Results 1 to 6 of 6
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Aug 2011
    • Posts: 899
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    got top marks/got a top mark

    A: How did Cissie's ballet exam go today?
    B: Oh it went very well. All her group passed and Cassie got top marks.

    Why did they use 'Cassie got top marks' not 'Cassie got a top mark' because I suppose Cassie's mark in ballet exam is 90?


    Thank you.
    Last edited by Winwin2011; 30-Nov-2011 at 14:24.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 16,058
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: got top marks/got a top mark

    You suppose correctly, Winwin.

    Rover

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: got top marks/got a top mark

    I think that "Cassie got top marks" is ambiguous. It could mean either shat she got a higher mark than anybody else in the class, or that she was awarded the highest mark possible.

    I don't think that 'a top mark' is natural English. 'A good mark' and 'good marks' are both possible. They may have very similar meanings, though the singular form could imply 'a good overall mark/grade/' and the plural 'a good mark in each section of the paper'.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Aug 2011
    • Posts: 899
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: got top marks/got a top mark

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I think that "Cassie got top marks" is ambiguous. It could mean either shat she got a higher mark than anybody else in the class, or that she was awarded the highest mark possible.

    I don't think that 'a top mark' is natural English. 'A good mark' and 'good marks' are both possible. They may have very similar meanings, though the singular form could imply 'a good overall mark/grade/' and the plural 'a good mark in each section of the paper'.
    Thanks a lot, Moderator 5jj.

    Can you further explain the meaning of ' the plural 'a good mark in each section of the paper' please?

    If Cassie placed 1st in the examination, do we use 'Cassie got a good mark'?

    Thanks.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: got top marks/got a top mark

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Can you further explain the meaning of ' the plural 'a good mark in each section of the paper' please?
    ... the singular form could imply 'a good overall mark/grade/' and the plural (could imply) 'a good mark in each section of the paper'.

    If Cassie was placed/came 1st in the examination, do we use 'Cassie got a good mark'?
    She could have come first with a poor mark, if the others got even worse marks. She got the highest/best mark(s).
    5

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Aug 2011
    • Posts: 899
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: got top marks/got a top mark

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    5
    Thanks again Moderator 5jj.

    Other than 'If Cassie was placed/came 1st in the examination', can we say ''If Cassie has placed/come 1st in the examination'?

Similar Threads

  1. use of mark or marks
    By englishquestion in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Jun-2010, 18:17
  2. [General] along with/on top of/on top of the world/sitting on high cotton
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-Mar-2010, 08:37
  3. top job daily vs top jobs daily
    By thx0110 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 28-Jun-2009, 19:29
  4. [Grammar] On top & on top of
    By nvlcsw in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-Nov-2008, 04:08
  5. 0.5 mark - 1.5 marks?
    By newbie in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-Jul-2008, 15:19

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •