Sentence Exercise with Explanation

1. Choose the correct sentence.
Correct Answer: The doctor suggested that the patient take things easy for at least three months.
Explanation: This sentence employs the subjunctive mood. “Suggested that” demands a simple form of the verb in the next clause. Only (B) has a simple verb in the second clause.
2. The more she worked____________
Correct Answer: the less she achieved.
Explanation: This is a double comparative. The correct form is ‘the + comparative ………the + comparative’.
3. John did not do well in the class because ____________
Correct Answer: he failed to study properly.
Explanation: Choice (A) is incorrect because the Verb ‘studied’ should be modified by an adverb, ‘badly’. Choice (B) is in error because it is never correct to say ‘wise’ with a noun or verb to mean ‘in relation to’. Choice (C) uses ‘badly’, which is an adverb and cannot modify the noun ‘student’; it should have been ‘bad’. Choice (D) is correct in all sense.
4. Choose the correct sentence:
Correct Answer: They asked him not to give that new information to anyone else but the sergeant.
Explanation: To make an infinitive negative, you must bring a ‘not’ before the ‘to’. Other options are incorrect as they don’t follow this rule.
5. Choose the correct sentence:
Correct Answer: Only after entering the store did Arthur realize that there was a danger.
Explanation: This sentence involves the use of an adverbial at the beginning of a sentence. Correct form is adverbial+ auxiliary + subject + verb. The other sentences must have a question mark at the end of them to be regarded as correct.
6. Choose the correct sentence:
Correct Answer: A good student must know how to study effectively.
Explanation: Choices (A) and (B) are incorrect because the correct form is know + how + [verb in infinitive]. Choice (D) is verbose, using a poor choice of vocabulary in “way of efficiency in study.”
7. This university’s programs__________those of Harvard.
Correct Answer: are second only to
Explanation: The expression ‘second only to’ here means that Harvard’s programs are the best, and this university’s programs are second best.
8. ____________ the best car to buy is a Mercedes Benz.
Correct Answer: Because of its durability and economy,
Explanation: Choice (A) contains correct parallel structure: durability (noun)… economy (noun). Choice (B) is verbose: ‘lasts a long time’ means it is durable. It is not necessary to us so many words. When there is a shorter answer that means the same and is grammatically correct, choose the shorter answer. Choice (C) would be correct if it said: “its durability and economy” (noun & noun). Choice (D) uses ‘economy-wise’. It is always incorrect to use ‘wise’ with a noun in this way.
9. Choose the correct sentence.
Correct Answer: George belongs to the upper middle class.
Explanation: To speak of societal classes we have only the following choices: lower class, lower-middle class, middle class, upper-middle class, and upper class.
10. When Harry arrived home after a hard day at work, ___________
Correct Answer: his wife was sleeping.
Explanation: Choice (A) and (B) both are correct according to the structure but choice (B) does not make sense. Choice (D) would be correct if it said ‘had been sleeping’.
11. Choose the correct sentence:
Correct Answer: He gave the class a tough assignment.
Explanation: The structure should be ‘subject + verb + indirect object + direct object’. There should be no preposition.
12. People all over the world are starving___________.
Correct Answer: in greater numbers
Explanation: The correct expression is ‘in greater numbers’. This is an expression that you should memorize.
13. It was not until she arrived in class _________ realized she had forgotten her book.
Correct Answer: that she
Explanation: Always after the expression ‘, it was not until’, the conjunction ‘that’ is a must. To use ‘when’ here would be redundant.
14. John has not been able to recall where ___________.
Correct Answer: she lives
Explanation: For an embedded question, use question word + subject + verb.
15. Ben would have studied medicine if he ________ to a medical school.
Correct Answer: had been admitted
Explanation: Past condition. When the conditional perfect is used in the ‘result clause’, the past perfect must be used in the ‘if clause’. See Conditionals for more.
16. He entered a university __________.
Correct Answer: at the age of sixteen
Explanation: There are only a few possibilities for expressing age in English. (1) When he is sixteen (years old). (2) at (age) sixteen, and (3) at the age of sixteen. Choice (C) follows the rule (3) and is the only correct answer.
17. The Starks were told to ________.
Correct Answer: speak freely
Explanation: Choice (A) is verbose and too informal for written English. Choice (B) uses ‘make’ and it does not make any sense. In choice (D) with their minds open (having open minds) is an idiom meaning to be willing to have no biases. When used in this context with ‘talk’, it is not logical.
18. Those students do not like to read novels__________their textbooks.
Correct Answer: much less
Explanation: ‘Much less’ is used in this context in a negative sentence to indicate that the second item mentioned is disliked even more than the first. The students dislike reading novels and dislike reading textbooks even more.
19. He _________ looked forward to the new venture.
Correct Answer: eagerly
Explanation: Choices (B) and (D) are verbose. ‘Eagerly’ (A) is much more concise than either of these choices. Choice (C) uses ‘eagernessly’, which is not a word. It is not possible to add an adverb affix (-ly) to a noun affix (-ness).
20. The people were told to vacate their houses immediately ___________.
Correct Answer: when the water began to rise
Explanation: Choices (A), (C), and (D) are all verbose. In addition, choice (A) includes the wrong verb (raised); (A) and (D) incorrectly use ‘the time’ as well as ‘when’. So, choice (B) is the logical answer.
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