On the Subject of English Tests

You’ve lived all your life writing however you wanted without giving a second thought to who would be reading what you misspelled. But now, your life depends on your grammar and orthography, and this bomb is very nitpicky. You should of paid more attention in you’re English class.

...Oh, carp.

See Appendix: Grammar for more information.

  • An English sentence with one italic word or phrase will be displayed on the large LCD display.
  • Your goal is to select the correct word that fills in the blank.
  • If multiple words appear to complete the sentence correctly, remember that this module is a pedantic prescriptivist!
  • There are three rounds. Correctly complete all the sentences to disarm the module.
  • If a mistake is made during the course of the test, the question number will reset to 1.

Appendix: Grammar

for use with the English Test module

This appendix contains a brief overview of some grammatical distinctions used in the English Test module and Needy English Test module.

The subject is what is doing the action, and the object is what is receiving the action. e.g. In “I buy milk.” I is the subject and milk is the object.

their: belonging to them; there: that place; they’re: they are
your: belonging to you; you’re: you are
I, he, she, we, they: used in subjects; me, him, her, us, them: used in objects
less: used with uncountable nouns; fewer: used with countable nouns
who: used in subjects; whom: used in objects
defiantly: rebelliously; definitely: without doubt
lead: the metal or the present tense; led: the past tense and past participle
cite: declare a quoted source; site: location; sight: a view or vision
When you don’t lay something else down, you lie down.
The past tense of lay is laid. Confusingly, the past tense of lie is lay!

Appendix: Grammar (Cont’d)

Literally means word for word. If you had “literally died” watching a video, your family and friends would be crying at your funeral about now.
If you write “should of”, “could of”, “would of”, or “might of”, no educated gentleman will take you seriously.
Remember, “I do” is to “I have done” as “I could do” is to “I could have done”. (Exceptions apply, but very very rarely!)
its: belonging to it; it’s: it is
capital: main city in a territory, money you put up to borrow something, or THIS KIND OF LETTER; capitol: big building, usually in a capital
affect: usually a verb, but noun when it means “display of emotion”; effect: almost always a noun; impact: physical force
i.e.: short for Latin id est, or “that is”; e.g.: short for Latin exemplī grātiā, or “for example”
peak: summit; peek: sneak a look; pique: excite (usually interest)
allot: partition; a lot: very much; alot: (never correct)
lose: opposite of gain; loose: opposite of tight
than: (used to compare two things); then: at the time, or right after that
complement: when two parts complete each other; compliment: You look good today!
farther: physical distance; further: figurative distance
number: used for countable nouns; amount: used for uncountable nouns
to: used in infinitives or destination; too: as well, or overly; two: 2
accept: This is fine; except: One of these things is not like the others
threw: past tense of “throw”; through: in at one side/end and out at the other
defuse: stop a bomb; diffuse: light softening out. Use "defuse" for tension.
statue: monument; stature: body height; statute: code of law
stationary: completely still; stationery: writing utensils
by: beside, from the mind of, etc.; buy: trade money for goods; bye: see you later

Appendix: Grammar (Cont’d)

breath: the noun; breathe: the verb
drink: present tense; drank: past tense; drunk: past participle and adjective
discreet: secret or carefully subtle; discrete: separate
seas: plural of sea; sees: a form of “to see”; seize: to grab or take by force; C’s: more than one C
weather: condition of the outside air; whether: if it is or if it isn’t
raise: to make something go up; rays: narrow beams of light; raze: get rid of hair with a razor, or similarly destroy a wide area
wander: frolic; wonder: ponder
die: stop living, or a small cube for randomness; dice: more than one die
meat: flesh; meet: to see someone else; mete: to deal out something unpleasant
palate: roof of your mouth; palette: board to mix paint on, or a combination of colors; pallet: plates that cargo gets placed on
In this module, racket: a loud noise; racquet: a netted stick or paddle with which to hit a ball. (Especially in US English, racket can be used for both senses.)
perfect: 100% good or correct; prefect: person in a position of power, like an official or a heir

Other pairs/sets of words include: ad/add, aloud/allowed, altar/alter, arc/ark, baited/bated, base/bass, blew/blue, brake/break, carat/caret/carrot/karat, ceiling/sealing, cent/scent/sent, cereal/serial, choral/coral/corral, coarse/course, creak/creek, dear/deer, discussed/disgust, elicit/illicit, everyday/every day, faint/feint, faze/phase, find/fined, flair/flare, flea/flee, gait/gate, idle/idol/idyll, lighting/lightning/lightening, loan/lone/lend, oar/or/ore, pail/pale, pair/pare/pear, poor/pore/pour, praise/prays/preys, precedence/precedents/presidents, right/rite/wright/write, road/rode/rowed, ring/wring, role/roll, seam/seem, stairs/stares, steal/steel, straight/strait, though/thought/through/thorough, vain/vane/vein, vary/very, wait/weight, and weak/week.

For lack of space, the differences for these words have been omitted, but they should be fairly common knowledge to most English speakers.