eslHQ Home
User Name Password
Lost Password? | Join eslHQ.com, it's FREE!
View today's posts
Search Extras Help   

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Unread May 12th, 2013, 10:31 am
Beatrix's Avatar
eslHQ Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 14th, 2008
Location: China
Posts: 374
Beatrix is on a distinguished road
Default that, which or nothing

Hello, here is an exam question:

I have bought the same dress __________ she is wearing.

The given options being:

a)that b) which c) as d)what


Which one should be correct and why, given that sentence sounds perfectly natural to me as it already is, with those options being left out. Following that line of thinking, should the correct one be "that"? (Which sometimes can be either included or left out without any change of meaning) Thanks.

PS. If I have made any mistakes in the above writing, I would be most grateful to anyone who would correct me.

PPS. Or can the answer be "as" because of "the same" before it?

Last edited by Beatrix : May 12th, 2013 at 01:27 pm.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Unread May 13th, 2013, 01:39 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,400
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

Hi Beatrix,
Two things to consider here :
a) this is a defining relative clause ( it specifies which dress I've bought)
b) the relative pronoun serves as object in the relative clause (it replaces "the dress" in the proposition "she is wearing the dress")

So :

a) As it's a defining clause, in British English either that or which could be used. American friends tell me that using which is frowned upon in Am.Eng and that even in Brit.Eng the Guardian style guide recommends the use of that. Personally, I prefer "which" but it's just a matter of stylistic preference.
In some Brit.Eng varieties of the language what could also be used, but that's non-standard, so I would only teach it receptively if students were going to be in an area where it might be used. It wouldn't be accepted in a test.

b) As the relative pronoun is the object, it could (as you say) also be omitted. This would be usual in spoken English, but it would be more likely to be included in more formal written text.

In addition...

c) "as" sounds a bit odd here - though in spoken English when there's little time for planning might well occur as a sort of blend of two grammatical ideas. However, it would normally be used when the verb in the second clause was the same as that in the first - eg I'm wearing the same dress as she is (wearing). / I've bought the same dress as she has (bought).

Last edited by susan53 : May 13th, 2013 at 05:48 am.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Unread May 13th, 2013, 09:48 am
Beatrix's Avatar
eslHQ Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 14th, 2008
Location: China
Posts: 374
Beatrix is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

Thank you Susan. Actually, the students taking the test are required to pick only one of the options offered which, as I can see after your explanation, actually doesnt make sense. It is a Chinese grammar test and I guess they can accept only one right thing, and no more than that.
In your explanation sentence " The relative pronoun serves as object" can we put "THE" before "object"- "The relative pronoun serves as THE object"? (It s another inexplicable case of article omission to me )


There are other problematic questions as well:

1)
Our friendship____________________quickly over the weeks that followed.

Options:
a)had developed b)would develop c)was developing d)developed

2) The manager is said to have arrived back from Paris where he ________________ some European partners.

Options:
a) Would meet b) Had met

Why did they opt for past perfect tense and not past simple when the manager "has arrived", not "arrived"?

Just "met" was not offered as a correct answer. Can it be used?


Thank you so much in advance
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 10th, 2013, 04:56 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,400
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

Sorry really busy period so I'm going to have to take these questions one at a time. First of all the question about the article...

This is an interesting one, because it seems to me it links to what we said here about the optional omission of the article when talking about people's roles - eg Barack Obama is (the) President of the United States

In both cases (ie your example and the one above) the use of the article is optional and in both cases we're talking about the function of the person/thing. Some more examples :

Mr John Roberts, a Panama expert who served as general counsel on the Senate Armed Services Committee
...The Qing dynasty that served as example for the Nguyen emperors
...the shaman , who functioned as priest, soothsayer and healer
Until 844, Alcácer functioned as center for the collection of taxes in the lower Sado valley
...and is used as prop controller for the bottom hatch and wench of the Firefly-clash ship 'Serenity'.

However, although plenty of examples without the article exist, it does seem to be much more usual to include it when things are involved. It's much more common to omit it when people are involved.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 11th, 2013, 01:15 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,400
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

1)
Our friendship____________________quickly over the weeks that followed.

Options:
a)had developed b)would develop c)was developing d)developed


Lousy question. Given the correct context, any of them are possible.

a) David was astounded. "You're engaged to Jack!" he said. "But I thought you hated him!" His reaction was justified of course. He had last seen us together when we first met, in that dreadful training course that we'd taken together. But afterwards we had all calmed down, and our friendship had developed quickly over the weeks that followed.

