1. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    5 multiple choice questions

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by ohmyrichard, Apr 19, 2009.

    Hi,everyone.

    Would you please help me with the following multiple choice questions, which are taken from a national test for English majors in China taken yesterday?



    1. It is going to be fine tomorrow. _____________.

    A. So is it. B. So it is. C. So it does. D. So does it.

    My inference: I consulted my Longman dictionary and it tells me that "So she is/ so they are etc" is used to agree with something that has just been mentioned and that you had not noticed or had forgotten. The dictionary gives an example, which is actually a conversation, which goes, "Don't forget your brother is coming round for dinner." "So he is. I'd better get some food in." So, based on this explanation, I conclude that there is something wrong with the typography of the two sentences. If Option B is correct, the two sentences should have been made by two speakers and should have been typed like this:

    Either

    -- It is going to be fine tomorrow.

    -- So it is.

    or

    "It is going to be fine tomorrow." "So it is."



    2. Aren't you tired? I __________ you had done enough for today/

    A. should have thought B. must have thought

    C. might have thought D. could have thought

    My understanding: My choice is A. I reason that "I should have thought..." is used to tell that the speaker is blaming him- or herself for having been careless and inconsiderate. But I have to admit that these modal verbs are quite tricky sometimes.



    3. Representatives from the companies indicated that they should go on working together in ________.

    A. unity B. entity C. partners D. partnership

    My stand: I choose D because I remember in his speech delivered after the G20 London summit earlier this month, Obama said, "...we are going to have to act in partnership with other countries". So "act/ work in partnership with others" means "cooperate with others." But the key provided by a Chinese expert hired by a Chinese language training website has a different choice. They choose A. I think theirs is incorrect.



    4. They young employees has a(n) ______ quality -- he is totally honest.

    A. respectable B. admirable C. decent D. approachable

    My choice: I choose B, for I think the choice will only be made between A and B, and A is usually used to modify people. Again that Chinese expert chooses D instead. But "approachable" means "friendly and easy to talk to", which has nothing to do with his honesty.



    5. "The man preparing the documents is the firm's lawyer" has all the following possible meanings EXCEPT



    A. the man who has prepared the documents

    B. the man who has been preparing the documents…

    C. the man who is preparing the documents

    D. the man who will prepare the documents

    My headache: I choose A, but I'm not so sure of it.



    I beg you to help me with these four questions.

    Thanks.

    Richard
     
  2. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    1. B
    2. C (You cannot force yourself to think something beforehand to the future or present now which has not yet occured; therefore C is the better choice. You are uncertain and not sure, so you are asking something that is equally uncertain and not sure)
    3. A
    4. B (You're right; Chinese expert reasoning skill is flawed here)
    5. D (Again, you cannot predict the future, hence you don't know if it will actually be a man who will prepare the documents, or a woman. This is just my gut instincts; so take this one as a grain of salt)
     
  3. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    1-B With 2 speakers, as you say. The second would probably e.g. look at the weather outside or something and agree with the first.

    2-A The 'should' is not blaming exactly, it's more like the speaker is implying the person they are talking to has done enough work, or ought to slow down.

    3-A is correct, at least in British English. Companies work IN unity (slightly old-fashioned turn of phrase, though), or AS A partnership.

    4-The sentence is incorrect. 'They' should be 'The' and 'employees' should be in the singular. Your answer is the best, although this is a rather unclear example.

    5-C and D are possible but A and B are not. You need an answer here that indicates that the job is still in progress (not finished) or, alternatively, shows the job is planned for the future (don't forget that present continuous can be used for planned future actions).
    The A answer implies that the job has recently been completed.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    Thanks, madhoca.
    Here are two follow-up questions for you. Hope you will help me with them.
    a. Why can Obama use "partnership" that way while we cannot?
    b. What I was quite sure of as for Sentence 5 is "The man preparing the documents..." is equal to "The man who is preparing the documents...", but now I am confused. "The man who is preparing the documents..." has all the following possible meanings EXCEPT C? You can't imagine how perplexed now I am.
    PS: I am sorry for the typing errors in Sentence 4.
     
  5. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    Could it be that this job of preparing the documents is assigned to the man and he will do it in a few minutes or hours or tomorrow?
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    A is not a possible answer for no. 5 because it implies the action is finished, which changes the meaning of the sentence you gave.

