ARCO Teach Yourself to Pass Civil Service Exams in 24 Hours

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028628738
  • Publisher: Macmillan General Reference
  • Publication date: 3/1/1999
  • Series: ARCO Teach Yourself in 24 Hours Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 7.37 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Table of Contents

Teach Yourself Civil Service Exams in 24 Hours

PART I: START WITH THE BASICS

Hour 1 - Civil Service Jobs

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Federal Employment
  • State and Local Government Employment
  • Obtaining Job Information
  • How to Apply
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 2 - Overview of the Exam

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • What to Expect on the Civil Service Exam
  • What to Expect on State and Municipal Exams
  • Biographical and Achievement Inventory
  • Preparing for the Exam
  • How the Exam Is Administered
  • Exam Ratings
  • Test-Taking Strategies
  • The Hour in Review

PART II: LEARN TO ANSWER VERBAL ABILITY QUESTIONS

Hour 3 - English Grammar and Usage

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Essentials of English Grammar
  • Other Rules You Must Know
  • Workshop
    • Practice Exercise
    • Answers and Explanations
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 4 - Spelling

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Essential Spelling Rules
  • Answering Spelling Questions
  • Workshop
    • Practice Exe rcise 1
    • Practice Exercise 2
    • Practice Exercise 3
    • Answers and Explanations
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 5 - Synonyms

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • What Are Synonyms?
  • Tackling Synonym Questions
  • Strategies for Answering Synonym Questions
  • Workshop
    • Practice Exercise 1
    • Practice Exercise 2
    • Answers
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 6 - Sentence Completions

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • What Are Sentence Completions?
  • Tackling Sentence Completion Questions
  • Workshop
    • Practice Exercise
    • Answers and Explanations
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 7 - Verbal Analogies

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • What Are Verbal Analogy Questions?
  • Tackling Verbal Analogy Questions
  • Workshop
    • Practice Exercise 1
    • Practice Exercise 2
    • Answers and Explanations
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 8 - Effective Expresions

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • What Is Being Tested?
  • Tackling Effective Expression Questions
  • Workshop
    • Practice Exercise
    • Answers and Explanations
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 9 - Reading Comprehension

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Kinds of Reading Comprehension Questions
  • Tackling Reading Comprehension Questions
  • Improving Reading Comprehension
  • Workshop
    • Practice Exercise
    • Answers and Explanations
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 10 - Testing Judgment, Communication, Observation, and Memory Skills

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Answering Judgment Questions
    • Practice Judgment Questions
    • Answers and Explanations
  • Answering Communication Skill Questions
    • Practice Communication Skill Questions
    • Answers and Explanations
  • Observation and Memory Questions
    • Practice Exercises
    • Answers and Explanations
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 11 - Mechanical Aptitude

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • What Mechanical Aptitude Questions Test
  • Workshop
    • Practice Exercise
    • Answers and Explanations
  • The Hour in Review

PART III: LEARN TO ANSWER CLERICAL ABILITY QUESTIONS

Hour 12 - Alphabetizing and Filing

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Rules of Alphabetic Filing
  • Kinds of Alphabetizing and Filing Questions
  • Workshop
    • Practice Exercise 1
    • Practice Exercise 2
    • Practice Exercise 3
    • Practice Exercise 4
    • Answers and Explanations
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 13 - Clerical Speed and Accuracy

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • DO's and DON'Ts for Answering Timed Questions
  • Comparison Questions
  • Workshop: Comparisons
    • Practice Exercise 1
    • Practice Exercise 2
    • Practice Exercise 3
    • Answers and Explanations
  • Answering Co ding Questions
  • Workshop: Coding
    • Practice Exercise 1
    • Practice Exercise 2
    • Answers and Explanations
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 14 - Typing and Stenography Tests

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • The Typing Test
  • The Stenography Test
  • Alphabetic Word List
  • Transcript
  • Answers
  • The Hour in Review

PART IV: LEARN TO ANSWER ARITHMETIC ABILITY QUESTIONS

Hour 15 - Fractions and Decimals

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Fractions and Mixed Numbers
  • Workshop: Fractions
    • Practice Exercise 1
    • Practice Exercise 2
    • Answers and Explanations
  • Decimals
  • Workshop: Decimals
    • Practice Exercise 1
    • Practice Exercise 2
    • Answers and Explanations
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 16 - Percents, Ratio, and Proportion

