Punctuation Puzzle: Led vs. Lead & Alot vs. A lot

Punctuation Puzzle: Led vs. Lead, Alot vs A Lot

By Zac Kieser and Donna Reish

Today we have a PUNCTUATION PUZZLE—plus a couple of other errors for you to find!


The shepherd lead them to the brook and they drank alot, because they were very, hot, and thirsty.


Here is the answer with an explanation for each aspect below:

The shepherd led them to the brook, and they drank a lot because they were very hot and thirsty.



Think Fast Grammar Quiz Answer Key

Think Fast Grammar Quiz Answer Key

image from wordmr.

If you have a newer edition of CQLA, you likely have weekly quizzes called “Think Fast Grammar Quiz.” When we created these, we originally thought that parents would use the Grammar Cards (available in Level B and C books and in the Teacher’s Guide) to grade their students’ quizzes.

Then we began teaching/testing the editions that contain these quizzes and discovered that it wasn’t as easy as we had previously thought to just use the Grammar Cards to check the quizzes–and to help your student categorize and study the grammar words.

So we created the document below to be used both as an Answer Key as well as a study guide for the Think Fast Grammar Quiz. It will be in a future edition of the Teacher’s Guide, and when our new website is done this fall, it will be available there as well. In the meantime, we are emailing the document to anyone who calls or emails us asking for it–and we are putting it here at the blog in the hopes that word will get out and parents will find it.

We use it to grade our testing students’ quizzes, but we also use it in the following way:

1. We have the student fill in as much of each part of the quiz as he or she can—then highlight the line in which he left off on his own. Then we have him look in the AK to find more and finish filling in the lines with the ones from the AK. This shows us what he already knows and what he had to look up, but it also helps him to learn more of them by writing them out as he looks them up in the AK.

2. We also assign portions of the AK for homework. For example, we will have all students study the section in the AK that has opposite prepositions or prepositions that begin with B, etc. This makes the AK into a sort of Study Guide for the student and has really helped them learn the words in categories as opposed to long lists of them.

Please share this post with fellow CQLA users so that we can get the word out that there is a lengthy, detailed, helpful Answer Key for the Think Fast Grammar Quiz! 😉


Everyday vs Every Day

Do you like to read Language Lady everyday or every day? Let me help you with that!

Every day
1. Two words
2. An adjective (every) describing a noun (day)
3. Used when you want to say EACH day or ALL days.

1,. One word
2. Usually an adjective together (the entire word is an adjective–everyday)
3. Used when you want to say something is NORMAL or TYPICAL.


1. Every day is an adjective and noun together already–do not use these two words to describe another noun! (NO: Those are our every day dishes.)

2. Everyday is an adjective alone–use it to describe another noun. (YES: Those are our everyday dishes.)

Tricky Trick to Help It Stick: A wise grammarian recommends “testing” your words by seeing if you could put the word “single” in between every and day. (EACH single day):

1. If you can put “single” in between the two words, then you want the two separate words meaning EACH day…every single day:

a. I went to the mail box every SINGLE day. I went to the  mail box every day.
b. She wrote him a letter every SINGLE day. She wrote him a letter every day.

2. If you cannot put “single” in between the two words, tehn  you want the one word meaning typical or normal:

a. I wanted to use the every SINGLE day dishes. NO. I wanted to use the everyday dishes.
b. She is the every SINGLE day kind of gal. NO. She is the everyday kind of gal.

So…to answer the first question: You like to read Language Lady every day (each day) because she is not your everyday (typical) grammar teacher! Smile…

day 110: more prepositions as other parts of speech

I think I confused more than helped in my last post about “coming with…” I am going to elaborate a bit on the different uses that words that are commonly prepositions might have in writing:

1. First of all, a word is seldom a certain part of speech in isolation. Words are called parts of speech because they are used in a certain way in speech (and writing). Thus, it is often incorrect to say that, for instance, a dog is a noun. You can be dog tired. You can dog somebody to pay you. A part of speech is a part of speech when it is used–not in isolation.

2. Thus, the preposition as other parts of speech problem. We have students memorize lists of prepositions (though we prefer to have them use them in Check Sentences, again, because that is how “parts of speech” are used)–but we have to remember that those prepositions are only prepositions when they are used as prepositions–how is that for confusing? Remember, a preposition must have an object following it in order to be considered as being used as a preposition.

3. Examples!!! I will list prepositions below to show how they may be used as prepositions or how they may be used as other parts of speech–again, in context.

a. Over
    i. I am coming over. (Adverb–tells where you are coming….)
    ii. Jump over the water. (Preposition–begins the prepositional phrase (PP for short): over the water…)

b. Down
  i. He fell down. (Adverb–tells where he fell..)
  ii. We rode down the hill. (Preposition–begins the PP down the hill…)

c. Before
  i. Before we go to class, let’s check our backpacks. (Subordinator–before is used as a subordinator beginning the subordinate clause before we go to class–a subordinate clause is a clause (subject/verb) that begins with a subordinator and is not a real sentence by itself.)

  ii. I heard that story before. (Adverb–tells when you heard that story…)

  iii. He has to go before the leaders. (Preposition–begins the PP before the leaders…)

Hope this helps! Feel free to write in questions–if I don’t know the answer, I will look the question up in my 600 page reference! 🙂

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