Grammar of English
Practice Exam (40 points total)
Part 1. (3 points) Classify each of the highlighted words in the following sentences
according to part of speech (Noun, Verb, Adjective, Adverb, Preposition, Determiner,
Coordinator, or Subordinator) using the space provided in the table below. Also give
one piece of morphological evidence (either inflectional or derivational) or one piece
of syntactic evidence to support your answer. If you provide morphological evidence
identify whether it is inflectional or derivational.
He wore a daggy pair of pants.
Building the new extension was bloody hard yakka.
The old cow-cockie who caught us on his property told us to nick off.
We wagged Physics so we could get our gear ready for the formal.
Word Part of
Morphological (Inflectional or Derivational)
or Syntactic Evidence
Page 2 of 10
Parts 2 and 3 are based on the text below.
Making mischief on mischief-makers
by Red Symons The Age Tuesday, October 7, 2003
I have recently witnessed a peculiar piece of
theatre. A more responsible person would have
contacted the police or the aggrieved party.
If the television program called
Crimestoppers was renamed Chrimespotters and
concentrated on long and flattering profiles of the
informant then, perhaps, I would have acted
Since it was the theatre of the crime that intrigued
me, and since I am essentially an amoral person, I
chose to give myself a role in the little morality
play, rather than bring the production to an
There’s a little street, a streetlet, almost a lane,
behind my shed. The lane mostly comprises back
fences, because only my shed and a couple of
others have their front entrances on this lane.
There is one large door about halfway along the
lane and this door belongs to the supermarket that
is in the next street.
One of the inconveniences of living behind a
convenience store is that large trucks reverse into
the store’s back entrance. The beeping of
reversing trucks is not just annoying, it’s also
superfluous when the street is so narrow as to
barely accommodate them. Much sleep has been
lost that we may consume shrink-wrapped
cheese, cut-price smokes and cat food so lavishly
prepared that you could offer it as canapés at a
On a recent morning, I went out into the lane
to test the air and greet the day. Emerging from
my cave, I did what all sentient beings have done
for millennia. I extended my limbs, looked to the
heavens and filled my lungs. Prepared now for
the day’s hunt, I looked left and right.
The advantage of living in a lane is that you
can promenade while looking fairly shabby, safe
in the knowledge that no one will take offence at
the torn T-shirt and the grubby and bulbous
tracksuit pants that stand between you and a
As I looked down the lane in the direction of
the supermarket delivery door, I noticed
something rather strange. Glittering objects were
being launched into the air from behind the fence
and falling into the middle of the lane. This
seemed pretty irresponsible to me. Since we put
up with industrial waste trucks groaning down the
lane to collect rubbish from the supermarket, it
seemed unreasonable for those running the
supermarket to have a little extra tidy up by just
throwing their junk over the fence.
Full of moral indignation that involved no
actual confrontation with a human being, I
marched down the lane to take stock. In my mind,
I was loudly declaiming this appalling behaviour
and, to be honest, there was also an image in my
mind of the culprit cowering, whites showing
below his pupils as he stared up at me,
apologetically grovelling. I was major for a
As I got closer, the glittering objects, as long
as a loaf of bread, continued to rain over the
fence and into the lane. I realised that they were
cartons of cigarettes.
My sleuth-like sensibilities suggested to me
that the flingers were not the owners of the
supermarket, bored with their trade. There was
mischief afoot. There is probably very little in a
supermarket that compares with cigarettes for
dollar-per-cubic-metre, and this country was
founded on the proposition that you might as well
be transported for a sheep as a lamb. Some
mysterious villain had found the storeroom at the
back of the supermarket and, rather than stuffing
cartons down their pants — an attractive but
improbable look — had opted to relocate them
into no man’s land for a later pick-up.
So, here I am, standing in a lane surrounded
by some hundreds of dollars worth of cigarettes
and the rain of pelf suddenly stops. Drawing once
again on my Sherlockish Holmesian powers of
observation, I deduced that the robbers would not
wait until nightfall, about 10 or 12 hours hence,
to collect their booty. Since they were no longer
in the throwing phase of their enterprise, they
must be about to embark on the collecting phase.
I further reasoned that standing next to the
stolen goods had very few positives to it, no
matter who came down the lane. What I decided
to do next was, I believe, the most sensible, the
most moral and the most comical response to the
I executed my plan and scurried back to my
place and a safe vantage point to watch the show.
Predictably, a bet-up sedan came careering
around the corner and screeched to a halt at the
rear of the supermarket. A gentleman dressed as a
criminal got out and was puzzled to find a single
carton on the road. He looked around, unable to
solve the mystery, then sped off with the carton.
I had thrown all but one of the cigarette
cartons back over the fence.
Part 2. (3 points) Identify the following phrases and those embedded within them, in
terms of function (eg. head, modifier, determiner) and lexical/phrasal category (eg.
NP, AdjP, AdvP).
Example: too quickly for comfort.
M:AdvP H:Adv M:PP
H:Adv quickly H:Prep Comp:NP
too for H:N
a. the most comical response to the situation
b. industrial waste trucks
Page 4 of 10
Part 3. (6 points) Using appropriate grammatical terminology discuss the difference
between the following (i) and (ii) pairs which are based on sentences from the text.
a. i. The beeping of reversing trucks is not just annoying, it’s also superfluous when
the street is so narrow as to barely accommodate them.
ii. The beeping of reversing trucks is not just annoying, the beeping’s also
superfluous when the street is so narrow as to barely accommodate them.
b. i. There was mischief afoot.
ii. What mischief was afoot.
c. i. I had thrown all but one of the cigarette cartons back over the fence.
ii. I threw all but one of the cigarette cartons back over the fence.
d. i. Predictably, a beat-up sedan came careering around the corner and screeched to
a halt at the rear of the supermarket.
ii. A beat-up sedan came careering around the corner and abruptly screeched to a
halt at the rear of the supermarket.