Past perfect = sequences an event as happening before a reference point (the moment of David's reaction)

b) I didn't like Jack when we first met. But our friendship would develop quickly in the weeks that followed, and soon turn into something more.
would = second form of will, indicating a prediction made from a past viewpoint

c) I didn't like Jack when we first met. But, over the weeks that followed, it soon became apparent that our friendship was developing quickly.
Past continuous = an ongoing event

d) I didn't like Jack when we first met, but our friendship developed quickly over the weeks that followed, and we soon became firm friends.
Past simple = past finished event.

I had to change the sentence slightly to make (c) sound natural, but the point is, as always, that these 4 verb forms express different meanings - and the speaker will choose the form depending on how s/he sees the event and therefore which meaning s/he wants to express - which will in turn depend largely on the context. Take away the context (as this type of exercise does) and it is nearly always impossible to say if a grammatical form is possible or not.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 11th, 2013, 02:51 am
Beatrix's Avatar
eslHQ Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 14th, 2008
Location: China
Posts: 374
Beatrix is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
Sorry really busy period so I'm going to have to take these questions one at a time. First of all the question about the article...

This is an interesting one, because it seems to me it links to what we said here about the optional omission of the article when talking about people's roles - eg Barack Obama is (the) President of the United States

In both cases (ie your example and the one above) the use of the article is optional and in both cases we're talking about the function of the person/thing. Some more examples :

Mr John Roberts, a Panama expert who served as general counsel on the Senate Armed Services Committee
...The Qing dynasty that served as example for the Nguyen emperors
...the shaman , who functioned as priest, soothsayer and healer
Until 844, Alcácer functioned as center for the collection of taxes in the lower Sado valley
...and is used as prop controller for the bottom hatch and wench of the Firefly-clash ship 'Serenity'.

However, although plenty of examples without the article exist, it does seem to be much more usual to include it when things are involved. It's much more common to omit it when people are involved.
And in all these cases (examples), the omitted article is THE? Is there any chance of using A in some of them? For ex. "The Qing dynasty that served as AN example for the Nguyen emperors..."

Thank you, in these forums I feel like a candy-lover locked in a candy shop where she can eat as much candy as she wishes.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 11th, 2013, 03:45 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,400
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

Not necessarily always "the". In all of these examples, either the definite or indefinite article is possible. "the" would indicate there was only one, while "A/An" would suggest there was more than one. So (as always!) the speaker would decide what s/he wanted to mean. Eg if the speaker knew that Alcácer was the only tax collection center in the valley, then Until 844, Alcácer functioned as the center for the collection of taxes in the lower Sado valley But if s/he knew there were several centres, of which Alcácer was just one, then Until 844, Alcácer functioned as a center for the collection of taxes in the lower Sado valley The same with all the others.

Enjoy the candy
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 12th, 2013, 02:13 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,400
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

2) The manager is said to have arrived back from Paris where he ________________ some European partners.

Options:
a) Would meet b) Had met

Why did they opt for past perfect tense and not past simple when the manager "has arrived", not "arrived"?

Just "met" was not offered as a correct answer. Can it be used?


Yes "met" would be fine. Had met is possible because the two events happened in sequence, and the past perfect clarifies which one happened first. But as this is clear from the context (we know the manager arrived back, "where" situates the meeting in Paris, and therefore the meeting must have happened before the arrival), it's not obligatory - the simple past can also be used.

English grammar in general doesn't like doing things twice - so for example, when the sequence is indicated by an adverbial (eg before/after) then it's not necessary for the verbs to do the work of sequencing. I have the choice of saying eg Add the tomatoes after you have fried the onions or simply Add the tomatoes after you fry the onions; The plane had left before we arrived at the airport or The plane left before we arrived at the airport. The adverbial (or in other cases the context, as in your example) makes the sequence clear and sequencing by the verbs is unimportant and therefore optional.

But sequence is not always clear from the adverb/context. For example, if we use when in my sentences above, there's an ambiguity. When has two meanings - at the same time and after. So now the verb becomes essential to disambiguate the sentence. Add the tomatoes when you have fried the onions has a different meaning to Add the tomatoes when you fry the onions; The plane had left when we arrived at the airport is different from The plane left when we arrived at the airport. If the perfect is used, that event happens before the other; if the simple is used the two events happen at the same time.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 12th, 2013, 02:32 am
Beatrix's Avatar
eslHQ Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 14th, 2008
Location: China
Posts: 374
Beatrix is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

Thank you, this explanation I have already known before- but what puzzled me, was the sudden out-of-the-blue usage of the past perfect when there appeared to be no need for it. why should we put things in the "far past", when they belong to the "ordinary" past?


