Q:

What should basic grammar quizzes cover?

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Quick Answer

A basic grammar quiz should cover common mistakes, such as the differences between homophones like there, their and they’re. The quiz should also address topics such as independent and subordinate clauses.

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Full Answer

Homophones are words that have similar pronunciation, but they have a different meaning. The proper use of there, their and they’re is usually a common mistake. The word “there” refers to the location of something or someone. For example, “The book is there.”

The word “their” is a possessive adjective; meaning that it indicates that something belongs to the noun that precedes the word. For example, “The soccer team won their game today.”

The word “they’re” is a contraction of “they are.” Since it indicates current or future action, it is normally used befog an adjective or a verb ending in “ing”. For example, “they’re cleaning their uniforms.”

Independent clauses can function by themselves as complete sentences. Subordinate clauses need additional clauses to complete their meaning and are usually either preceded or proceed by another clause, separated by a comma. For example, “While I enjoy cooking, I hate doing the dishes.” In that sentence, the first part was a subordinate clause, since it would not make sense without the second clause. On the other hand, the second clause could make sense by itself, and is thus an independent clause.

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