Do you know your ‘whos’ from your ‘whoms’? Your ‘theres’ from your ‘theirs’?
These are the kind of pernickety grammar rules we’re taught from primary school onwards, so we can enter adulthood armed with the ability to write CVs, business emails, proposals and presentations.
But it seems some of us have either let those skills slide, or didn’t pay much attention to the teacher first time around, as interpretation service LanguageLine recently found.
The company ran a survey of 2,000 people to test the population’s grammar finding just 41 per cent of adults in the South East could successfully pass its grammar test.
A spokesman for the company said: “Maybe they were too busy staring at the scenery outside their classrooms – it is quite beautiful there after all what with the South Downs – to pay much attention inside
“However, top marks and a gold star go to East Midlanders, who scored a pass rate of just under 70 per cent, coming top of the class – well, the country. Perhaps they preferred to concentrate during their lessons, or are just harder workers.”
The research also found that nearly a third of people – just over 30 per cent - use ‘text language’ in a formal setting, such as the workplace.
A spokesman for the company said: “While people from our parents’ generation would find this horrifying, there’s no question that technology has affected how we communicate; plus with most people being so busy in their jobs, it might just be that it’s easier for us to shorten words to get our point across quickly.
“Most people now are used to seeing ‘thx’ written at the end of an email, rather than ‘thanks’, for example.”
But before you roll your eyes heavenwards at the lack of grammar knowledge revealed by LanguageLine’s survey, how well do you think you would fare if you took the test?
Well, you can test your grammar with a quiz they’ve developed here: https://www.languageline.com/uk/grammar-quiz