Words Matter - Chapter 13
Exercise 1

Copyright © 2004 Laraine Flemming.
General distribution outside the classroom and redistribution are strictly prohibited.

Directions: Below are the ten words from Chapter 13. 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.

More Character Comments



A group of sprightly actors was able to breathe life into a rather dull comedy.

Sylvia is in one of her sprightly moods when nothing can cheer her up.

The speaker's performance was sprightly and bored the audience to tears.



The front office couldn't do without Charlene, whose sanguine nature won over even the most pessimistic clients.

A bystander showed great sanguinity when he fearlessly jumped into the water and rescued the victim.

Sanguine as she is, Shana always expects the worst when she goes to see a doctor.



Race car drivers must be obdurate enough to make split-second decisions.

Even after his conviction, the defendant remained obdurate and cursed the judge and jury.

When his error was pointed out to him, Omar obdurately promised to do better next time.



I can't remain punctilious when I see a child that's been neglected.

Pam is too punctilious to give money to the Girl Scouts who tried to sell her some cookies.

Punctilious as always, Pat showed up for work even during the last snow storm.



It was timorous of Tony to confront a colleague who had made a racial slur.

I am far too timorous to take up mountain climbing.

No amount of timorousness can overcome cowardice.



After a third complaint from a querulous customer, the manager got fed up and offered a full refund.

The querulous applicant did well in the interview and got hired on the spot.

All scientists must be querulous because it is their job to find out how the world works.



Carmen is so contentious that she turns off every light before leaving the office.

I can see your point and am quite contentious with your suggestion.

The town meeting got more contentious when people in the audience started to voice their opinion.



People working for airlines increasingly have to confront irascible travelers who verbally abuse them, even physically attack them.

Irving is so irascible that he cleans his desk every evening before going home.

Irascibility is particularly important for staff dealing with customer service.



When I offered my apologies, they were capriciously accepted.

My capricious niece has just broken her third engagement.

It was only after a capricious search that we were able to locate the leak in our pipes.



The author tried to hide the vacuity of her argument behind a flood of big words.

Laverne has a vacuous smile that endears her immediately to people when they meet her.

Shirley is a vacuous person who will not be distracted from her chosen path.

Last change made to this page: November 12, 2004

Words Matter: Additional Exercises