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ESL Medium Quiz

Tough Enough? - Medium Frequency Words

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 “Tough Enough?” but no doubt your teachers will talk about the “Medium Frequency Words 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.

Medium frequency words are the words that appear most often in printed materials

This quiz offers you a selection of medium frequency words (and a bit of punctuation). Let's see whether they are 'tough enough' for you, or indeed whether you are tough enough for them!

  1. Which is the only fully correct version of this sentence?
    The main words here are the verb 'throw' (past: 'threw; thrown') and 'through'.
    A Throne is the official seat where a king or queen would sit. We also use it to represent the monarchy as an institution, and those people who have been monarch ('the history of the British Throne', etc.)
  2. Which is the only fully correct version of this sentence?
    Most of the problems in this one are to do with vowels that may not sound the way they look (e.g. 'wallet', pronounced more like the phonetic spelling in Answer 1).
    On the whole the Answers improve until the (correct) No.3, then they get worse again.
    Be careful of the difference between 'their' ( = belonging to them ) and 'there' ( = in that place ) which are both common and sound alike, but are not spelt the same.
    Also beware that the packet ' ... must HAVE fallen ... ' (NOT 'must of ...', which it sounds very like, but which does not make coherent sense. Many native English speakers are unclear on this point and spell it the wrong way; but think carefully about how the phrase is built, and you should then never be able to get it wrong! ('I have done Thing A, but I could HAVE done Thing B.')
  3. Which is the only fully correct version of this sentence?
    As the old rhyme says: ' I before E, except after C ' !
  4. Which is the only fully correct version of this sentence?
    'Front' is pronounced as though with a 'u' (like 'the fox is at the front of the hunt'); the sliding parts of a piece of furniture are 'drawers' ('things that can be pulled/drawn'), although usually pronounced shorter, like 'draws'. Check the difference between 'made' and 'maid' (= a young girl working in domestic service), and 'layer' (slightly like 'drawer' in the shape of the word); 'reel' is not the same as 'real' (though once again, they sound much alike), and 'would' and 'wood' are perhaps an unhelpful pair too.
  5. Which is the only fully correct version of this sentence?
    The main traps here were apostrophes, and the spelling of 'bright' and 'weather' (two words that may not go together very often in Britain!).
  6. Which is the only fully correct version of this sentence?
    If you compare 'like with like' between Answer 2 and the other versions, you should see which the correct spellings are, and (we hope) why.
    Remember we do not use apostrophes in the plural (unless there is 'ownership', which is not the case here).
  7. Which is the only fully correct version of this sentence?
    The point here is about verbs ending in -G. We do not usually put an E into such forms as 'changing' (though we do write 'singeing' [from 'to singe', = to burn the surface of something, probably by accident], to distinguish to from 'singing' [= making music with one's voice]).
    So, while it may look as though 'clanging' and 'ranging' should rhyme with each other, in fact they do not ('clang-ing', but 'rain-jing').
  8. Which is the only fully correct version of this sentence?
    Only Version 1 is fully correct; the details 'went downhill' in the later Answers!
    The words we hoped you would check include: 'scone' (which may be pronounced as 'skon' or 'scoan'); 'spoonful' and 'beautiful' (with only one final L), 'course' (not the same as 'coarse', which means 'rough, or unrefined'), 'lawn' and 'pretty' (spelt with an E, although it doesn't sound like it).
    Also be careful (!) about the use of the apostrophe in 'summer's'' (possessive; = 'of the summer') and 'it's' (short for 'it is').
  9. Which is the only fully correct version of this sentence?
    Points to watch here:
    'Two' ( = 2 ) is not the same as 'to' or 'too' ; check the spelling of 'differences', 'church', 'priest', the past form 'married' (from a verb originally ending in Y), and the somewhat misleading vowels in 'many' and 'women'.
    Also watch those apostrophes again ... there is no suggestion of possession in 'priests' here.
  10. Which is the only fully correct version of this sentence?
    Watch the correct spelling of 'Christmas' (with capital initial, and quite a lot of consonants, representing 'Christ's-mas' ~ i.e. a festival related to Jesus Christ); 'eight' (a common but rather irregular word), the plural of 'box' ( = 'boxes'), the past form of verbs in -ie ('die => died ; 'tie => tied' ; 'cry = cried', 'spy => spied' etc.), and the correct consonant group on the front of 'string'. (Check the other last words too, apart from 'scring' ~ which we invented!)

Author: Ian Miles

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