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Grammar Challenge


- Practice Quiz 1


- Practice Quiz 2


- Use The Grammar
Use the grammar

Now it's your turn to write an imaginary news report. Use at least one noun (as a subject) from each of these 4 groups:

someone, somebody, each, either one, everyone, anyone

mathematics, physics, rabies, diabetes, news

people, children, data , media

family, team, police, group, government, jury

You might begin your report like this:

…And some news just in. This morning…

We'll publish our five favourite entries.

Thank you for sending your comments. This topic has now closed.

Christopher, Mexico
And some news just in. This morning some children were intoxicated in school's cafeteria. Family are very angry about this. Anyway, government asks cafeteria's owner some explanation for the bad food.

Nuala says:

Hi Christopher,

Well that story has certainly put me off my lunch!

You've got your subject and verbs agreements correct here – children were and government asks. Well done!

Here are a couple of points you might want to consider:

First, vocabulary – children aren't likely to be intoxicated because that's something we usually associated with alcohol. Instead bad food, usually poisons people.

Second, articles - you might want to look at some of the other Grammar Challenges about articles because you made quite a few slips in your piece.

Here's a link to a Grammar Challenge about some of the basic rules of articles.

And here's your piece again, this time with some article options. Can you figure out what the correct answers are?

And some news just in. This morning some children were poisoned in a / an / the school cafeteria. A / An / The families are very angry about this. A / An / The government has asked a / an / the cafeteria owner for a / an / the explanation for a / an / the poisoning.


Tony, Singapore
Triskaidekaphobia People from the village Triskaideka Island in the northern part of the Indian ocean are complaining that their calendar does not show the date 13. The Triskaidekans have only 353 days in a year. Though this sounds strange, the government has confirmed that this is in line with their Triskaidekaphobic traditions. The government spokesmen also said that those people who are complaining are a minority and not thinking about everyone else and the Triskaidekaphobic traditions.

The news that the government is not going to do anything about it has angered the anti-triskaidekaphobic party. They have blamed the media of portraying their party as anti-nationalist. It is also reported that the anti-triskaidekaphobic party chairman Mr. Triskai Anti Phob will be arrested by the police sometime today. We will be back with more news as it progress. Reporter: Mr. Never-Triskaidekaphobic Joseph

Nuala says:

What a great news story! No-one here in the BBC Learning English offices is scared of the (some might say unlucky) number 13. We don't suffer from triskaidekaphobia but Elena says she's frightened of walking under ladders!

Thanks for making us all laugh here. We all thoroughly enjoyed your headline news!


Thienloi, Vietnam
This morning, one severe accident occurred in the highway from Phu Gia to Lang Co. Police were there after 5 minutes and protected the site. Three men died and several people were wounded. The cause of the accident wasn't reported. The latest information will be updated at the Nine O'clock News.

Nuala says:

Hi Thienloi,

Thanks for your news report. It sounds very serious if three people died.

You decided here to think of the police as a collection of individual officers so you used in the plural 'were' when talking about them. And you used the correct subject verb agreement with 'people' (plural) and 'accident' (singular). Well done!

In you first sentence you said 'one severe accident occurred in the highway'. It might sound more natural to say 'a serious accident happened on the highway'.

And in your final sentence you said 'The latest information will be updated at the Nine O'clock News'. If you said 'We'll have more for you at nine o'clock', you might sound more like a newscaster. Or you could try a sentence using 'all the latest updates'. Can you figure out what the sentence should be?

Thanks for writing in!


Khaled, Syria
And some news just in. This morning, police found out about a plan to kill a sports team's members. The team were surprised as the news was a shock for them. Some children were a part of the plan. They were going to be used for attracting the members of the team. Everyone in the team is under the protection of the police this week. Anyone who has a comment can share it with us on our website.

Nuala says:

Hi Khaled,

That's good news that the plan was thwarted!

You've certainly got the hang of subject and verbs agreements. For example, you wrote The team were were, children were and Everyone in the team is. Well done!

Here are a couple of points you might want to consider:

We usually follow used with 'to + base verb' rather than 'for + verb-ing'. They were going to be used to attract the team members.

And 'a sports team's members' doesn't sound quite right. You could use 'members of a sports team' or more simply, 'a sports team'.

Thanks for writing in


Neha, India
Diabetes has become very common these days. Not only limited to the older section of society but also gripping the young. Owing the credit to the ever changing and fast paced lifestyle, diabetes is on the increase in the modern developed world. But the disease can be controlled by having proper control of the diet and by adequate physical exercise.

Nuala says:

Hi Neha,

Thanks for your news report. I hope people in India and elsewhere take note of your story.

Your subject – verb agreement is good when you're talking about diabetes. You used the singular verb there (twice), which is correct.

Here are a few others things you might like to think about:

You need an introductory verb in the your second sentence. You could use 'This is' or 'It's'.

'Owing the credit to' isn't quite right. You could either say 'Taking credit for this disease is the ever-changing, fast-paced lifestyle...' or 'Because of the ever-changing, fast-paced lifestyle...'

Finally, you need a verb with 'adequate exercise'. Do you know if it should be 'play' or 'do'?

Thanks for writing in!


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