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Percents
  • Workshop: Percents
    • Practice Exercise 1
    • Practice Exercise 2
    • Answers and Solutions
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Workshop: Ratio and Proportion
    • Practice Exercise 1
    • Practice Exercise 2
    • Answers and Solutions
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 17 - Graphs and Tables

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Graphs
  • Workshop: Graphs
    • Practice Exercise
    • Answers and Explanations
  • Tabular Completions
  • Workshop:Tabular Completions
    • Practice Exercise
    • Answers and Explanations
  • The Hour in Review

Hour 18 - Reasoning Problems

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Solving Work Problems
  • Tackling Work Problems
  • Workshop: Work Problems
    • Practice Problems
    • Answers and Explanations
  • Solving Arithmetic Reasoning Problems
  • Workshop: Reasoning Problems
    • Practice Problems
    • Answers and Explanations
  • The Hour in Review

PART V: PRACTICE WITH SAMPLE EXAMS

Hour 19 - Sample Civil Service Exam 1

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Verbal Ability Test
  • Clerical Ability Test
  • Verbal Ability Test
  • Clerical Ability Test

Hour 20 - Evaluating Sample Civil Service Exam 1

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Scoring the Sample Civil Service Exam
    • Scoring the Verbal Ability Test
    • Scoring the Clerical Ability Test
  • Answer Explanations
    • Explanations for the Verbal Ability Test
    • Explanations for the Clerical Ability Test
  • Evaluating Yourself

Hour 21 - Sample Civil Service Exam 2

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Answer Sheet
  • Spelling
  • Computations
  • Verbal Ability Test

Hour 22 - Evaluating Sample Civil Service Exam 2

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Scoring the Sample Civil Service Exam
  • Answer Key for Sample Exam 2
  • Evaluating Yourself

Hour 23 - Municipal Office Aide Sample E xam

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Answer Sheet

Hour 24 - Evaluating the Municipal Office Aide Sample Exam

  • What You Will Learn in This Hour
  • Scoring the Sample Exam
  • Answer Key
  • Answer Explanations
  • Evaluating Yourself

Appendix A - Selected Jobs in the Federal Service
Appendix B - Selected State and Municipal Positions
Appendix C - Senior Office Typist Sample Exam

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Teach Yourself Civil Service Exams in 24 Hours

- Hour 3 -

English Grammar and Usage

What You Will Learn in This Hour

Part of the verbal ability portion of the civil service exam tests whether youcan recognize incorrect grammar and sentence structure. Getting a high score on thispart of the test requires a thorough understanding of the rules of grammar, sentencestructure, capitalization, and punctuation. In this hour, you will review those rulesand test yourself with practice exercises.

  • Rules of English grammar that you will need to know.
  • Capitalization and punctuation rules that you will need to know.
  • Practice English grammar and usage questions.

Essentials of English Grammar

A strong grasp of the basic rules of English grammar is essential for scoringwell on this part of the exam. All of the following rules should be review for you.Study these rules until you are sure you understand them, then recognizing errorsin the questions on the exam will come naturally to you.

The Parts of Speech

Review the basic parts of speech:

  • A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea: teacher, city, desk, democracy.
  • Pronouns substitute for nouns: he, they, ours, those.
  • An adjective describes a noun: warm, quick, tall, blue.
  • A verb expresses action or state of being: yell, interpret, feel, are.
  • An adverb modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb: slowly, well, busily.
  • Conjunctions join words, sentences, and phrases: and, but, or.
  • A preposition shows position in time or space: in, during, after, behind.

A phrase is any group of related words that has no subject or predicate and that is used as a single part of speech. Phrases may be built around prepositions, articles, gerunds, or infinitives, but they cannot stand by themselves as sentences.

Noun and Pronoun Rules

The antecedent of the pronoun is the noun to which a pronoun refers. A pronounmust agree with its antecedent in gender, person, and number.


The pronoun generally refers to the nearest noun. Make certain that the grammatical antecedent is indeed the intended antecedent. Consider this sentence: Since the mouth of the cave was masked by underbrush, it provided an excellent hiding place. This is incorrect, because it refers to underbrush, not the intended antecedent cave. You may find that the most effective way to clear up an ambiguity is to recast the sentence so the pronoun is not used.

