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  1. #1
    kasakuri is offline Newbie
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    Which word is used in a strange way in these 6 sentences, and why?

    Hello and thank you sincerely in advance for your help. I'm an aspiring English teacher trying to familiarize myself with all the nuances of the language :)

    I am trying to identify which word in the following 6 questions are used incorrectly, explain why they are used incorrectly as well as replace the incorrect word with a better alternative. So far, I have identified (what I think) are the incorrect words and replaced them with (what I think) are the better alternatives. However, I'm really not sure how to explain the decisions that I've made.

    If you would be so kind, please look at the following 6 questions and help me Identify and explain the correct choices.

    A. In the sentences below, one of the words is used in a way that sounds strange or inappropriate.

    Identify the wrong word then supply a more appropriate word and say why this is better.

    Example:
    A healthy diet makes people skinnier and better looking.

    ANSWER: ‘Skinnier’ is wrong here. ‘Slimmer’ is better because it has a positive tone. ‘Skinnier’ sounds too negative in this context.

    1. The students have done a lot of progress so far.
    Answer: ‘done’ is wrong here. ‘Made’ is better.

    2. He doesn’t concentrate in class, he spends most of his time saying jokes to his friends.
    Answer: ‘Saying’ is wrong here. ‘Cracking’ is better

    3. The assistant manager left last week so now we’re trying to find out a replacement.
    Answer: ‘Out’ is wrong here. It should be deleted because it is extraneous.

    4. The work I’m doing at the moment is absolutely difficult for most people.
    Answer: ‘Absolutely’ is wrong here. ‘Very’ is better.

    5. Please could you cough up this money within the next seven days?
    Answer: ‘Cough up’ is wrong here. ‘Come up with’ is better.

    6. If things aren’t going well it’s important to keep going and not lose bravery.
    Answer: ‘Bravery’ is wrong here. ‘Courage’ is better.

    Thank you again,

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Which word is used in a strange way in these 6 sentences, and why?

    Your answers are fine. There's a more conventional possibility for 2. You could think of an alternative for 4 that might be better than very.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 03-Dec-2012 at 17:22. Reason: typo

  3. #3
    kasakuri is offline Newbie
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    Re: Which word is used in a strange way in these 6 sentences, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    You're answers are fine. There's a more conventional possibility for 2. You could think of an alternative for 4 that might be better than very.
    Thanks for your answer Tdol. My main concern is how should I go about explaining those answers? I'm not sure if "it feels right," would be a suitable answer. Any help on how I should explain my choices would be greatly appreciated!!

  4. #4
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Which word is used in a strange way in these 6 sentences, and why?

    Unfortunately, you'll find that "it just feels right" or "it just sounds more natural" is the explanation for a lot of what you will find on these threads.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Which word is used in a strange way in these 6 sentences, and why?

    1. The students have done a lot of progress so far.
    Answer: ‘done’ is wrong here. ‘Made’ is better.
    This is an example of collocation.

    2. He doesn’t concentrate in class, he spends most of his time saying jokes to his friends.
    Answer: ‘Saying’ is wrong here. ‘Cracking’ is better
    So's this- we tell jokes.

    4. The work I’m doing at the moment is absolutely difficult for most people.
    Answer: ‘Absolutely’ is wrong here. ‘Very’ is better.
    We use very with adjectives that have degrees, like difficult - it can be slightly/very difficult. We use absolutely with adjectives like impossible to give emphasis- something can't be a bit impossible.


    ​Etc

  6. #6
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Which word is used in a strange way in these 6 sentences, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    This is an example of collocation.
    A cynic might think that 'collocation' is a fancy way of saying 'that's the way it is'.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Which word is used in a strange way in these 6 sentences, and why?

    It is, but at least it's a term for it.

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