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ESL Medium Quiz

Say When - Dates & Seasons

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 “Say When” but no doubt your teachers will talk about the “Dates & Seasons 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.

'Say when' tests your vocabulary with days, weeks, dates and seasons.

Whenever you are making plans with people, you will need to discuss times and dates and seasons, and you will need to be able to do this clearly and accurately to avoid confusion.

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]It can be quite surprising how differently some languages express the regular pattern of hours, days and months... so make sure that if your language does things differently, you know how to understand (and be understood by) English-speakers!

If you are arranging to go to a party where there may be drinks - and someone is going to pour (for instance) milk into your coffee, or more beer into your glass, or perhaps put some sauce on the side of your plate at a meal - they may ask you to 'Say when!' (Meaning, say 'when' you have as much as you want or need.)

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  1. Pick the best word/s to fill in the gap/s in good English.
    You will not always get the best service if you call a company at ... ...
    Answer 4 would sound all right, but 'twenty-five' is usually hyphenated and the Friday must have a capital initial.
  2. Pick the best word/s to fill in the gap/s in good English.
    The clock may well say '1:50', but anyone that's learned to drive in Britain will probably call it ' ... ... ', because that's the classic position of a driver's hands on the ... ... .
    English (unlike several other languages) deals with the 'odd minutes' before telling what is the nearest hour. Answer 3 was more like what French (among others) would say; Answer 2 was more like Russian.
  3. Pick the best word/s to fill in the gap/s in good English.
    How tidy of Shakespeare (the greatest writer that Britain, or perhaps even the world, has ever produced) to be born and to die on the same date, ... ...
    The date format and use of capital initials are only correct in this version. (Compare the others; look how they go up and down!)
  4. Pick the best word/s to fill in the gap/s in good English.
    'President John F Kennedy was assassinated ... ...
    This would be more or less the only correct way of speaking it aloud in British English.
    Don't forget that the names of days and months always begin with a capital letter in English.
  5. Pick the best word/s to fill in the gap/s in good English.
    If any experience turns out to be dull and dispiriting, some people say 'That was about as much fun as ... ...
    We only need two capital letters here: no more, and no fewer.
  6. Pick the best word/s to fill in the gap/s in good English.
    New College at Oxford certainly was 'new' once upon a time, but in fact it dates ... ...
    Be careful of the spelling of 'fourteenth' (obviously related to 'four'), and not to confuse it with 'fortieth' which sounds and looks quite similar, but is still about 2,000 years in our future!
  7. Pick the best word/s to fill in the gap/s in good English.
    If you look down the initials of the months in English, you will find the boy's name ... ... half-hidden in the letters.
    The initials (check them!) go J,F,M,A,M,J, 'JASON', D.
    On a similar theme, someone has recently pointed out that if you try the same thing with the days of the week, they go: M, T, 'WTF' ... this sounds a bit like someone that doesn't enjoy their work, and can't cope with any more after Tuesday!
    (You may need a kind English friend to explain the acronym 'WTF' gently to you, if you haven't already come across it anywhere.)
  8. Pick the best word/s to fill in the gap/s in good English.
    He always finds the autumn such a depressing, 'downward-minded' season, what with ... ...
    Each word in these two event titles should begin with a capital letter.
    If you don't understand what either of them is, please do some research or ask an English friend.
    There is also Hallowe'en on the last night of October ...
    Meanwhile we do not bother with 'the' in front of the titles of these festivals, nor of Christmas, Easter, or New Year (nor their respective 'eves': the day and night beforehand).
  9. Pick the best word/s to fill in the gap/s in good English.
    Those months that come after the summer holidays, we in Britain call 'autumn', but ... ...
    The various Answers here said the same thing, but the levels of punctuation varied.
    America always needs a capital A, so Answer 1 was wrong.
    Answer 2 is about right.
    Answer 3 does not really need capitals on The Fall, even though it's a title (of sorts); and the apostrophe later has wandered away from where it belongs;
    Answer 4 has further unnecessary apostrophes in it.
  10. Pick the best word/s to fill in the gap/s in good English.
    It must have been about ... ... by the time we found a taxi.
    If you were out as late as that, you're probably tired and will wish to explain this (if you need to) in as short and simple a way as you can. Each of these other ways of saying it is possible and understandable, but in this situation you would not bother to use them. Answer 2 sounds pedantic, prissy and old-fashioned; the 'evening' is usually understood to finish a bit earlier than this (in Answer 3); Answer 4 has far too much snappy military precision about it. You wouldn't say 'about ..' if you were then going to be so precise, all in the same breath!

Author: Ian Miles

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