Both pronouns and nouns have th ree cases:

  • Nominative: The subject, noun/pronoun of address, or predicate noun/pronoun. Examples of nominative pronouns include I, he, she, we, and they.
  • Objective: The direct object, indirect object, or object of a preposition. Examples of objective pronouns include me, him, her, us, and them.
  • Possessive: The form that shows possession. Examples of possessive pronouns include mine, his, hers, ours, and theirs.

There are several rules relating to noun and pronoun case that you should know:

  • The subject of a verb is in the nominative case even if the verb is understood and not expressed. Example: They are as old as we. (Check your answer by silently finishing off the sentence: as we are.)
  • Nouns or pronouns connected by a form of the verb to be are always in the nominative case. Example: It is I. (Not me.)
  • Who and whoever are in the nominative case; whom and whomever are in the objective case. Examples: The trapeze artist who ran away with the clown broke the lion tamer's heart. (Who is the subject of the verb ran.) Invite whomever you wish to accompany you. (Whomever is the object of the verb invite.)
  • The object of a preposition or transitive verb takes a pronoun in the objective case. Example: It would be impossible for me to do that job alone. (Me is the object of the preposition for.)
  • Do not use the possessive case when referring to an inanimat e object. Incorrect: He had difficulty with the store's management. Correct: He had difficulty with the management of the store.
  • A noun or pronoun modifying a gerund should be in the possessive case. Example: Is there any criticism of Arthur's going? (Going is the gerund.)

When the first person pronoun is used in conjunction with one or more proper names, confirm the choice of I or me by eliminating the proper names and reading the sentence with the pronoun alone. Consider this sentence: John, George, Marylou, and (me or I) went to the movies last night. By eliminating the names, you can easily see that I went to the movies last night is correct.

Adjective and Adverb Rules

Often, it is unclear whether you should use an adjective or an adverb. Rememberthat adjectives modify nouns and pronouns, and adverbs modify verbs, adjectives,and other adverbs. Sometimes, context must determine which is used. Consider thissentence: The old man looked angry. In this case, you must use an adjectivebecause you are describing a noun, the old man. Consider this sentence: Theold man looked angrily out the window. Now, you must use an adverb becauseyou are describing a verb, looked.


Adjectives answer the questions, "Which one?", "What kind?", and "How many?". Adverbs answer the questions, "Why?", "How?", "Where?", "When", and "To what degree?".

Place adverbs, clauses, and phrases near the words they modify to prevent confusion.For example, &quo t;The man was willing to sell only one horse" is betterthan "the man was only willing to sell one horse," because the adverbonly modifies the adjective one, rather than the verb was willing.

Whenever you use a modifier, it must modify something. For example, the sentence,"While away on vacation, the pipes burst," is incorrect. The pipes werenot on vacation, so the phrase does not modify anything. A better way to say it is,"While we were on vacation, the pipes burst."


The best test for the placement of modifiers is to read the sentence literally. If the sentence does not make sense, it is wrong. The meaning of the sentence should be clear to any reader.



Hardly, scarcely, barely, only, and but (when it means only) are negative words. Do not use another negative in conjunction with any of these words. Incorrect: I can't hardly read the small print. Correct: I can hardly read the small print.

Rules of Sentence Structure

You should know the following basic rules of good sentence structure:

  • Every sentence must contain a verb. A group of words without a verb is a sentence fragment, not a sentence.
  • Every sentence must have a subject. The subject may be a noun, pronoun, or a phrase functioning as a noun. In commands, however, the subject is usually not expressed but is understood to be you.

A subordinate clause must never stand alone. It is not a complete sentence--only a sentence fragment--despite the fact that it has a subject and a verb. Subordin ate clauses may act as adverbs, adjectives, or nouns. A subordinate adverbial clause is usually introduced by a subordinating conjunction, such as when, while, because, as soon as, if, after, although, as before, since, than, though, until, and unless. Subordinate adjective and noun clauses may be introduced by the pronouns who, which, and that.

