Words Matter - Chapter 12
Exercise 1

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

Directions: Below are the ten words from Chapter 12. 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 Matter.

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

Character Comments



Having a saturnine personality, Susan gets going only late in the day.

The Lord of the Rings is too saturnine for my taste—I like movies dealing with present-day characters and situations, not with fairy tales.

Because of his saturnine temper, Sam has hardly any friends.



Phil is far too phlegmatic to get upset about a girlfriend leaving him.

Mark Tyson is notorious for his phlegmatic outbursts—he seems ready to start a fight at the slightest provocation.

No wonder Pat is getting more phlegmatic every day: she's eating double cheeseburgers with a large portion of fries on a regular basis.



After receiving a mercurial blow in the head, the quarterback had to be carried off the field.

Marcy seemed depressed when I left, but mercurial as she is, she may be in high spirits when I come home.

Matt is in one of his mercurial moods where he can't enjoy anything.



It's now officious: I did win the lottery and will receive a large sum of money every year as long as I live.

We were moved by our mother's officious reaction when we presented her with a new car.

I think Olly is an officious little twerp who sticks his nose into everything.



When asked if she had ever told a lie, she answered parsimoniously, "I don't do lies."

Parsimony can go too far, for example, when you plan your meals around the coupons you have rather than what's healthy for you and your family.

Given the parsimonious personality Takesha has, I'm not surprised that she makes friends easily.



The city honored Catherine for the complacent work she is doing with handicapped children.

After losing his job, Chris got more and more complacent and finally had to live on the streets.

Complacency has been the undoing of many a sports team that underestimated an opponent.



Fred is a fastidious slob who often walks around with his shirt hanging out and his hair in a mess.

No fastidious person would accept the theory that humans are the creation of aliens from space who invaded the earth some thousand years ago.

While dogs often slurp and slobber when they eat, cats are more fastidious in their eating habits.



Pit bulls are trained to be pugnacious and ready to attack without provocation.

Peter is in one of his pugnacious moods where he can't snap out of his depression.

His pugnacity got Pat into trouble again: he spent all his money on a new sound system and now cannot pay the rent.



The judiciousness of Saddam Hussein becomes apparent when we look at the cruel treatment of political opponents under his regime.

I'm glad you were judicious enough to keep copies of all documents because we desperately need them now.

Judicious to a fault, Judy has again used up all of her savings to keep her mother in business.



My boss likes people who speak their mind and cannot stand obsequiousness in an employee.

Obsequiousness is becoming a major health problem not only in the United States, but also in other developed countries.

If Olga were less obsequious to her surroundings, she would find it much easier to deal with people.

Last change made to this page: March 22, 2004

Words Matter: Additional Exercises