AMA Quiz: Watch Your Language Usage!

September 18, 2013

language usage

In today’s busy world of e-mails, instant messages, and texting, it may seem a bit nitpicky or even “old school” to discuss the importance of proper English language usage.  But while the informal style we use when communicating with friends and family does have its place, that place is not the workplace. The ability to write and speak correctly is so important to a business career that you’ll find you will become more successful as you improve your communication skills.

Many common words and phrases cause confusion for even the most experienced writers.  Will these challenging words “affect” or “effect” how others perceive you in the workplace?  Read on to find out.

The following 10 frequently misused words (adapted from Administrative Assistant’s and Secretary’s Handbook, third Edition, by James Stroman, Kevin Wilson, and Jennifer Wauson (AMACOM) can flummox any writer.  How many do you use correctly?

Watch Your Language Usage!

1. Affect/Effect
 -Which usage is correct?



Question 1 of 10

2. A While/Awhile
 – Which usage is correct?


Question 2 of 10

3. Council/Counsel
- Which usage is correct?


Question 3 of 10

4. Data/Datum
- Which usage is correct?



Question 4 of 10

5. Each/Their
-Which usage is correct?


Question 5 of 10

6. Farther/Further
- Which usage is correct?



Question 6 of 10

7. Its/It’s
- Which usage is correct?



Question 7 of 10

8. Lie/Lay
- Which usage is correct?


Question 8 of 10

9. May/Can
- Which usage is correct?



Question 9 of 10

10. Who/That
- Which usage is correct?



Question 10 of 10



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Come back for more AMA quizzes.

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About The Author

American Management Association is a world leader in professional development, advancing the skills of individuals to drive business success.


  1. avatar

    Hi Mohini,

    They pop up after taking the quiz. If this does not happen please let me know.

  2. avatar

    please send me my quiz scores. Thanks

  3. avatar

    One of my biggest grammar gripes is when myself is used incorrectly

  4. avatar

    I scored 7 out 10, went back and changed 3 answers and still scored 7 out of 10, how is that possible? I should either have had more right or more wrong. How can I find out the right answers?

  5. avatar

    So, I scored 9 out of 10 on the language usage test, how do I find out which one I missed?

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