Rules of Agreement

The following are sometimes tricky rules of subject-verb agreement and verb tensethat you must know:

  • A verb should agree in number with the subject of the sentence. Example: Poor study habits are the leading cause of unsatisfactory achievement in school.
  • A verb should not be made to agree with a noun that is part of a phrase following the subject. Example: Mount Snow, one of my favorite ski areas, is in Vermont.
  • A subject consisting of two or more nouns joined by a coordinating conjunction takes a plural verb. Example: Paul and Sue were the last to arrive.
  • When the conjunctions or, either/or, and neither/nor are used, the number of the verb agrees with the last subject. Example: Either the cat or the mice take charge in the barn.
  • The number of the verb is not affected when words introduced by with, together with, no less than, as well as, etc. are added to the subject. Example: The captain, together with the rest of the team, was delighted by the victory celebration.
  • In sentences beginning with there is and there are, the verb agrees with the noun that follo ws it. Example: There is not an unbroken bone in her body.
  • Statements equally true in the past and the present are usually expressed in the present tense. Example: He said that Venus is a planet. (Although he made the statement in the past, the fact remains that Venus is a planet.)
  • When expressing a condition contrary to fact or a wish, use the subjunctive form were. Example: I wish I were a movie star.

Each, either, neither, anyone, anybody, somebody, someone, every, everyone, one, no one, and nobody are singular pronouns. Each of these words takes a singular verb and a singular pronoun. Example: Neither likes the pets of the other.

Avoiding Common Errors

The following are common, but subtle, errors. Train yourself to concentrate oneach sentence so that you can recognize errors.

  • Comparisons must be logical and complete. Incorrect: Wilmington is larger than any city in Delaware. Correct: Wilmington is larger than any other city in Delaware. (Wilmington cannot be larger than itself.)
  • Comparisons and other groups must be parallel. Incorrect: She spends all her time eating, asleep, and on her studies. Correct: She spends all her time eating, sleeping, and studying. (All three verbs are in the same form.)
  • Avoid needless shifts in point-of-view--a change within the sentence from one verb tense to another, from one subject or voice to another, or from one person or number to another. Incorrect: Mary especially likes math, but history is also enjoyed by her. (The subject shifts from Mary to history, and the tense shifts from active to passive.) Correct: Mary especially likes math, but she also enjoys history.
  • Avoid the is when and is where constructions. Incorrect: A limerick is when a short poem has a catchy rhyme. Correct: A limerick is a short poem with a catchy rhyme.

Other Rules You Must Know

The following list of rules is far from comprehensive. In fact, I have purposelykept it brief so that you can learn every rule and every hint. You will find theserules invaluable for all your writing.

Capitalization Rules

  • Capitalize the first word of a sentence.
  • Capitalize all proper names.
  • Capitalize days of the week, months of the year, and holidays.
  • Do not capitalize the seasons.
  • Capitalize the first and all other important words in a title. Example: The Art of Salesmanship
  • Capitalize common nouns only when they are used as part of proper names. Example: Yesterday I visited Uncle Charles, my favorite uncle.
  • Capitalize the points of the compass only when referring to a specific place or area. Example: Many retired persons spend the winter in the South.

Do not capitalize the points of the compass when referring to a direction. Example: Many birds fly south in the winter.
  • Capitalize languages and specific place names used as modifiers, but do not capitalize any other school subjects. Example: Next year I will study French, biology, and E nglish literature.
  • Capitalize the first word of a direct quotation. Example: Alexander Pope wrote, "A little learning is a dangerous thing."

Do not capitalize the first word within quotation marks if it does not begin a complete sentence, as when a direct quotation is broken. Example: "I tore my stocking," she told us, "because the drawer was left open."

Punctuation Rules

Using the Apostrophe

Use an apostrophe in the following situations:

  • To indicate possession.

When indicating possession, the apostrophe means "belonging to everything to the left of the apostrophe." Use this rule to test for correct placement. For example, childrens' or "belonging to the childrens" is obviously incorrect, while children's or "belonging to the children" is correct. This placement rule applies at all times, even with compound nouns and with entities made up of two or more names. For example, father-in-law's means "belonging to a father-in-law," and Brown and Sons' delivery truck means "delivery truck belonging to Brown and Sons."
  • In a contraction in place of the omitted letter or letters. Examples: haven't; we're; class of '85; '70s
  • To form plurals of numbers, letters, and phrases referred to as words. Example: The Japanese child pronounced his l's as r's.

Using the Colon

Use a colon in the following situations:

  • After a salutation in a business letter. Example: De ar Board Member:
  • To separate hours from minutes. Example: The eclipse occurred at 10:36 a.m.

