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ESL Exercise Answers

This resource was written by Tony Cimasko.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on February 18, 2010 .

Summary:
This resource contains answers to the ESL exercises.

You may use this resource to check your work for the ESL exercises. To go to the answers, select the links in the navigation bar on the left.

Answers for Sentence Exercises

This resource was written by Tony Cimasko.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on May 24, 2012 .

Summary:

This page contains the answers for the ESL exercises on sentences.

Conjunctions

1. The president failed to explain the cause of the crisis.  He did not offer any solutions.

The president failed to explain the cause of the crisis, nor did he offer any solutions.

2. Akira’s wife was due to give birth to their first child in the next several days.  He still worked overtime.

Akira’s wife was due to give birth to their first child in the next several days, but (or yet) he still worked overtime.

3. Rekha had an intense headache all morning.  She smiled and remained alert throughout the entire meeting.

Rekha had an intense headache all morning, yet (or but) she smiled and remained alert throughout the entire meeting.

4. The last storm to come through the area ripped some of the siding off George’s garage.  He visited the hardware store and invested in storm-proofing materials.

The last storm to come through the area ripped some of the siding off George’s garage, so he visited the hardware store and invested in storm-proofing materials.

5. Enrollment in the university has been dropping in recent years.  Its facilities have been lacking proper maintenance.

Enrollment in the university has been dropping in recent years, and its facilities have been lacking proper maintenance.

Coordination

1. Plans for renovating downtown into an upscale shopping center were finalized.  Discussions began on budgeting city funds for the project.

Plans for renovating downtown into an upscale shopping center were finalized; therefore (or consequently) discussions began on budgeting city funds for the project.

2. The nearest supermarket started to carry produce and spices that specifically matched the diets of many people in the community.  Shoppers continued to be lured to the big-box store out on the highway.

The nearest supermarket started to carry produce and spices that specifically matched the diets of many people in the community; nevertheless (or however), shoppers continued to be lured to the big-box store out on the highway.

3. The main office has cut our printing and copying budget.  We will need to rely more heavily on e-mail, Skype, and instant messaging.

The main office has cut our printing and copying budget; therefore (or consequently), we will need to rely more heavily on e-mail, Skype, and instant messaging.

4. The professor suspected that the student was plagiarizing on the final paper.  The student may have been plagiarizing since the beginning of the semester.

The professor suspected that the student was plagiarizing on the final paper; in fact (or indeed), the student may have been plagiarizing since the beginning of the semester.

5. Please respond to this e-mail at your earliest convenience, so that I can get started here.  Include your notes as an attachment.

Please respond to this e-mail at your earliest convenience, so that I can get started here; furthermore (or in addition or moreover), include your notes as an attachment.

Subordination

1. I had to hand the project over to Max.  You didn’t respond to any of my e-mails.

I had to hand the project over to Max, because you didn’t respond to any of my e-mails.  (Also, “Since you didn’t respond to any of my e-mails, I had to hand the project over to Max.”)

2. Another candidate with more qualifications applies in the next forty-eight hours.  You should get the position without any difficulties.

If (or Unless) another candidate with more qualifications applies in the next forty-eight hours, you should get the position without any difficulties.

3. Viktor had prepared and practiced for the presentation thoroughly.  The projector died and the presentation was not successful.

Although (or Even though) Viktor had prepared and practiced for the presentation thoroughly, the projector died and the presentation was not successful.

4. Keep calling our customers from last year.  You make your sales quota.

5. You keep calling our customers from last year.  You make your sales quota.

If you keep calling our customers from last year, you will make your sales quota.

6. The instructor copies his lesson directly from the textbook.  The students lose interest and doze off.

Whenever the instructor copies his lesson directly from the textbook, the students lose interest and doze off

Answers Preposition Exercises

This resource was written by Tony Cimasko.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on November 12, 2008 .

Summary:

This resource contains answers to ESL preposition exercises.

NOTE:  The answers provided for each picture are not meant to be exhaustive, but are only an initial guide.

