Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In Merrie Olde English (AD 700-1100), nominalization (making a noun from other parts of speech) was basic and syntactically rudimentary. Which of the following phrases contains a word ending in "ing" that has not been nominalized?
2. In Old English, verbal adjectives (participles) could be distinguished from verbal nouns because different suffixes were used in their formation. However, "ing" is used in modern English not only in the creation of present participles but also for gerunds. In the following sentence, which of the occurrences of "smoking" is a present participle? "The ominously smoking (1) ruin of the apartment complex bore mute testimony to the fact that smoking(2) in bed was an instance of someone smoking(3) where they should not smoke(4)."
3. Simple verbal nouns such as "building" must be distinguished from gerunds, which developed later. This may, at times, be problematic. In general, simple verbal nouns describe the results of an action, while gerunds describe the process. Consider the ambiguity inherent in the phrase "John's painting of the fence". Does the phrase refer to a painting of a fence done by John or John's act of painting the fence? What accounts for the ambiguity?
4. In Old English, a distinction was made between strong and weak verbs (a distinction which is now seldom made). Initially, only strong verbs were transformed into verbals. In time, only one category of verbs remained "ing" free. To verbs from which category must one never add "ing"? (Hint: A verb from that category appears in the preceding sentence).
5. The present tense forms of some modern English irregular verbs have descended from Old English strong verbs and end in "ing". As a result, some words can be doubly "ing-ed", e.g. ringing, springing, etc. Which of the following words is not the modern form of an Old English strong verb?
6. By 1400, gerunds and present participles were both being formed by the addition of "ing", and gerund usage was expanding to include features heretofore the province of participles. Although used as nouns, the gerund's internal structure can be verb-like and came to include the same features as participles. In the following sentence, which word marks the end of the verbal gerund phrase? "Silently mouthing his rehearsed speech to himself in the mirror did not prepare John to deliver it to Mary."
7. Old English had only two tenses: past and present. In Old English, the present tense continuous aspect was formed in the following fashion: "Ende" was appended to a verb to produce a participial form. This was preceded by the Old English equivalent of "is" to produce the present continuous. Which of the following is a modern English present continuous construction?
8. In order to successfully add "ing" to a two syllable word either one must have mastered the rather convoluted spelling rules governing the process, or one must have obtained computational orthographic software (a spellchecker). However, one should be clear on just exactly which English dialect one's spellchecker speaks. Which of the following spellings is correct in Manchester but incorrect in Chicago?
9. In writing this quiz I have encountered a number of different forms ending in "ing". The gerund phrase is my favorite. Which of the following is NOT a feature of gerund phrases?
10. The potentially subtle difference between a verbal noun and a gerund resulted in a courteous error report that became the inspiration for this quiz. The word "euphemism" may itself be used as a euphemism for a word that begins in "L". Which "L" word has the proper grammatical credentials to be the word for which euphemism may be a euphemism, lie or lying?
Source: Author uglybird
This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor agony
before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.