Use of the colon is optional in the following cases:

* To introduce a list, especially after an expression like as follows.

* To introduce a long quotation.

* To introduce a question, such as, "My question is this: Are you willing to punch    a time clock?"




Using the Comma

Use a comma in the following situations:

  • After the salutation of a personal letter. Example: Dear Mary,
  • After the complimentary close of a letter. Example: Cordially yours,
  • To set off a noun of address. Example: When you finish your homework, Jeff, take out the garbage.
  • To set off an appositive--a phrase that follows a noun or pronoun and means the same thing. Example: Mr. Burke, our lawyer, gave us some good advice.
  • To set off parenthetical expressions--words or phrases that interrupt the flow of the sentence, such as however, though, for instance, and by the way. Examples: We could not, however, get him to agree.

Test for placement of commas in a parenthetical expression by reading aloud. If you pause before and after the expression, set it off with commas.
  • Between two or more adjectives that equally modify a noun. Example: The jolly, fat, ruddy man laughed.

If you can add the word and between the adjectives without changing the sense of the sentence, use com mas.
  • To separate words, phrases, or clauses in a series. The use of a comma before and is optional. Example: Place coats, umbrellas, and boots in the closet.
  • To separate a direct quotation from the speaker. Example: She said, "I must leave work on time today."
  • After an introductory phrase of five or more words. Example: Because the prisoner had a history of attempted jailbreaks, he was guarded heavily.
  • After a short introductory phrase whenever the comma would aid clarity. Example: To Dan, Phil was a friend as well as brother.

A comma is not generally used before a subordinate clause that ends a sentence, though in long, unwieldy sentences like this one, use of a comma is optional.
  • Before a coordinating conjunction unless the two clauses are very short. Example: The boy wanted to borrow a book from the library, but the librarian would not allow him to take it until he had paid his fines.
  • To set off a nonrestrictive adjective phrase or clause--one that can be omitted without changing the meaning of the sentence. Example: Our new sailboat, which has bright orange sails, is very seaworthy.

A restrictive phrase or clause is vital to the meaning of a sentence and cannot be omitted. Do not set it off with commas. Example: A sailboat without sails is useless.
  • If the sentence might be subject to different interpretations without a comma. Examples: My brother Bill is getting married (implying that I have more than one brother). My brother, Bill, is getting married (where Bill is an appositive and presumably the only brother).
  • If a pause would make the sentence clearer and easier to read. Incorrect: After all crime must be punished. Correct: After all, crime must be punished.

The pause rule is not infallible, but it is your best resort when all other rules governing use of the comma fail you.

Using the Dash

Use a dash in the following situations:

  • For emphasis or to set off an explanatory group of words. Example: The tools of his trade--probe, mirror, cotton swabs--were neatly arranged on the dentist's tray.

Unless the set-off expression ends a sentence, dashes, like parentheses, must be used in pairs.
  • To break up a thought. Example: There are five--remember I said five--good reasons to refuse their demands.

Using the Hyphen

Use a hyphen in the following situations:

  • To divide a word at the end of a line. Always divide words between syllables.
  • In numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine.
  • To join two words serving together as a single adjective before a noun. Example: We left the highway and proceeded on a well-paved road.
  • With the prefixes ex-, self-, and all-, and with the suffix -elect. Examples: ex-Senator, self-appointed, all-state, Governor-elect
  • To avoid ambiguity. Example: After the custodian recovered use of his right arm, he re-covered the office chairs.
  • To avoid an awkward union of letters. Examples: self-independent, shell-like

Using the Semicolon

Use a semicolon in the following situations:

  • To separate a series of phrases or clauses, each of which contains commas. Example: The old gentleman's heirs were Margaret Whitlock, his half-sister; William Frame, companion to his late cousin, Robert Bone; and his favorite charity, the Salvation Army.
  • To avoid confusion with numbers. Example: Add the following: $1.25; $7.50; and $12.89.

Two main clauses must be separated by a conjunction or by a semicolon, or they must be written as two sentences. A semicolon never precedes a coordinating conjunction. The same two clauses may be written in any one of three ways:

* Autumn had come and the trees were almost bare.

* Autumn had come; the trees were almost bare.

* Autumn had come. The trees were almost bare.





