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Known Versus Unknown

Recall that a writer can use a specific noun in a manner that signals that it is "known" to the reader or that it is "unknown" to the reader. A known noun refers to something that is unique, that is known through common sense or general knowledge, that has already been mentioned, or that is signaled through identifying information following the noun.

For each sentence below, decide whether the highlighted noun is known or unknown to the reader. Indicate your choice by clicking KNOWN or UNKNOWN.

1. Bill Clinton was the President from 1993 to 2000. KNOWN  UNKNOWN
KNOWN: CORRECT!
UNKNOWN: INCORRECT.

2. How much was the stock you bought yesterday? KNOWN  UNKNOWN
KNOWN: CORRECT!
UNKNOWN: INCORRECT.

3. My roommate is taking five courses this semester. KNOWN  UNKNOWN
KNOWN: INCORRECT
UNKNOWN: CORRECT.

4. The Statue of Liberty stands in New York harbor. KNOWN  UNKNOWN
KNOWN: CORRECT
UNKNOWN: INCORRECT.

5. The graduation requirements at this college are very strict. KNOWN  UNKNOWN
KNOWN: CORRECT
UNKNOWN: INCORRECT.

6. The biology of plant life is fascinating. KNOWN  UNKNOWN
KNOWN: CORRECT
UNKNOWN: INCORRECT.

7. I plan to take a course in Biology next semester. KNOWN  UNKNOWN
KNOWN: INCORRECT
UNKNOWN: CORRECT.

8. The College of Arts recently hired a new faculty member. KNOWN  UNKNOWN
KNOWN: INCORRECT
UNKNOWN: CORRECT.

9. I plan to take the course in Biology offered by Prof. Janusz. KNOWN  UNKNOWN
KNOWN: CORRECT
UNKNOWN: INCORRECT.

10. She has an assignment due tomorrow. KNOWN  UNKNOWN
KNOWN: INCORRECT
UNKNOWN:CORRECT.

11. Diana met a boy last night. KNOWN  UNKNOWN
KNOWN: INCORRECT
UNKNOWN:CORRECT.