Create Grammar Tests Online

If you wish to create a grammar test online for free and share it with everybody, you can do it on Jotpub. It’s one of the features I built-in the website. Here is how to make a test, download it as PDF and share a link (to your students or other people interested).

Insert questions and answers in your grammar test

  1. First, register here. I have simplified the process. It’s really necessary so you can have proper credits and edit the test, and for me to fight spammers and copyright breachers.
  2. Then, go to Create page and fill in the info about the test. That includes Title, Description, Instructions, and Tags. These are all important, but I won’t go into details why. Categories is something I will add as an editor, because these items are predefined in the system.
  3. Finally, add some questions and answers! You can insert: Fill-in-the-blanks, True/False, Multiple with single correct and Multiple with several correct answers. The page is half-automated and I believe you will have no problems in figuring how to add and remove questions and answers. Here is a bit more help about the test creation.
  4. Of course, save your test!

Check and edit your language quiz

Interface for questions an answers
An English grammar test, as seen in an online test editor

Once your grammar test is saved and created, test is yourself: you have to do this in order to verify that your answers match your questions (that there are no mistakes). If you notice an error, just edit the test. Do this by going to About and then clicking on Edit this test (only authors and editors can modify). After you solve the error-free test yourself, distribute it to other language learners.

Distribute your grammar test link and PDF

You can now share your little language exam with other people. Visitors do not have to be registered to solve the test or see the results. As for the PDF, guess what, every test has its PDF version created automatically! Just click on Get the PDF link on the top of the page, or search for the link at the bottom.

Oh, did I mention already that this is all for free and without pesky ads?

 

Collective Nouns in the English Language

What are collective nouns and what is so interesting about them? A collective noun by its meaning refers to a group of entities (animate or inanimate, such as people or things). The main issue with the collective nouns is whether they should be used as a singular or plural. In this and following text we will shed some light on this “problem” in simplified, and hopefully, useful way.

Examples of Collective Nouns

A collective noun is one that is singular in form and denotes a number of individuals […]. — Fowler

Here are some of the nouns that “denote number or individuals”: audience, choir, army, board, family, committee, flock, multitude, jury, government; we count into this group and names of the animals such as deer, grouse, sheep, trout and names of political entities: the United States, the Vatican, the Commons, Congress.

Are they used in plural or singular?

That depends on one important thing: emphasis. If you are referring to the single entities, use singular:

The Roman army is immense.

But, you can view these nouns as denoting list of individuals, so you use plural (logical plural, how it is called in the grammars):

The jury were told to retire.

Determiners count also

In linguistics, a collective noun is a word used to define a group of objects, where “objects” can be people, animals, emotions, inanimate things, concepts, or other things. For example, in the phrase “a pride of lions,” pride is a collective noun. — Wikipedia

If the noun is preceded by a singular determiner, that is, if there is a word in font of the collective noun that tells us that the noun must be singular, we use singular form. Example of these determiners: a, an, each, every, this.

Each government is independent.

Form a — of requires plural

See the example:

A group of children were playing on a see-saw.*

British VS American English collective nouns

MORE ON NOUNS

Read the next part about collective nouns.

Online practice for English nouns.

This is one rather interesting fact: collective nouns that refer to a large or indeterminate number of people (government, mob, staff) are used in British English as either singular or plural, whereas in American English they are always used as singular:

BrE:
Iceland’s government is on the point of collapse.
I have to say that the Government are making themselves look ridiculous.

AmE:
The American Government Is Spending, But What Exactly Is It Buying?

Names of countries as collective nouns

Names of countries can be followed by plural verbs if the noun refers to a people (representatives) of that country.

Example:

Germany [= the German team] were in good form, winning 3-0 against France.*

References: How to Write Better English* by Robert Allen; Fowler's Modern English Usage.

Updated Latin: Meanings and Derivation

This is the first major update after putting the site online, two months ago. PyLatinam is improved so it “speaks” English now. Also, there are some grammatical updates.

Grammar: Meanings and translation

If you have heard about William Whitaker’s free Latin dictionary called WORDS, you probably know that his work is freely available for other applications. Thanks to this, pyLatinam Automatic Grammar after derivation now shows meanings of the word. Here is an example of declined noun with highlighted meanings:

This was done by first parsing main WORDS file and making it available for pyLatinam code. As the project improves, new parts of speech will be added; next to be implemented are pronouns and adjectives.

Grammar: The code

PyLatinam Speaks English.There are some significant changes in the code, but little of that is visible on Interactive Pages. pyLatinam has a new class that makes work with dictionaries (internal ones) easier. As mentioned before, new code displays the meanings. In the terms of grammatical validity, the program will now recognize words like puer, pueri, m and gener, generi, m as those that keep sound e during declension (so-called fleeting e issues).

Visual stuff

Not so important for functionality of the program as much as it makes a visit to the site more pleasant: I have changed the default, almost generic design in, hopefully, something classical-looking.

FAQ Page

There is also a new page, FAQ, available in two languages:

English: pyLatinam Frequently Asked Questions
Serbian, Latin: pyLatinam česta pitanja (srpski, latinica)
Serbian, Cyrillic: pyLatinam честа питања (српски, ћирилица)

pyLatinam is online grammar software. It is free and open software, still in its early stages.

Your comments and suggestions are more than welcome!

See more articles about Automated Latin Grammar.