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  1. #1
    vestcil is offline Junior Member
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    Default A weird(?) test question from a country whose first language is not english.

    Here is a test question below the dotted line. Pretty long reading for just one question. By the way, does it sound natural?
    Everything in green colored letter is my thoughts. Black letters are original content.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Th health of cities(What? health of cities? I think what examiner wanted to say is "people's health condition or people's state of health") like New

    York, Los Angelese, and San francisco represents(Is 'represent' a good choice for this case? How about the word' shows') an astonishing turnaround

    from the past (from the past? Isn't it "from that of the past?"), when [(A) density/ isolation]

    too often meant death. Through out most of human history, proximity enabled the spread of infectious diseases that stuck down those humans who

    had boldness to risk living near one another. Huge investments in massive waterworks were needed to [(B) curb/predict] the spread of cholera and

    yellow fever, just as huge inverstments in policing were needed to reduce crime in the 1990s. The massing of millions in small land areas requires a

    vigorous [(C) private/ public] sector to combat crime and illiess. This explains why people in New York are so much fonder of big governments than

    people in rural Kansas.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To choose correct words is the question. Well the content itself is not that difficult but the usage of word and expression, does it flow natually?
    Well you can choose correct answer easily for A and B. But C, which do you think is correct?

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: A weird(?) test question from a country whose first language is not english.

    It's not the finest literature, but it's OK. It was written by a native speaker.

    It comes from Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser.

  3. #3
    vestcil is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: A weird(?) test question from a country whose first language is not english.

    O.K Thank you, 5jj. By the way, what do you think about my thoughts? Are they wrong or correct? If my thoughts are substituted, does it still make sense?

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: A weird(?) test question from a country whose first language is not english.

    Quote Originally Posted by vestcil View Post
    O.K Thank you, 5jj. By the way, what do you think about my thoughts? Are they wrong or correct? If my thoughts are substituted, does it still make sense?
    "Represents" is fine.

    Your other comments show that you understand the verbal shorthand used in this excerpt.

    You are right that cities don't have health. But what is meant is understood, so there is really no problem with the excerpt as written.

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: A weird(?) test question from a country whose first language is not english.

    Quote Originally Posted by vestcil View Post
    The massing of millions in small land areas requires a

    vigorous [(C) private/ public] sector to combat crime and illiess. This explains why people in New York are so much fonder of big governments than

    people in rural Kansas. But C, which do you think is correct?
    Cities = millions in a small area.
    New York City is a big city.
    People in places like NYC like government more than people in places like rural Kansas.
    Therefore, do you think it refers to private-sector investment (businesses) or public-sector investment (government)?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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