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Parts of Speech Practice

Often, just knowing the general meaning of a word is not enough to help students use the word correctly in a given situation. The features of the word that are embedded in the word ending can give important clues to proper usage. Word endings signify the part of speech of a word (noun, verb, adjective, adverb) or other characteristics such as endings that refer to a person, an abstract idea, etc.

For each sentence below, choose the word in the pull-down window that provides the correct meaning and also reflects the correct part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, or adverb) within the sentence. You will then receive feedback in the answer bar at the bottom of the page.

1. John did not believe there was a god in this world, and he would always tell his friends that this was his true belief. In other words, John was an
Atheism: INCORRECT. Try again.
Atheist: CORRECT: atheist. The ­ist morphograph is a person or agent marker

2. When a baby is born, the baby does not know the meaning of right and wrong. As the  baby grows, it learns the difference between right and wrong.
Amoral: CORRECT: amoral is an adjective explaining the word baby; -ity is a noun ending morphograph.
Amorality: INCORRECT. Try again.

3. Andrew is an  because he has a great personality, but he also has a bad reputation of never saying 'hello' to anyone. There seems to be a conflict between his personality and his manners.
Anomalous: INCORRECT. Try again.
Anomaly: CORRECT: anomaly is a noun with a ­y noun ending morphograph; ­ous is an adjective morphograph.

4. My sister has been to the doctor many times in the past year because she is always tired and run down. The doctor believes she is  because her blood tests show that she does not have as many red corpuscles (blood cells) as other women have.
Anemic: CORRECT: anemic; -ic is an adjective ending required after the verb is to describe she.
Anemia: INCORRECT. Try again.

5. Last night's lecturer gave a talk about his family and he started his remarks with a very funny  about the time his family pet locked the door to the house and then barked when anyone tried to open it.
Anecdotal: INCORRECT. Try again.
Anecdote: CORRECT: anecdote is a noun, the -al adjective ending is INCORRECT.

6. Someone donated more than a million dollars to the school library fund but the  donor did not want his name announced to the general public or the newspapers.
Anonymous: CORRECT: anonymous; -ous is an adjective ending explaining the noun donor.
Anonymity: INCORRECT. Try again.

7. Many students feel a lack of interest or concern about topics that should be important to them. These  students do not realize that they should be more active in school activities so they can benefit more from their education.
Apathetic: CORRECT: apathetic has the ­ic adjective ending explaining the noun students.
Apathy: INCORRECT. Try again.

8. The final examination was very difficult for the students because all the questions were . Each question had two possible answers, so the students did not know what to write down.
Ambiguous: CORRECT: ambiguous has the ­ous adjective ending required here after the verb were.
Ambiguity: INCORRECT. Try again

9. Robert had  feelings about his girlfriend Ann because he liked her good looks and personality, but he could not stand her bad cigarette smoking habit.
Ambivalent: CORRECT: ambivalent has the ­ent adjective ending explaining the word feelings.
Ambivalence: INCORRECT. Try again.

10. In 2068, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf will mark the one-hundred-year anniversary of its beginning with a  jubilee that will include the president of the university and the governor of the state.
Centennial: CORRECT: centennial has the ­ial adjective ending explaining the word jubilee.
Century: INCORRECT. Try again.

11. In a novel, the main character is called the protagonist. The protagonist is in opposition to the  , who is the 'bad guy' or villain in the story.
Antagonism: INCORRECT. Try again.
Antagonist: CORRECT: antagonist has the ­ist noun ending for a person/agent.

12. The Queen of England has been the matriarch of the royal family since the middle of the 20th century. The queen's mother was also part of the  for many years before she died.
Monarch: INCORRECT. Try again.
Monarchy: CORRECT: monarchy has the morphographs mono- meaning 'one,' and ­arch meaning 'ruler,' and the noun ending ­y.