    In qn. 5, B indicates that there has been a break in the action: The man has been preparing the documents, but we are not sure if he's still preparing them.

    'The man preparing the documents' is the 'reduced' form of: 'The man who is preparing the documents'.

    As I said, the present continuous tense here can mean that he is preparing the documents right NOW, or that he WILL prepare them--there is a plan or programe set in motion for this--at a future date.

    Remember, we say e.g. 'The plane leaving.../The plane that is leaving' = the plane is leaving right now, OR it will be leaving = it's scheduled to leave.

    Obama speaks highly correct modern American English, but as I said, I think the (slightly old-fashioned) British English example is what the examiners were after here. I'm sure that 'in partnership' is perfectly correct English in Britain or the US, actually.
     
  7. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    Thanks. What is this psyche which the person raising a question has when he or she is always suspicious of others' choices and likes to hear others say "I agree with you on this and on that."? I may have appeared stupid.
    Thanks.
    Richard
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I do hope I have been helpful.

    Wrey
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'll post what i sent you in reply to your email, richard:

     
  10. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    As for the last question, you choose A because "The man preparing the documents..." never possibly means "The man who has prepared the documents...", right? The last word "EXCEPt" requires us to choose a wrong interpretation of the original sentence. I hope you didn't overlook this EXCEPT, as I now can easily see there's great controversy over this issue in this thread.
    Thanks.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Correct. I would never use an -ing verb to indicate an action I knew to be complete and also non-repetitive.

    I would also agree with Maia in that D is also technically incorrect, but there is such a large tendency (at least in the U.S.) for the -ing to also include the idea of a future action in this kind of syntax that one would be hard pressed to convince the native speaker to agree with Maia and me. I myself would commit this error without hesitation, but if queried, I know full well it is a questionable usage.
     
  12. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    Thanks. The test requires the test takers to choose one and only one correct answer to each of those questions, so, after your great explanation of this issue, I decide to choose A for sure now, for we now all agree that Option A is a wrong interpretation of the orginal sentence. All options EXCEPT A are possible meanings.
    Thanks again. I will explain these grammar and vocabulary items to my students in class. Some of the items seem like word games. By the way, do you have such multiple choice questions in tests for your primary, high school, and even college students?
    Richard
     
  13. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Just remember not to write like this in your actual short stories and novels. Your prose should be clear and not muddled such as these examples.
     
  14. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I must state again that 5-d is a possible answer here--every English school I have ever worked in has taught will=present continuous, as well as it being in common parlance--but perhaps it would be better with the time/date added e.g. 'on Tuesday' to avoid ambiguity.
    The problem with these multiple choice exams is that the answer often comes down to grammar/the form of grammar the sts HAVE BEEN TAUGHT IS CORRECT in the end, not actual native speaker usage, but we continue to use them in exams with many entrants because they can be computer-marked. I do hate them, though!
     
  15. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    I'm afraid you have neglected the word "EXCEPT" in Question 5, where we are expected to find a wrong interpretation of the original sentence. I think Option D is certainly one possible meaning of the original sentence. Perhaps you have overlooked the capitalized word "EXCEPT".
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'except' does not restrict one to a single choice, as you seem to think... it simply means 'whichever' one or ones do NOT fit... nothing in the word can possibly mean you are allowed to choose only one 'exception'... only the stated rules of the test can do that... and if they do not specifically say that only one choice is allowed for each and every problem, then you must include 'D' because in correct english grammar, the future tense cannot possibly include 'is preparing' which is a current, already-in-progress action...

    if they do restrict you to to a single exception in that instance, then those who prepared the test are idiots... ok, maybe that's a bit harsh, but they sure should not be administering tests on stuff they don't even know themselves...
     
  17. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I have to admit, the sentences you provided are strange ways of talking.
     
  18. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    I have never seen those sentence structures in any fiction novel or short stories I've read.

    Never--ever.
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    ohmyrichard is a teacher.

    There are countless different grammatical clauses and syntax structures which do not find common use, but which must be taught for the sake of understanding them in the odd event that they are encountered.
     
  20. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I don't believe they should exist. :p
     
  21. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    And many would agree, my friend, but exist they do; hence, taught they must be. ;)
     

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