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Thread: off guard

  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default off guard

    Dear teachers,

    Please read the following sentence:

    It was jumping and snapping at the snake so as to make it strike and throw itself off guard.

    Since the phrase "off guard" means "unprepared" the sentence could be rewritten the following way:

    It was jumping and snapping at the snake so as to make it strike and unprepared. Is that right?

    But I don't understand the meaning of "unprepared" here. Could you please explain that?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: off guard

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Please read the following sentence:

    It was jumping and snapping at the snake so as to make it strike and throw itself off guard.

    Since the phrase "off guard" means "unprepared" the sentence could be rewritten the following way:

    It was jumping and snapping at the snake so as to make it strike and throw itself unprepared. Is that right?
    No, it isn't. Your inference process is mystifying.


    But I don't understand the meaning of "unprepared" here. Could you please explain that?
    It's inappropriate here, so it doesn't need explaning.


    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    You can't just interchange one phrase for another in any context simply because a dictionary says they mean a similar thing.


    Dictionary entry: china - "fine crockery made from baked earth."
    Good sentence using your reasoning: "I live in fine crockery made from baked earth."

  3. #3
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: off guard

    Hi Raymott,

    Thank you so much for your help.

    This is from a test:It was jumping and snapping at the snake so as to make it strike and throw itself off guard.

    a. ready b. unprepared c. vigilant d. shaking

    Only "b" is correct. But I really don't understand the sentence.

    Could you please explain more?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang


    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You can't just interchange one phrase for another in any context simply because a dictionary says they mean a similar thing.


    Dictionary entry: china - "fine crockery made from baked earth."
    Good sentence using your reasoning: "I live in fine crockery made from baked earth."

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: off guard

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Hi Raymott,

    Thank you so much for your help.

    This is from a test:It was jumping and snapping at the snake so as to make it strike and throw itself off guard.

    a. ready b. unprepared c. vigilant d. shaking

    Only "b" is correct. But I really don't understand the sentence.

    Could you please explain more?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    All four options are wrong. It's a poor test question.

  5. #5
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: off guard

    Hi bhaisahab,

    Thank you very much for your response. All are wrong? That's terrible because the key is "unprepared".

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    All four options are wrong. It's a poor test question.

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: off guard

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Hi Raymott,

    Thank you so much for your help.

    This is from a test:It was jumping and snapping at the snake so as to make it strike and throw itself off guard.

    a. ready b. unprepared c. vigilant d. shaking

    Only "b" is correct. But I really don't understand the sentence.

    Could you please explain more?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    I see. Then I apologise - it's not entirely your reasoning processes that are at fault.
    If someone is thrown "off guard", then they are in a sense "unprepared" for whatever it was they were "on guard" for. But, as I implied, that doesn't mean you can use them interchangeably.
    However, in the unfortunate event that you had to answer this exam question, "unprepared" is the only choice you could reasonably make. Sometimes that's the best you can do with a question like this.

  7. #7
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: off guard

    Hi Raymott,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I understand it. There are many other such sentences that really bother me.

    Jiang

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I see. Then I apologise - it's not entirely your reasoning processes that are at fault.
    If someone is thrown "off guard", then they are in a sense "unprepared" for whatever it was they were "on guard" for. But, as I implied, that doesn't mean you can use them interchangeably.
    However, in the unfortunate event that you had to answer this exam question, "unprepared" is the only choice you could reasonably make. Sometimes that's the best you can do with a question like this.

  8. #8
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: off guard

    Hi Ryamott,

    I am sorry I didn't tell you it is from a test. I should have stated that.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I see. Then I apologise - it's not entirely your reasoning processes that are at fault.
    If someone is thrown "off guard", then they are in a sense "unprepared" for whatever it was they were "on guard" for. But, as I implied, that doesn't mean you can use them interchangeably.
    However, in the unfortunate event that you had to answer this exam question, "unprepared" is the only choice you could reasonably make. Sometimes that's the best you can do with a question like this.

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