Business writing quiz: how many grammar questions can you get right?

The other day I was asked to do a workshop about business writing for some senior job seekers … and rather than give them a specific tutorial about grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax I thought it would be more fun to run a short quiz.Business writing quiz: how many grammar questions can you get right?
Despite there being three people in the workshop who were English-as-a-second-languagers, the quiz went down really well and caused a lot of discussion, a couple of arguments and a lot of laughter. Plus, everyone learned something new. So, I thought I would share it here with you.

Sadly I can’t afford to offer a prize of an all-expenses trip to Las Vegas…

…but sharpen your pencils anyway, get your politically incorrect erasers/rubbers ready … or stand by with the delete key … and see how this works for you…

Which of the following sentences use correct grammar? Note down their numbers

1.   I would have gone in his place, but he insisted that he was well enough for work.

2.   The report that I’ve wrote should be ready for our meeting tomorrow.

3.   We really shouldn’t of been so argumentative with that new supplier.

4.   Me and my manager drove to Bristol to see the HR team at Head Office.

5.   It looks like it’s down to you and I to sort out this delivery problem.

6.   The property comprises 3 bedrooms, a family bathroom, lounge/diner and kitchen.

Which of the following sentences use correct spelling? Note down their numbers

7.   He will be on leave next week, apparantly.

8.   Here are some appropriate perimeters to use to judge the results.

9.   Her car is in the workshop today to have its breaks done.

10. The CEO paid Maureen quite a nice compliment about her work today.

11. Irregardless of how late we need to stay on, we must complete this report today.

12. Wow! Did you see that flash of lightening?

English language driving you nuts? Some more solutions, with a smile
Click on the green titles here for other articles to give you a chuckle – and to help you write better, too.
Tautology: are you guilty of wasting words?
Grammar is groovy. Haven’t you heard?
Grammar: if you’re going to get it wrong, get it REALLY wrong…
Essential, er, grammar rules
Do you get the syntax attacks? Here’s the cure…
English language cringe makers: you need a sense of humor when you speak it
Does your spelling make you want to spit?

Which of the following sentences use correct punctuation? Note down their numbers

13. It’s only a matter of time before someone collides with the new fencing.

14. Womens’ and mens’ clothing are on the second floor.

15. We need to submit those figures to the Board in 3 day’s time.

16.  The ladies’ room is just down the corridor to your right.

17. We need to buy more staples, printer cartridges and copier paper.

18. He looks very ill, we need to phone his wife and ask her to take him home.

Which of the following sentences use correct syntax? Note down their numbers

19. Speaking as a professional, I would suggest you consider a lawsuit.

20. After giving a rousing speech, the entire audience applauded the CEO.

21. Dressed smartly with stunning jewellery, the Chairman was pleased to escort her to lunch.

22. Even though it was raining, he managed to walk between the buildings and stay dry.

23. The Chairman was accompanied by the Vice-Chairman holding the trophies and the CEO.

24. Mary Johnson, the HR Director, towered over President Obama wearing very high heels.

OK. Ready for the answers?





  1. Grammar: 1, although it is missing the period at the end.
    Spelling: 10
    Punctuation: 13 & 17, although I prefer the Oxford comma.
    Syntax: 19 & 22

    • Thanks for that, Earl – I will put up the answers Monday, so do come back to see them! And thanks for pointing out the missing period on #1 – have now rectified that.


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