Make it Right
Context Clues
Subject Verb Agreement
Word Usage

David was known for belching; and telling inappropriate jokes in public.

The semicolon is incorrect punctuation here. 


The winning team of the World Series often has a jovial attitude. Jovial means…

  1. Merry. 
  2. Sad. 
  3. Somber. 
  4. Laborious.

Jovial means happy or merry, the opposite of sad (B) and somber (C). It does not mean laborious (D), i.e. effortful, difficult, or painstaking.


According to the fire marshall’s statistics, smoking cigarettes in bed are the cause of many tragic fires.

The incorrectly plural verb “are” should be “is” to agree with the singular subject “smoking.”


 Birds fly south in the winter threw an instinct not completely understood by scientists.

The correct spelling of the preposition meaning via or by means of, as it is used here, is “through.” “Threw” is the past tense of the verb “to throw.”



To toss, roll, or rise and fall in an uncontrolled way.


Nurses plays a vital role in the healthcare profession.

The singular form of the verb (“plays”) disagrees with the plural noun subject (“Nurses”)


The wound exhibited signs of copious drainage requiring medical intervention. Copious means…

  1. Minimal. 
  2. Clear. 
  3. Maximal. 
  4. Foul.

Copious means profuse or abundant, i.e. maximal, not minimal (A), an antonym. This meaning is not related to, and does not mean, clear (B) or foul (D).


Signs of decay that should be recognized by every citizen includes oil spills along the shoreline as well as the absence of wildlife.

The singular verb “includes” should be plural here to agree with the plural subject “signs.”


Ms. Browder, my English teacher, said that I could of improved my reading comprehension score if I had spent more time reading great literature.

There is no such verb construction as “could of.” It should be “could have.” ("of" is a preposition, "have" is a verb so makes more sense to be linked to an action). 



the trait of being uncommunicative; not volunteering anything more than necessary


 The movie star was accused of a misdemeanor, when she stole $15 worth of merchandise from the store.

The comma before “when…” is incorrect punctuation


The newborn baby was enamored with the rattle. Enamored means…

  1. Fascinated. 
  2. Happy. 
  3. Unsure what to do. 
  4. Aggravated.

Enamored, derived from the literal meaning “in love with,” means fascinated. It does not mean happy (B), unsure what to do (C), or aggravated (D), i.e. irritated.


Either Philip or Joe will always finish their trigonometry homework in class.

The possessive pronoun modifying “trigonometry homework” should be the singular “his” here to agree with the singular “Either Philip or Joe,” not the plural “their.”


Parking her car at the depot, Ms. Jones decided to take the bus to town.

This sentence is correct as it is written.



To shrink from in fear, disgust or hatred 


The hybrid tomatoes is immune to most common diseases.

incorrect subject-verb agreement


The child apprised her father’s authority and behaved herself in church. Apprised means…

  1. Appreciated. 
  2. Compromised. 
  3. Defied. 
  4. Noted.

To apprize (also spelled apprise) means to inform or to appreciate; the latter meaning applies here. It does not mean to compromise (B), i.e. to settle differences through mutual concessions or to threaten or endanger; to defy (C), i.e. oppose; or to note (D), i.e. notice, observe, or record.


Tsetse flies, which carry the dreaded disease called sleeping sickness, attacks both human and cattle.

The plural subject “flies” requires the plural verb “attack,” not the singular “attacks.”


Just as they were about to go to bed, Jane told her mother, “Its my turn to wind the clock.”

The correct spelling of the contraction of “it is” has an apostrophe: “It’s my turn.”



hastily, hence often superficially, done or doing rapidly without attention to details, fleeting, perfunctory 


After having his tonsels removed, the child was listless for a few days.

“Tonsels” is an incorrect spelling of the word “tonsils.”


The bouncer’s countenance discouraged brawls. Countenance means…

  1. Message. 
  2. Presence. 
  3. Expression. 
  4. Strength.

Countenance as a noun (not a verb) means facial expression or appearance. It does not mean a message (A), presence (B), or strength (D).


Scurvy, one of the diseases that modern science has conquered, result from a lack of vitamin C. 

The subject “scurvy” is singular; to agree, the verb “results” is required, not the plural “result.”


 “Whose in the office now?” asked Mom.

The contraction of “Who is” is spelled “Who’s.” The word “Whose,” used incorrectly here



be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information. When you prevaricate, you lie or mislead.

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