If you are uncertain about how to use the semicolon to connect independent clauses, write two sentences instead.

Using the Period, Question Mark, and Exclamation Point

  • Use a period at the end of a sentence that makes a statement, gives a command, or makes a "polite request" in the form of a question that does not require an answer.
  • Use a period after an abbreviation and after the initial in a person's name. Example: Gen. Robert E. Lee

Do not use a period after postal service state name abbreviations like AZ or MI.
  • Use a question mark after a request for information.

A question must end with a question mark even if the question does not encompass the entire sentence. Example: "Daddy, are we there yet?" the child asked.
  • Use an exclamation point to express strong feeling or emotion, or to imply urgency. Example: Congratulations! You broke the record.

Using Quotation Marks

Use quotation marks in the following situations:

  • To enclose all directly quoted material. Words not quoted must remain outside the quotation marks. Example: "If it's hot on Sunday," she said, "we'll go to the beach."

Do not enclose an indirect quote in quotation marks. Example: She said that we might go to the beach on Sunday.
  • Around words used in an unusual way. Example: A surfer who "hangs ten" is performing a maneuver on a surfboard, not staging a mass execution.
  • To enclose the title of a short story, essay, short poem, song, or article. Example: Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a plaintive poem called "Bed in Summer."

Titles of books and plays are not enclosed in quotation marks. They are printed in italics. In handwritten or typed manuscript, underscore titles of books and plays. Example: The song, "Tradition," is from Fiddler on the Roof.

Placing Quotation Marks

  • Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks. Example: Pornography is sold under the euphemism "adult books."
  • Question marks and exclamation points go inside quot ation marks if they are part of the quotation. If the whole sentence containing the quotation is a question or exclamation, the punctuation goes outside the quotation marks. Example: What did you really mean when you said "I do"?
  • Colons and semicolons always go outside the quotation marks. Example: He said, "War is destructive"; she added, "Peace is constructive."
  • When a multiple-paragraph passage is quoted, each paragraph of the quotation must begin with quotation marks, but ending quotation marks are used only at the end of the last quoted paragraph.

Direct quotations are bound by all the rules of sentence structure. Beware of run-on sentences in divided quotations. Incorrect: "Your total is wrong," he said, "add the column again." Correct: "Your total is wrong," he said. "Add the column again." In the correct example, the two independent clauses form two separate sentences.

Workshop

In this workshop you will review the rules of grammar and usage, because theymight be tested on a civil service test.

Practice Exercise

DIRECTIONS: In each of the following questions, there are four sentences.Choose the grammatically incorrect sentence. When you are finished, check your answersin the section immediately following the questions.


1. (A) Everyone at camp must have his medical certificate on file before            participating in competitive sports.
    (B) A cr ate of oranges were sent from Florida for all the children in cabin six.
    (C) John and Danny's room looks as if they were prepared for inspection.
    (D) Three miles is too far for a young child to walk.



2. (A) Being tired, I stretched out on a grassy knoll.
    (B) While we were rowing on the lake, a sudden squall almost capsized the            boat.
    (C) Entering the room, a strange mark on the floor attracted my attention.
    (D) Mounting the curb, the empty car crossed the sidewalk and came to rest            against a building.



3. (A) Not one in a thousand readers take the matter seriously.
    (B) He was able partially to accomplish his purpose.
    (C) You are not as tall as he.
    (D) The people began to realize how much she had done.



4. (A) In the case of members who are absent, a special letter will be sent.
    (B) The visitors were all ready to see it.
    (C) I like Burns's poem, "To a Mountain Daisy."
    (D) John said that he was sure he seen it.



5. (A) Neither the critics nor the author were right about the reaction of the public.
    (B) The senator depended upon whoever was willing to assist him.
    (C) I don't recall any time when Edgar has broken his word.
    (D) Every one of the campers but John and me is going on the hike.



6. (A) B. Nelson & Co. has a sale on sport shirts today.
    (B) Venetian blinds--called that although they probably did not originate in            Venice--are no longer used as extensively as they were at one time.
    (C) He determined to be guided by the opinion of whoever spoke first.
    (D) There was often disagreement as to whom was the better Shakespear-ean            actor, Evans or Gielgud.