Picture 1
The man jumped into the pool.
The man has hair on his head and a smile on his face.

Picture 2
The man is in the water. - OR - The man is in the pool.
The 5ft sign hangs on the side of the pool.
The ladder leans against the side of the pool.

In the next section, write about the relationships in each of the pairs, using appropriate prepositions.  Note that the preposition will not always go between the two items; they might even belong at the beginning of the sentence.  When you are finished, share your thoughts with another student or with a teacher.

1. The physics lab closes at 11:00 p.m. on weekdays.
2. In the afternoon, Donald covers the phones.
3. The fiscal year ends on September 30th.
4. We recorded our biggest losses during fiscal year 2008.
5. The computers have been rebooting automatically since yesterday.
6. For two weeks, he has been working past 8 p.m.
7. Peiyi had to revise her presentation for a week.
8. The office thermostat was set to 78 degrees to save 10 to 15 percent on the electric bill.
9. Clara went into very specific detail.
10. Joshua stayed on his announced topic.
11. One of the union leaders spoke about the layoff plans.
12. The plastic needs to resist temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius.
13. Professor Singh stood behind his student’s efforts.
14. She needs to choose between better pay and better fringe benefits.
15. The company is almost out of time to file the paperwork, and they are worried.

Answers for Pronoun Exercises

This resource was written by Tony Cimasko.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on November 12, 2008 .

Summary:

This resource contains answers to ESL exercises on pronouns.

Take a look at the following sentences, identify the pronoun problems in each, and fix them.  When you are finished, check your responses with another student or with a teacher.

1. When a homemaker has three children, her life can be extraordinarily busy.

Although grammatically correct, use of the pronoun “she” implies that all homemakers are women.  To avoid implied sexism, use “his or her” or “her or his.”

2. I am working on a major chemistry project during the spring semester.  He will spend every Saturday in the lab.

The writer in this case begins with the first person (“I”), but then switches to the third person (“He”) in the second sentence.  The writer can be consistent by using “I” or “He” in both sentences.


3. Donnie and Alexander are checking over the tax forms.  He will sign the forms when they are ready.

Again, the problem is one of consistency:  the first sentence begins with two people, but the second sentence begins with a singular pronoun, to be followed later by a plural pronoun.  Change “He” to “They.”

4. Perfecting your resume and writing a cover letter are two of the most challenging parts of applying for a job.  When you are doing it, it’s best to think about exactly what the prospective employer needs.

In the second sentence, it is not clear to what the first pronoun “it” is referring:  perfecting your resume or writing a cover letter?  If the writer was referring to both, s/he needs to change the first “it” to “they.”  If the writer was referring to only one of these two things, s/he needs to change to “perfecting your resume” or “writing a cover letter,” without using a pronoun.


5. Paper and toner are two of the biggest expenses for this office.  It needs to be improved.

This is another case of singular-plural confusion.  Change “It” to “They.”

Answers for Punctuation Exercises

This resource was written by Tony Cimasko.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on November 12, 2008 .

Summary:

This resource contains answers to the ESL exercises on punctuation.

1. Margaret is an incoming senior at a large suburban high school in the Midwest

Margaret is an incoming senior at a large suburban high school in the Midwest.

2. At 8 pm on the eighth day of the eighth month in the year 2008 eight being a lucky number in China the world looked toward Beijing and the 91000 people inside the National Stadium known as the Birds Nest

At 8 p.m. on the eighth day of the eighth month in the year 2008 (eight being a lucky number in China), the world looked toward Beijing and the 91,000 people inside the National Stadium known as the Bird’s Nest.

OR

At 8 p.m. on the eighth day of the eighth month in the year 2008—eight being a lucky number in China—the world looked toward Beijing and the 91,000 people inside the National Stadium known as the Bird’s Nest.


OR

At 8 p.m. on the eighth day of the eighth month in the year 2008—eight being a lucky number in China—the world looked toward Beijing and the 91,000 people inside the National Stadium known as the “Bird’s Nest.”

