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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 4th, 2008, 03:36 am
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Default Wrong or right answer?

Hi,

I saw a test recently for Past Simple/Past Progressive which had the question:

When I (walk) _______ into the office, the secretary (talk) ___________ on the phone.

As a native speaker, I think that there are 4 possible answers to this question. Any of them would be correct, depending on the context of the "story" (there wasn't one in the test, this was a 'stand alone' question).

What would you do? Would you give the points whatever the student wrote?

Obviously, the correct way would be not to have it in the test in the first place!

Thanks
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 4th, 2008, 07:59 am
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Default Re: Wrong or right answer?

I'm sure what they wanted was:
When I walked into the office, the secretary was talking on the phone.

If the students can explain their reasoning behind their answer, I'd give them credit. The explanation for when to use another correct version may be harder than the actual question.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 4th, 2008, 08:13 am
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Default Re: Wrong or right answer?

I'd go along completely with Mark on this one.

As it's a stand alone question there could be another answer, although I'm scratching my head as to the other three alternatives. I'm guessing (and only guessing) that one of them may be 'When I was walking into the office, the secretary was talking on the phone.' ie two contemporary actions. However, at this point I'd use WHILE instead of WHEN.

Anyone else?
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 4th, 2008, 10:20 am
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Default Re: Wrong or right answer?

I agree with Mark that this was probably the expected answer, but Clive's version is also grammatically correct. This would be said if the secretary then immediately hung up - maybe because it was a personal call.....

When I walked into the office the secretary talked on the phone.
When I was walking into the office the secretary talked on the phone.

Both of these could be used if she rang someone to tell them I had arrived.

But just because they are not the expected response, given that they are grammatically correct, why should the student be penalised? Maybe the student can't explain the reasoning for these, but then, maybe other students can't fully explain why they gave the right answer...... except maybe, the teacher told me :-)
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Unread Apr 11th, 2008, 02:26 am
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Default Re: Wrong or right answer?

Spiderman was used to wear his underwear on his face
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Unread Apr 11th, 2008, 02:30 am
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Default Re: Wrong or right answer?

Spider man used to wear his underwear on his face
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