The Mother Tongue Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

Bill Bryson
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 115 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. On what principle are cliches based?
(a) Words changing meaning over time
(b) People becoming more clever
(c) Increased use of double entendres
(d) Language becoming less formal

2. According to the author, some words are formed out of __________________.
(a) mistakes
(b) other words
(c) guttural noises
(d) misunderstandings

3. Who invades England in 1066?
(a) The Norwegians
(b) The Romans
(c) The Normans
(d) The French

4. Who tries to organize information about how people speak?
(a) Professors
(b) Speech therapists
(c) Linguists
(d) Historians

5. The pronunciations of many words in America reflect what speakers think British speakers say and _______________________.
(a) attempts to imitate them
(b) ignores them
(c) rejects them outright
(d) tries to do the opposite

6. Who is the Venerable Bede?
(a) A rabbi
(b) A priest
(c) A monk
(d) A bishop

7. When does modern English begin to emerge?
(a) The 19th century
(b) The 12th century
(c) The 15th century
(d) The 20th century

8. How many new words did Shakespeare invent?
(a) Over five hundred
(b) Over one thousand
(c) Over two hundred
(d) Over two thousand

9. What does the English language's large vocabulary mean to users?
(a) More spelling words
(b) More letters of the alphabet
(c) More vowels
(d) More precise expression

10. What can make learning English unnecessarily difficult?
(a) Vowels
(b) Tense switching
(c) The alphabet
(d) Grammar rules

11. Words adopted into the English language already have ___________________.
(a) Adaptations from other languages
(b) Ease of use indicators
(c) Dictionary listings
(d) Prior approval for use

12. What happens when a particular phonology is applied to adopted words?
(a) They become more lyrical
(b) They become almost unrecognizable in their original language
(c) They become easier to understand
(d) They become more rhythmic

13. When comparing American and British vocabulary, some terms hold their meanings while others _______________________.
(a) die off
(b) get new spellings
(c) gain a new spin
(d) take on regional colloquialisms

14. Who were two champions for the simplification of English spelling?
(a) Ben Franklin and John Adams
(b) Thomas Jefferson and Noah Webster
(c) Ben Franklin and Guttenberg
(d) Ben Franklin and Noah Webster

15. How can English be particularly complex for non-native English speakers?
(a) There are many grammar rules
(b) The alphabet is long
(c) The vowel sounds are fixed
(d) Many words can be used in different ways

Short Answer Questions

1. Languages around the world contain common ______________________.

2. Because of the event of #67, the works of which two authors are especially difficult to understand?

3. Many English speakers promote the particular variety of English that they speak while ____________________ the dialects of speakers from other regions.

4. Regional trends have common accent features but no speakers who _________________________________.

5. What is the difference between Cro-Magnon man and Neanderthal man?

(see the answer keys)

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