Comprehension of Written Sentences


This is a test of ability to understand written sentences. There are 3 practice and 20 test sentences. The sentences were written in either active or passive voice and to describe events that either make sense or do not make sense. The task is to judge whether a sentence does or does not make sense, indicated by a "yes/no" response. Most of the sentences that do not make sense have been written so that clients must take sentence structure into account if they are to respond correctly. For example, if a client is to decide that a passive sentence like 'The headmaster was expelled by the student' does not make sense, they must understand that the sentence is a passive structure, in which the initial noun is the patient rather than the agent.


Individual sentences are printed on strips of white cards in black bold 28 point font.


Present each sentence in the order indicated on the score sheet.


Tell the client to read each sentence (aloud if the client can speak, otherwise to him/herself) taking as much time as is needed. Say also that the examiner won't give assistance with any words that the client is unable to read, and if this occurs, the client should skip over that word. Give the three practice items, with corrective feedback. Then administer the test items, without corrective feedback.

Examiner: "I am going to show you some sentences, and I want you to tell me whether they are sensible or not. Sensible sentences will describe normal events: They will be things like: 'The queen opened the gallery' or 'The actor read his lines.' Sentences that are not sensible will describe strange or unusual events. Some examples are: 'The flowers slammed the door' and 'The table jumped off the cat.' Let's try some practice ones."

When the practice items have been given, say "great, now we'll start the test. I won't be able to give you any help, so if there is a word in the sentence that you can't read, you'll need to try to read it on your own or to skip over the word and see if you can decide whether or not the sentence? makes sense. I won't tell you if you are right or wrong with these."


Because the client can take as much time as is needed, there is no reason to re-present any stimuli.


The client's choice of "Yes" or "No" is circled at the time of administration. After administration, each correct response (circled and bold) is scored "1" in the appropriate blank square of the score box. The total score can be broken down into subtotals for active sensible (yes), active/not sensible (no), passive/sensible (yes) and passive/not sensible (no) sentences.

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