The manager is said to have arrived from Paris where he met some European partners.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 12th, 2013, 02:50 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,400
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

Nothing to do with "far past" or "ordinary past" - where did you get that from? It's just sequencing. When two events occur in sequence, regardless of whether they're past, present or future, a perfect verb can always be used to make the sequence explicit. If the sequence is indicated in another way (by the adverb, context etc) the use of the perfect verb is optional. If it's not, then the perfect becomes obligatory.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 12th, 2013, 03:05 am
Beatrix's Avatar
eslHQ Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 14th, 2008
Location: China
Posts: 374
Beatrix is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

There is a past tense with that meaning in my native language that resembles the Past perfect so I probably extrapolated it too far.
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 23rd, 2013, 10:27 pm
Beatrix's Avatar
eslHQ Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 14th, 2008
Location: China
Posts: 374
Beatrix is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

Hello, another difficult exam question, and again only one answer is considered correct:


She suggested not only_________________________, but also ...(blablah)

a) did he go
b) should he go
c) he should go


Which one, and why?

(although, after all these enquiries I've come to believe that people who put together these tests haven't truly mastered English themselves)
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 24th, 2013, 03:53 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,400
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

(C) is definitely out. When a negative or limiting adverb is moved to the front of the clause, then there must be inversion of operator (first auxiliary) and subject. (c) has the normal S - aux vb order and is therefore grammatically incorrect.

Of the other two, (b) is the most obvious and undoubtedly the one that would be marked correct. The verb indicates that this is a suggestion and therefore the most obvious context would be that the person is making some sort of recommendation for future action : I think you should go / Why don't you go, and when you get there (blah blah) This would be reported as in (b)

It's not completely impossible though that she is suggesting that something might have happened in the past : I think he probably went, and when he got there (blah blah)

This would be most likely to be reported as : She suggested not only that he might have gone but also that when he got there (blah blah)... - or, if you want to retain the inversionShe suggested that not only might he have gone but also that when he got there (blah blah)... However, (a) is not impossible and it's certainly not grammatically incorrect. Both (c) and (a), incidentally, sound much more likely with the inclusion of that. The fronting of the negative adverb gives a slightly more formal feel to the style, and the inclusion of that would be in line with that type of style. Omitting it, for me anyway, creates a slight stylistic tension - the style is no longer coherent.
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 24th, 2013, 09:32 am
Beatrix's Avatar
eslHQ Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 14th, 2008
Location: China
Posts: 374
Beatrix is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

thank you for your prompt answer, it's highly valuable.
do you mean that "that" should be included after "she suggested", so "she suggested that not only..."?
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 24th, 2013, 10:32 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,400
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

Not that it "should" be included but that in this context it probably would be.
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 25th, 2013, 12:00 am
Beatrix's Avatar
eslHQ Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 14th, 2008
Location: China
Posts: 374
Beatrix is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
(C) is definitely out. When a negative or limiting adverb is moved to the front of the clause, then there must be inversion of operator
Thank you, can we say here "there must be AN inversion of operator(no article before operator as it serves this function as we've(you've ) already explained before). wouldn't it be more correct? This looks like a specific instance to me because it happens in this specific case
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 25th, 2013, 04:04 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,400
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

"an" is possible but unlikely here - there's only one type of inversion under discussion and "an inversion" would make it sound as if there were several to choose from. It certainly exists though - try googling "there must be an inversion"

You could add the definite article before "operator" and "subject" though : there must be inversion of the operator and (the) subject..
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 25th, 2013, 09:16 am
Beatrix's Avatar
eslHQ Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 14th, 2008
Location: China
Posts: 374
Beatrix is on a distinguished road
Default Re: that, which or nothing

Thank you.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Find the Best TEFL, TESL, TESOL & CELTA Certification Courses - User Submitted Ratings & Reviews for Online, Distance & Abroad TEFL Courses. Over 3,500 reviews of 100+ TEFL schools!

Teach English in Thailand - Onsite and Combined TEFL certification courses in Phuket, Thailand.


Free ESL Flashcards




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:49 pm.

All materials from this website are for classroom-use only. Digital redistribution of materials, in part or in whole, is strictly forbidden!

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2