Words Count - Chapter 3
Exercise 1

Copyright © 2003 Laraine Flemming.
General distribution outside the classroom and redistribution are strictly prohibited.

Directions: Below are the ten words from Chapter 3. Each of the ten words is accompanied by three sentences that use a form of the word. Only one of these sentences uses the word correctly, the other two use it incorrectly. Read all three sentences. Then click the button to the left of the sentence that uses the word correctly.

You may change your answers as you see fit. When you are satisfied that all answers are correct, click the "Submit" button at the end of the exercise. You cannot resubmit the exercise after that point.

If a word in a sentence is marked by *, the word is introduced in Words Count.

Note: If you are using the Internet Explorer as browser, the exercise will only work for version 6 or higher.

Character Comments II



Actors playing President Kennedy often struggle with his staunch Boston accent.

A staunch believer in free markets, the senator fought any legislation introducing federal subsidies to special groups.

He was the proverbial "stuffed shirt," and his staunchness made it difficult for him to make small talk at social events.



My roommate is so avid about classical music she complains whenever I play it.

A couple of beers make him avid and unable to concentrate.

He claimed to be an avid reader but could not remember when he read his last book.



My all-too credulous grandmother believes every tall tale I tell her.

The witness was able to back up every statement with facts and came across as a completely credulous person.

Parachuting is not for the credulous who get dizzy just when they stand on a high stepladder.



Cramming is a proficient way to prepare for an exam.

His proficient sense of humor made the talk-show host an audience favorite.

It takes lots of practice to become proficient at playing soccer.



The morose are always the life of the party.

The obvious moroseness of the tour guide instilled confidence in his charges from the start.

Each failure makes my cousin more morose.



The guest's pretentious manner endeared him greatly to his hosts.

My friend's pretentiousness got worse after her return from France because she now peppers her speech with French words and phrases.

Given the wealth of the family, I was surprised how pretentious their house was; I had expected a much grander mansion.



Her dress was a little too staid for my taste and made her look much older than she was.

A staid supporter of the death penalty will regret the current debate on its merits.

After a long day of working in the fields, he was so staid that he fell asleep as soon as he hit the sheets.



He was so pious that he never went to the gym without a bottle of water.

Although pious herself, she showed great tolerance when she met nonbelievers.

Church attendance is up, which goes to show that piety is in serious decline these days.



He was such a reticent liar that he didn't tell the truth even if it would have helped him.

I did not expect my usually reticent brother to become so shy when he met the woman of his dreams.

My usually talkative friend became reticent when I brought up the subject of his girlfriend.



The Supreme Court ruled that sex between convivial adults cannot be prosecuted.

The convivial negotiator was able to gain the trust of each party involved in the talks.

News of the break-in made the store owner convivial with anger.

Last change made to this page: March 5, 2014

Words Count: Additional Exercises