated Kindness.correctincorrect6. They read, studied and reviewed the material: yet, they failed the exam.correctincorrect7. There are many reasons for joining a gym: to get in shape, to lose weight and to get out of the house.correctincorrect  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 35,552

punctuation: spacing

An English writing tip explaining when to put a space before or after a mark of punctuation.
As a general rule, in English there is no space before and one space after a punctuation mark. Exceptions follow. Period No space before or after a decimal period between numerals: 10.6 million Canadians $7.45 A space before and none after a decimal period not preceded by a numeral: a .22 calibre rifle A space after a period following a person’s initial: W. S. Avis No space before or after a period in multiple numeration: subsection 2.5.12 No space before or after a period that is followed by a comma or a closing quotation mark, parenthesis or bracket: John Fraser Jr., Ellen Putniak and George Zeller were nominated. (See Chapter 21.) No space before the periods following the capital letters in the official abbreviations of provinces and territories, and no space after such periods except the last one: P.E.I. Y.T. Ellipsis points A space before, between and after ellipsis points: There was little he could say . . . so he said nothing. Note: There is an alternative format for the ellipsis. It requires no spaces between the ellipsis points (…). However, a space is inserted before and after the ellipsis when it is used between two words (“Interviews … have”), between a comma and a word (“In fact, … we have”), or between end punctuation and the beginning of a new sentence (“fell drastically. … But”). Question mark and exclamation mark No space before or after a question or exclamation mark that is followed by a closing quotation mark, parenthesis or bracket: The delegate added, "Is it not high time we tightened our belts and dealt with the deficit?" Comma No space before or after a comma that is followed by a closing quotation mark: "Stop procrastinating," she said. The terms "interfacing," "conferencing" and "downsizing" are now part of the language of business. No space before or after a comma used to separate triads in numbers (see Note 2 in 5.09 Decimal fractions): $12,670,233 Colon No space before or after a colon used to express ratios or the time of day in the 24-hour system, or to separate chapter and verse, volume and page, act and scene in references to books, plays, etc.: a slope of 1:4 We arrived at 15:30 Psalms 39:5 Parentheses and brackets One space before and none after an opening parenthesis or bracket within a sentence; no space before or after a closing parenthesis or bracket that is followed by a punctuation mark: Please read the enclosed booklet (Using Your Modem); it will help you take full advantage of your new communication tool. No space before or between parentheses enclosing subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, etc., in citations from legislation: subparagraph 123(4)(b)(ii) Em dash, en dash and hyphen No space before or after these marks when they are inserted between words, a word and a numeral, or two numerals: I will support you in any way I can—even to the point of silence. —Eugene Forsey a few 90-cent stamps pp. 134–200 Oblique No space before or after an oblique used between individual words, letters or symbols; one space before and after the oblique when one or both of the items it separates contain internal spacing: n/a thesaurus / collocation dictionary Language and Society / Langue et société Apostrophe No space before or after an apostrophe within a word. One space before and none after an apostrophe used to indicate omitted figures in dates: the committee’s report the employees’ suggestions the class of ’79 Quotation marks One space before and none after an opening quotation mark within a sentence; no space before or after a closing quotation mark that is followed by a punctuation mark: The Minister spoke of "a full and frank discussion with all parties"; a resolution to the conflict is expected within the week.
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 34,135

Semicolons 1

An English-language quiz on the use of semicolons.Do you think you know your semicolons? Try our quiz and see if you can identify which of these sentences use this punctuation mark correctly.1. The auditors made six recommendations, however; only one has been adopted so far. correctincorrect2. Although the auditors made six recommendations; only one has been adopted so far. correctincorrect3. The client approved of the recommendations; they were, however, inconvenient and expensive to implement.correctincorrect4. The tour will stop in these cities: London, England; Paris, France; and Rome, Italy.correctincorrect5. The Asian countries sent six representatives; the African countries, five.correctincorrect6. What the director actually said was; "it's time to get down to business."correctincorrect7. Vitaly and Irena were happy with the results; yet they wanted to recheck the data.correctincorrect  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 23,559

Apostrophes 2

An English language quiz on the use of apostrophes.Can you tell if the apostrophes are used correctly in the following sentences?1. Excuse me, Maa'm, you dropped your gloves.correctincorrect2. Sabrina MC'ed the Friends of Felines gala event this year.correctincorrect3. The tallest man in the world measured 8'3" in February 2011.correctincorrect4. In the 90's and noughties, Dharma was in school.correctincorrect5. Who's mittens are these?correctincorrect6. Miki received the equivalent of two months' pay as a bonus.correctincorrect7. Here is a list of the pro's and con's of feeding your dog a raw food diet.correctincorrect  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 18,984

Quotation marks

An English-language quiz on the use of quotation marks.Quotation marks are important in English. We use them to set off slang or technical terms, quotations, dialogue or certain titles and also to mark definitions or translations. Knowing when to use quotation marks will give your writing a polished touch. See if you can identify which sentences obey the rules for quotation marks.1. Suzuko replied, "No, I have never been to Charleston."correctincorrect2. The reporter interviewed wildlife officers, residents and the police for her article "Bear Cub Takes a Stroll Through City Neighbourhoods."correctincorrect3. Elliotte asked Frantisek "where he thought they had gone wrong."correctincorrect4. According to one baby-names Web site, "Muncel" means strong and willing.correctincorrect5. In recent years, North American sales of the "Bhagavad Gita" have picked up.correctincorrect6. There's no time like the present to stop using pesticides.correctincorrect7. The French word plusieurs is usually translated as "a number of."correctincorrect  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 18,539

