Shannon Stacey

Got Grammar?

Obligatory backstory: The tall kid brought home his “Language Arts” test last week. Whenever they have a big test, the teacher attaches a note we have to sign letting her know we’ve seen said test result. The tall kid got 30/31 or a 97 (A+). :cheer:

But…when I asked him what he missed, he just shrugged and said “I dunno.” I pushed him a bit and realized he honestly doesn’t know what he got wrong, but was willing to accept the grade without question. Well, after much perusal, I don’t know what he missed, either. So I signed the note and added a note of my own, asking what he missed. Knowing might help him on future tests and all that jazz. I found the test in his folder this morning with no note. The teacher said she’d have to look at it, but never took the paper.

I think it’s important for the tall kid to know he can question a grade. That he can ask what he got wrong and then either say “Thank you, I’ll remember that in the future” or “Thank you. Can you adjust my grade, please?” And me…well, I just don’t like being blown off. But lest I make too much of an idiot of myself, I figured I’d throw his test out there to the grammar-lovin’ crowd and see what y’all think.

After the jump, if you’re interested…

(I have bolded his answers.)

A. Circle each adjective in the sentences below>

1. The train rumbled through the frozen countryside.
2. It sped like a silver snake between the high banks of snow.
3. We wanted to get to the warm weather.
4. My father has always wanted to see a baseball camp.
5. Great players and unknown youngsters work out there.
6. I love to see the green fields and strong players.

B. Circle the proper adjective that should be capitalized in the sentences below.

1. We heard some spanish music.
2. The english ivy grew down the side of the building.
3. They were french sailors.
4. The dutch woman watched them get off the ship.
5. The chinese Chow-Chow is a funny looking dog.
6. Bulldogs can be french or english.
7. These siberian huskies like gold winters.

C. Write the comparative form of the adjectives in parenthesis on the line.

1. Roger is the world’s worst puppy. (bad)
2. He certainly is the ugliest. (ugly)
3. He is larger than most puppies. (large)
4. I think he is the most fantastic because he is mine. (fantastic)
5. I think cats are stranger than dogs. (strange)
6. They are easier to take care of however. (easy)
7. Sometimes that makes them better than dogs. (good)

D. Fill in the blank for each sentence with the correct word from the word bank. (This, That, These, Those)

1. That dog over there was already judged.
2. Those retrievers outside have not been.
3. That judge by the table is very tough.
4. Before the competition, I give Ralph some of these treats in my pocket.
5. He only gets those on the judges table from them if he does well.
6. This kind in my pocket are healthier for him.

Now, putting aside the fact that the woman testing my son’s “language arts” overlooked typos, commas and apostrophes, I’ll be damned if I can find what he did wrong. All of his answers are marked correct and it says 30/31, so I’m led to believe he missed something, not got something wrong.

Anybody? Anybody?

Edited to add: I know in section B she capitalized Chow-Chow and not huskies, and I don’t know if ivy should be or not, but the directions called for proper adjectives, not nouns. And yes, I do have this paper memorized by this point. *g*

14 comments to “Got Grammar?”

  1. nataliedamschroder
      · April 11th, 2006 at 2:26 pm · Link

    First, this teacher doesn’t seem too on the ball. In section C, “worst,” “ugliest,” and “most fantastic” are superlative adjectives, not comparative. I know this because my kid just did this unit.

    Number 5 in section D is just a horrible, horrible sentence.

    Other than that, I can’t find anything wrong with his answers at all.

  2. Jaci Burton
      · April 11th, 2006 at 3:02 pm · Link

    All the section D sentences are atrocious . I’m itching to rewrite all of them.

    But damned if I can find any he got wrong, Shan.

    Color me curious. :shrug:

  3. Anna Lucia
      · April 12th, 2006 at 10:52 am · Link

    I can’t see anything, but I don’t know much about grammar.

    In some schools over here, it’s policy to never award a 100% mark because… well, I don’t know. Makes no sense to me.

    And yes I do remember that pointless 99% on my biology test *mumble* years ago.

    Chase it up, Shan. Just keep it cool.

  4. Maili
      · April 12th, 2006 at 2:10 pm · Link

    Shannon, ivy isn’t usually capitalised. I think the ‘error’ may be found in number seven of section C. I may be wrong, though, because I’d pick ‘better’, too. Perhaps Anna was right — that there is no such thing as 100%?

  5. nataliedamschroder
      · April 12th, 2006 at 4:34 pm · Link

    I don’t know what else number 7 in section C could be!

  6. Nicole
      · April 12th, 2006 at 5:47 pm · Link

    I’m thinking it’s Huskies. With it, you get 31 things that need to be dealt with.

  7. Nicole
      · April 12th, 2006 at 6:56 pm · Link

    And I forgot to say, it’s Siberian Huskies as the proper way to write it.

  8. Shannon
      · April 12th, 2006 at 8:25 pm · Link

    My husband suggested perhaps the teacher doesn’t award a perfect mark on principle, but that would really make my head explode. That’s okay for an essay or some such thing, but this is concrete. A possibility of 31 (supposedly). If my kid answered perfectly, he gets a perfect grade, no?

    I think number 7 is okay. Everything he answered was marked correct with a C. So nothing bolded is actually wrong. But she didn’t make any marks for anything omitted.

    I agree that Huskies has to be capped, but that still wouldn’t meet the terms of the instructions. :shrug:

    At this point I’m going to pursue it with Mrs. L— not because I’m in a tizzy, but because the curiousity’s going to kill me.

  9. AngieW
      · April 12th, 2006 at 8:26 pm · Link

    But technically, the Siberian part of Siberian huskies isn’t an adjective, it’s a proper name for a breed. The whole thing is actually a noun. So the teacher is the one who’s wrong, lol, and that was a bad question. Can Shannon write a note telling the teacher she’s teaching the children adjectives incorrectly? :rofl:

    And actually, the dictionaries all show it as Siberian husky. No capitalization on husky :)

  10. Shannon
      · April 12th, 2006 at 8:29 pm · Link


    Dear Mrs. L—,

    I would like to set up a conference call between you and my editor. What time would be good for you?


  11. Nicole
      · April 13th, 2006 at 9:56 pm · Link

    lol, but according to the breed pages, it’s capitalized. Like German Shepherd Dog is how you’d put that breed. You capitalize the full breed name.

  12. Maili
      · April 14th, 2006 at 1:12 pm · Link

    Nicole – you are right that in dog breeding/showing world, all breeds are expected to be capitalised [ranging from Short-haired Dachshund to Psychotic Yorkshire Terrier], but in mainstream media, it varies from one style guide to another.

  13. Maili
      · April 14th, 2006 at 1:15 pm · Link

    SMOOTH-haired Dachshund! Sorry, sorry, sorry! My mum had four dachshunds [three black-and-tan smooth-haired standard and one tan minature] at one time and I’m still deeply traumatised. I mean, they barked a lot and they seriously loved food.

  14. Shannon
      · April 14th, 2006 at 5:04 pm · Link

    My uncle was deathly allergic to…everything, as a child, and my mother remembers their having some kind of hairless Chihuahua then they were young. I guess it was ugly, stunk, and was so vicious they spent a lot of time on the dining room table. She still talks about it to this day. :rofl:

    So I’ve officially drafted another polite note requesting a reponse from the teacher. (Without pointing out all of the errors inherent to the test, because then she wouldn’t be able to see my note through the red ink.)

    Hopefully she’ll respond this time and put me out of my misery.

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