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Sentence Completion 

You manipulated the sentences provided for you by changing the tense of the verb, changing the subject or object of the sentence, or adding words, such as auxiliaries and modifiers. And you dealt with these things separately in categories: verbs, pronouns, adjectives, passive voice, and so on. Upon completing that kind of practice, you are ready to write more creatively. 

But before you begin to write original sentences, you should practice completing different kinds of sentences to test your skill with the things you practiced. In this chapter’s exercises you need to decide what word or phrase makes the most sense for completing each sentence. In each case you want to be sure that the grammar and the meaning of the words are appropriate. 

A variety of elements is missing from the sentences in these exercises. Some require a subject, others a direct object or the object of a preposition. And still others are missing a verb or a modifier. Look at each sentence carefully, and decide what kind of element is missing and what meaning is required to make a good sentence. 


Exercise 1 Write in the phrase that best completes each sentence. 

1. It _____________________ to understand the problem.

a. can’t             b. can’t be able               c. isn’t difficult                  d. won’t happen

2. I finally met the inventor, _____________________ changed how ourcompany works.

a. when he invented                 b. whose machine               c. the idea of               d. that concept

3. It was clever of _____________________ to disguise his voice.

a. him           b. thieves and robbers            c. singing so quietly             d. the moment

4. You mustn’t _____________________ in an argument with her.

a. back down          b. to become angry           c. forget            d. have forgotten

5. Jack discovered _____________________ living under the porch.

a. alive and well               b. they had            c. several tiny kittens              d. never been

6. I would have left immediately _____________________ the storm hadn’tbeen so bad.

a. whether               b. whether or not              c. while              d. if

7. _____________________ the summer months we like to stay in the north.

a. During               b. In spite              c. As a result of            d. Concerning

8. For some reason, the winner _____________________ than the loser.

a. relied on him              b. was more embarrassed             c. received the most prizes             d. lost

9. It’s _____________________ that you’ll ever find a job around here.

a. rather doubtful               b. surely                   c. up to you                d. being a difficult situation

10. There are _____________________ I need to take up with you.

a. several issues                 b. needless to say              c. nevertheless               d. apart from other problems

Exercise 2 You will see a variety of incomplete sentences, which you maycomplete in any appropriate way. Some are missing only one word. Others canbe completed by adding a phrase. Study the examples that follow. Use them asyour model as you go through the exercises.

Mark has been my friend since kindergarten.

She cried when she fell on the ice.

I met a man whose son is also in college.

1. I _____________________ not help you today.

2. When _____________________, we decided to drive out into thecountry.

3. We’ll be happy to join you at the party if _____________________.

4. My grandmother has _____________________ ill for two weeks.

5. Whenever I get too tired, I need _____________________ take a nap.

6. Next year the tourists _____________________ travel to Mexico.

7. I’ve been _____________________ about this problem all day.

8. Maria bought a dress, _____________________ only cost twenty dollars.

9. In weather like this you _____________________ wear a raincoat.

10. Everyone _____________________ to leave the park at ten o’clock.