End punctuation

An English-language quiz on end punctuation.The period, exclamation point and question mark are called end punctuation. We all know how to use these basic punctuation marks—or do we? See if you know the ins and outs of end punctuation with this quiz.1. Which sentence is punctuated properly?I wonder whether the mail has been delivered?The mail has been delivered, hasn't it.Would you please pick up the mail for me.2. Punctuate a sentence that ends in the abbreviation for etcetera as follows:She loves reading about horses, dogs, cats, etc.The office needs new computers, telephones, fax machines, etc..Buy food for supper tonight: potatoes, pork chops, (etc.).3. A question mark in parentheses can be used toexpress uncertainty.mark the end of any sentence.express the writer's disbelief.4. Writers can express their disbelief by using an exclamation point like this:Thousands of people [!] attended the concert in the rain.Thousands of people (!) attended the concert in the rain.Thousands of people—!—attended the concert in the rain.5. Which sentence has the correct punctuation?Churchill said, "Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world".Did John say he bought "a nice house" or "an ice house?"The audience immediately stood up and yelled, "Encore!"6. Which of the following abbreviations is punctuated properly?NNW. (North northwest)R.C.M.P. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)ATV (all-terrain vehicle)7. Choose the sentence that is punctuated properly.Did the tourist ask, "How can I get to the museum?"?Did the tourist ask, "How can I get to the museum?"Did the tourist ask, "How can I get to the museum"?  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 18,455

Dashes

An English-language quiz on the use of the dash.Using dashes properly can liven up and clarify your writing. Test yourself with the quiz below.1. Which is the correct way to punctuate scores?The Flames beat the Canucks 3–2 in overtime.The Flames beat the Canucks 3—2 in overtime.both are correct2. Which of the following is spaced properly?Kali chose a shocking colour for the guest room – electric blue!Kali chose a shocking colour for the guest room—electric blue!both are correct3. Which of the following uses the correct punctuation?No parking Monday–Friday, 7:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.No parking Monday — Friday, 7:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.No parking Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.4. In which of the following sentences is the distance most emphasized?I had a long drive ahead, more than 800 km, so I set out at dawn.I had a long drive ahead—more than 800 km—so I set out at dawn.I had a long drive ahead (more than 800 km), so I set out at dawn.5. Which of the following demonstrates the right way to join two independent clauses?Neville made a mug for his mother, and she uses it every day.Neville made a mug for his mother—and she uses it every day.both are correct6. Which of the following federal electoral districts is punctuated correctly?South Shore —St. Margaret'sCumberland–Colchester–Musquodoboit ValleyKings-Hants7. Which of the following is a standard use of the en dash?replacing a colon to introduce an explanationattaching a prefix or suffix to an unhyphenated compoundattributing a quotation  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 18,354

Kicking the em dash habit

An English blog post on the spaced en dash and unspaced em dash.Bold. Dramatic. Assertive. Powerful. These are just some of the words used to describe my favourite punctuation mark: the em dash! The unspaced em dash I'm a long-time fan of unspaced em dashes to separate the elements of a sentence or title in English. In fact, I delight in peppering my texts with these long dashes to create suspense or highlight an interruption. And I'm not alone: most Canadian and American style guides support my preference. But the unspaced em dash, entrenched though it is in North America, has a rival that's been gaining ground. The spaced en dash Consider the following sentences: "Yogourt" or "yogurt"—which is right? "Yogourt" or "yogurt" – which is right? In the first sentence, I used an unspaced em dash (—) to offset the question. In the second one, I used a spaced en dash ( – ). (And in case you were wondering which dash was right, the answer is … both!) Personally, I find that the first sentence has more "oomph" than the second one. The difference between the two sentences is subtle, but it's there. For that reason, I'm not the biggest fan of spaced en dashes. But I'm learning to live with them. Why? Because they're popping up everywhere, and they're endorsed by some pretty credible sources. Support for the spaced en dash Some major British publishing houses (including Cambridge University Press and Penguin) use spaced en dashes. And many writers and graphic designers on this side of the Atlantic also prefer spaced en dashes for readability and aesthetics, finding them less distracting than unspaced em dashes. Moreover, in his influential work The Elements of Typographic Style, Canadian typographer Robert Bringhurst also advocates spaced en dashes. He states that the em dash is too long in many modern fonts and claims that it's passé: The em dash is the nineteenth-century standard, still prescribed in many editorial style books, but the em dash is too long for use with the best text faces. Like the oversized space between sentences, it belongs to the padded and corseted aesthetic of Victorian typography. So, move over, em dash, and make way for your leaner and airier cousin. With time, I may even learn to like the spaced en dash. Perhaps it's an acquired taste … What about you? Which dash would we find in your writing? Let us know in the comments section!
Source: Our Languages blog (posts from our contributors)
Number of views: 18,313