7. (A) Never before have I seen anyone who has the skill John has when he            repairs engines.
    (B) If anyone can be wholly just in his decisions, it is he.
    (C) Because of his friendliness, the new neighbor was immediately accepted by            the community.
    (D) Imagine our embarrassment when us girls saw Miss Maltinge sitting with            her beau in the front row.



8. (A) The general regarded whomever the colonel honored with disdain.
    (B) Everyone who reads this book will think themselves knights errant on   &# 160;       missions of heroism.
    (C) The reason why the new leader was so unsuccessful was that he had fewer            responsibilities.
    (D) All the new mechanical devices we have today have made our daily living a            great deal simpler, it is said.



9. (A) I can but do my best.
    (B) I cannot help comparing him with his predecessor.
    (C) I wish that I was in Florida now.
    (D) I like this kind of grapes better than any other.



10. (A) Neither Tom nor John was present for the rehearsal.
      (B) The happiness or misery of men's lives depends on their early training.
      (C) Honor as well as profit are to be gained by these studies.
      (D) The egg business is only incidental to the regular business of the general              store.



11. (A) The Board of Directors has prepared a manual for their own use.
      (B) The company has announced its new policy of advertising.
      (C) The jury were out about thirty minutes when they returned a verdict.
      (D) The flock of geese creates a health haza rd for visitors with allergies.



12. (A) Two-thirds of the building is finished.
      (B) Where are Mr. Keene and Mr. Herbert?
      (C) Neither the salespeople nor the manager want to work overtime.
      (D) The committee was agreed.



13. (A) The coming of peace effected a change in her way of life.
      (B) Spain is as weak, if not weaker than, she was in 1900.
      (C) In regard to that, I am not certain what my attitude will be.
      (D) That unfortunate family faces the problem of adjusting itself to a new way              of life.



14. (A) I wondered why it was that the Mayor objected to the Governor's              reference to the new tax law.
      (B) I have never read Les Miserables, but I plan to do so this summer.
      (C) After much talk and haranguing, the workers received an increase in              wages.
      (D) Charles Dole, who is a member of the committee, was asked to confer              with commissioner Wilson.



15. (A) Most employees, and he is no exce ption do not like to work overtime.
      (B) The doctor had carelessly left all the instruments on the operating table.
      (C) Despite all the power he has, I should still hate to be in his shoes.
      (D) I feel bad because I gave such a poor performance in the play tonight.



16. (A) Of London and Paris, the former is the wealthier.
      (B) Of the two cities visited, White Plains is the cleanest.
      (C) Chicago is larger than any other city in Illinois.
      (D) America is the greatest nation, and of all other nations England is the              greatest.



17. (A) It was superior in every way to the book previously used.
      (B) His testimony today is different from that of yesterday.
      (C) The letter will be sent to the United States senate this week.
      (D) The flowers smelled so sweet that the whole house was perfumed.



18. (A) When either or both habits become fixed, the student improves.
      (B) When the supervisor entered the room, he noticed that the book was              laying on the desk.
      (C) Neither his word s nor his action was justifiable.
      (D) A calm almost always comes before a storm.



19. (A) Who did they say won?
      (B) Send whomever will do the work.
      (C) The question of who should be leader arose.
      (D) All the clerks including those who have been appointed recently are              required to work on the new assignment.



20. (A) Mrs. Black the supervisor of the unit has many important duties.
      (B) This is the woman whom I saw.
      (C) She could solve even this problem.
      (D) She divided the money among the three of us.



21. (A) He felt deep despair (as who has not?) at the evidence of man's              inhumanity to man.
      (B) You will be glad, I am sure, to give the book to whoever among your              young friends has displayed an interest in animals.
      (C) When independence day falls on a Sunday, it is officially celebrated on              Monday.
      (D) Being a stranger in town myself, I know how you feel.



2 2. (A) The task of filing these cards is to be divided equally between you and he.
      (B) A series of authentic records of Native American tribes is being              published.
      (C) The Smokies is the home of the descendants of this brave tribe.
      (D) Five dollars is really not too much to pay for a book of this type.



23. (A) The game over, the spectators rushed out on the field and tore down the              goalposts.
      (B) The situation was aggravated by disputes over the captaincy of the team.
      (C) Yesterday they lay their uniforms aside with the usual end-of-the-season              regret.
      (D) It is sometimes thought that politics is not for the high-minded.



