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All in Order - Sequences: 1st, Next, Last

Quiz playing is a wonderful way to increase your knowledge of English as a Second Language. Remember that all of our ESL quizzes have titles that are both friendly and technical at the same time… In the case of this quiz you might like to tell your friends about “All in Order” but no doubt your teachers will talk about the “Sequences: 1st, Next, Last quiz”! If you hear a technical term and you want to find a quiz about the subject then just look through the list of quiz titles until you find what you need.

There are lots of things that we do in a certain order, such as our morning and evening routines in the bathroom and bedroom, and the way we award medals to people according to how well they did in a competition. This quiz will cover sequences (1st, Next, Last).

If everything about a project is as it should be, we can say it's 'all in order'. How organised are you, when it comes to describing sequences in English?

  1. Choose the best word or words to fill the gap.
    I well remember the very ... ... time I learnt to say, 'My name is X'.
    What else would make such significant sense? And this is our first question, after all ( ... or do we mean 'before all'? English doesn't really say that, actually; maybe it should)!
  2. Choose the best word or words to fill the gap.
    My medicine should be ready to collect by now; I took the prescription into the pharmacy ... ... week.
    Again, this makes the best sense; 'this week' is possible, but perhaps too recent for the pharmacy to have made up the medicine for you yet.
  3. Choose the best word or words to fill the gap.
    'I think your horse came in ... ... in that race; he was about a ... ...-and-a-half behind the winner.'
    'Second' (in its two, unrelated senses) is the only word that makes logical sense in these circumstances.
  4. Choose the best word or words to fill the gap.
    Oddly enough, we were very happy at my uncle's funeral: he had died doing something he really enjoyed. Apparently, he had just scored a hole-in-one on the ... ... at the golf club, on his ... ... birthday, and maybe the surprise and excitement were all too much for him!
    No golf course that we have ever heard of has more than 18 holes, and we are also assuming that anyone's uncle is usually (but not always) older than they are themself.
  5. Here is an English saying which has been around for a century or so. With our help, see if you can match up the blanks!
    It is about the idea that in 'hard times', few luxuries are available.
    'Jam ... ... , jam ... ... , but never jam ... ... !'
    The point here is that within the sequence of three days ~ which may stand, symbolically, for far longer periods such as one or many years each ~ there is no 'jam today', i.e. there may have been comforts and luxuries in bygone times that we fondly remember, and we may have been promised them (by the government, or whoever) to help us look forward with hope for the future ... but neither of those is very helpful while we are deprived and miserable 'today' (= now, in the present; during a war for instance, or a financial recession, or an epidemic or some other 'negative event').
  6. When people are waiting in a queue, to be seen one-by-one (perhaps by someone like a dentist or hairdresser), the quickest way for the person at the head of the queue to be called forward is by someone saying: ... ...
    This is the usual phrase: it 'does its job' (particularly in a noisy situation) without being so short as to be rude.
    When someone is tuning (= adjusting) hundreds of pipes inside a pipe-organ ~ in a church, perhaps ~ they will usually have an assistant who sits at the controls, pressing the keys one by one, while the tuner works some distance away (and maybe, up!) among the rows of pipes. When he is satisfied with one pipe, he will usually just call 'Next!' to his assistant.
    So if you ever go past, or into, a building where the organ-tuner and his mate are working, you might hear something like ...
    [Whooo ...] 'Next!' [Whaaaa-oooo] 'Next!' [Whaaa-eee] 'Next! (etc.)
    If you didn't already know that common word perfectly well, we believe you will do now!
  7. Choose the best word or words to fill the gap.
    We met up again with that family who used to live ... ... from us on Nelson Street.
    All the other phrases need a link with ' ... to ... ', which is not what was offered in the Question here.
    We could also say 'four doors up' (if the street were on much of a hill, or if their house were nearer the busier or more important end: closer to the main road, perhaps) ~ or 'five doors along', if the road is more or less flat and doesn't have an obvious top or bottom end.
  8. Choose the best word or words to fill the gap.
    The English word 'antepenultimate' means the ... ... in a series.
    Rather a technical term, but you may as well know it!
    'Ultimate' means 'the last, with nothing beyond it', so advertisers enjoy claiming that they have 'the ultimate product', i.e. there is nothing newer and/or better to beat it.
    'Penultimate' means the last-but-one, or next-to-last (Answers 2 & 3). The penultimate chapter of a novel will probably have the greatest moment of suspense at the end of it, ready to be resolved in the final chapter.
    'Antepenultimate' must therefore be the one before that, i.e. the 3rd-to-last. We might use that in language work to explain that 'the stress comes on the antepenultimate syllable in words like 'finishing' and 'history' '.
  9. Choose the best word or words to fill the gap.
    There's something very odd about the British legal system. You can marry on your ... ... birthday, drive on your ... ... ; but only on your ... ... can you legally buy alcohol.
    For whatever reasons, within the development of the various laws, this is true.
    In theory you could quite legally marry at (with parents' consent) 16 and become a parent ~ bring another life into the world ~ before you were old enough to drive a car and/or bring your own child back in it from hospital. You may have another child (or even twins!) after that, yet before you are allowed to buy strong drink to celebrate the latest arrival. (At any rate, you would not drink and drive, would you?)
  10. Choose the best word or words to fill the gap.
    'If you've lost something, my rule is:
    'The ... ... place to start looking, should be the ... ... place you'd expect to find it.'
    And you may be pleasantly surprised how quickly you do!'
    There may be some strange truth in this!
    (Obviously, though, you 'start in the first place' ...)
    We wonder whether you achieved the ultimate score of 10/10 on this Quiz?

Author: Ian Miles

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