3. Anyone who tries to disturb the Olympics now should be severely punished said Ma Jie 53 a taxi driver

“Anyone who tries to disturb the Olympics now should be severely punished,” said Ma Jie, 53, a taxi driver. 


4. In the film directed by Isabel Coixet and written by Nicholas Meyer he adapted Mr Roths book to the screen Kepesh is cool

In the film, directed by Isabel Coixet and written by Nicholas Meyer (he adapted Mr. Roth’s book to the screen), Kepesh is cool.


5. Then the results were announced on the TV show and published Valerian had little or no effect on sleep.

Then the results were announced on the TV show and published: Valerian had little or no effect on sleep.  [Although “TV” is an abbreviation, it has become such a common word that periods have fallen out of use.]

6. They remain an extremely high risk group when it comes to H I V

They remain an extremely high risk group when it comes to H.I.V.

Answers for Paraphrasing and Summarizing Exercises

This resource was written by Tony Cimasko.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on November 5, 2008 .

Summary:

This resource contains the answers for the ESL exercises on paraphrasing and summarizing.

Paraphrasing and Summarizing

The popularity of Wikipedia makes it important that users learn to use the online collaborative encyclopedia as a starting point for their research rather than as the final word, says a Purdue University communications expert. "Students are addicted to Wikipedia, and teachers fight it with stern grading policies and restrictions on its use," says Sorin A. Matei, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication. "But Wikipedia is here to stay and, despite penalties, people are likely to continue using it."

Version 1:  The popularity of Wikipedia makes it important that users learn to use the online collaborative encyclopedia as a starting point for their research. "Students are addicted to Wikipedia, and teachers fight it with stern grading policies and restrictions on its use," says Sorin A. Matei, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication.

This version would be considered blatant plagiarism.  The text is excerpted almost word for word without using quotation marks appropriately, without giving credit to the original author.  Some words have been cut out, but the original author’s language is still quite obvious.

Version 2:  The popularity of Wikipedia makes it important that users learn to use the online collaborative encyclopedia as a starting point for their research. "Students are addicted to Wikipedia, and teachers fight it with stern grading policies and restrictions on its use," says Sorin A. Matei, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication (Morris).


Credit is given to the original author (Morris), but quotation marks are still not used, and the language still closely resembles the original writing.

Version 3:  Wikipedia is popular, which makes it vital that users learn to use the online collaborative encyclopedia as a beginning point for their research. "Students are addicted to Wikipedia,” says Sorin A. Matei, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication, “and teachers fight it with stern grading policies and restrictions on its use" (Morris).

The original author is given credit, and technically the passage is correct, but the writer suggests that Morris’ main point is teachers’ reactions.  In fact, Morris is emphasizing the importance of Wikipedia, and talks about teachers’ reactions as a secondary point.

Version 4:  “Wikipedia is popular, which makes it necessary to learn using the online collaborative encyclopedia as a beginning point for their research. ‘Students are addicted to Wikipedia,’ says Sorin A. Matei, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication, ‘and teachers fight it with stern grading policies and restrictions on its use’” (Morris).


The quotation is essentially accurate, quotation marks are used, and Morris is given credit.  The bigger problem is that the writer made no attempt to use his or her own language, to integrate the quotation into their own words.  The smaller problem is the lack of ellipses (. . .) to indicate where the writer took out part of the quotation.

Version 5:  Sorin A. Matei of Purdue University says that because students are "addicted to Wikipedia" and will continue to rely on it, it is important for teachers to help them to use Wikipedia as a place to begin research, rather than as a final source.  Matei also says that penalties are unlikely to be effective (Morris).


Version 5 is correct.
Here the student combined her own paraphrasing with a quotation of striking language of the original text. She made certain her words and those taken directly from the source fit together; she quoted accurately and cited her source.  Some of the information is consolidated, and the specific kinds of penalties given by teachers—a minor detail—are left out.