24. (A) Consider that the person which is always idle can never be happy.
      (B) Because a man understands a woman does not mean they are necessarily              compatible.
      (C) He said that accuracy and speed are both essential.
      (D) Can it be said that the better of the two books is less expensive?



25. (A) Everyone entered promptly but her.
      (B) Each of the messengers were busily occupied.
      (C) At which exit did you leave him?
      (D) The work was not done well.

Answers and Explanations

1.  (B) The subject of the sentence is crate, which takes asingular verb. Correct: A crate of oranges was sent from Florida for all thechildren in cabin six.

2.  (C) The sentence literally reads as if the strange mark enteredthe room. A better way to write it would be: When I entered the room, a strangemark on the floor attracted my attention.

3.  (A) The subject of the sentence is one, which takes a singularverb. Correct: Not one in a thousand readers takes the matter seriously.

4.  (D) The verb is in the wrong tense. Correct: John said that hewas sure he had seen it.

5.  (A) When two nouns (or pronouns) are joined by the correlativeconjunction neither/nor, the verb agrees with the last subject. Correct: Neitherthe critics nor the author was right about the reaction of the public.

6.  (D) Who is the subject of the verb following it, was.Correct: There was often disagreement as to who was the betterShakespearean actor, Evans or Gielgud.

7.  (D) As the subject of the verb saw, the correct word iswe, not us. Correct: Imagine our embarrassment when we girlssaw Miss Maltinge sitting with her beau in the front row.</ P>

8.  (B) The sentence switches number in the middle. Correct: Everyonewho reads this book will think himself a knight errant on a mission of heroism.

9.  (C) Use the subjunctive, were, when stating a wish. Correct:I wish that I were in Florida now.

10.  (C) The phrase as well as profit does not add to the numberof the subject, so the verb should be singular. Correct: Honor as well as profitis to be gained by these studies.

11.  (A) The sentence switches number in the middle (Board of Directorsis singular). Correct: The Board of Directors has prepared a manual for itsown use.

12.  (C) Because neither/nor is a correlative conjunction, the verbmust agree with the nearest noun. Correct: Neither the salespeople nor the managerwants to work overtime.

13.  (B) The comparison is not complete; it needs the addition ofthe word as. Correct: Spain is as weak as, if not weaker than, she was in1900.

14.  (D) Commissioner Wilson is a specific commissioner, sothe C must be capitalized. Correct: Charles Dole, who is a member of the committee,was asked to confer with Commissioner Wilson.

15.  (A) Parenthetical expressions must always be enclosed in commas.Correct: Most employees, and he is no exception, do not like to work overtime.

16.  (B) The comparative er is used when only two items arebeing compared; est requires three or more items. Correct: Of the two citiesvisited, White Plains is the cleaner.

17.  (C) The specific noun senate must be capitalized. Correct:The letter will be sent to the United States Senate this week.

18.  (B) The verb to lay should be used only when it can bereplaced with to put; at all other times use a form of the verb to lie.Correct: When the supervisor entered the room, he noticed that the bookwas lying on the desk.

19.  (D) Omitting the clause does not change the meaning of the remainingwords, so it is nonrestrictive and should be set off by commas. Correct: All theclerks, including those who have been appointed recently, are required towork on the new assignment.

20.  (A) Appositives should be set off by commas. Correct: Mrs. Black,the supervisor of the unit, has many important duties.

21.  (C) Holidays are always capitalized. Correct: When IndependenceDay falls on a Sunday, it is officially celebrated on Monday.

22.  (A) Pronouns that are objects of prepositions should be in theobjective case. Correct: The task of filing these cards is to be divided equallybetween you and him.

23.  (C) Because the sentenced occurred in the past (yesterday),the verb should be in the past tense. Correct: Yesterday they laid their uniformsaside with the usual end-of-the-season regret.

24.  (A) Use who when referring to people and which whenreferring to objects. Correct: Consider that the person who is always idlecan never be happy.

25.  (B) Each is singular. Correct: Each of the messengerswas busily occupied.

The Hour in Review

<<P>1. Scoring well on the English grammar and usage portion of the verbal abilityexam requires an understanding of grammar, capitalization, and punctuation rules.

2. When answering grammar and usage questions, be on the lookout for errors insubject-verb agreement, verb tense,

3. The best way to quickly recognize grammar and useage errors is to concentrateon each sentence alone.

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