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Thread: completely etc

  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default completely etc

    Dear teachers,

    I have four questions to ask:

    No.1
    You can never wipe out the terrorists____.
    a. completely b. entirely
    The key is 'a'. But since 'entirely' means 'whole or complete, with nothing missing' could you please explain why isn't be correct?

    No.2
    We must define some of the key concepts ______.
    a. clearly b. plainly
    The key is 'a'. Since 'plainly' means 'obvious and clear to understand' why isn't 'b' correct?

    No.3
    Could you please explain the difference between 'alien' and 'foreign'?
    For example, we can say 'foreign culture'. We can also say 'alien culture'.
    Can I use 'alien' in the sentence ' It did sound foreign to me'? And can use 'foreign' in the sentence 'Jealousy is completely alien to her'?

    No.4
    Please read the following two sentences:
    At this rate, China may _____ the United States in total GDP by 2020.
    a. exceed b. surpass
    The key is 'b'.

    He was caught ________ the speed limit and got a ticket.
    a. exceed b. surpass
    The key is 'a'.
    Could you please explain the difference between the two?

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

    Jiang
    Last edited by jiang; 21-May-2007 at 11:10.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: completely etc

    Hello Jiang,

    1. Honestly, I would use both Teachers?
    2. Your goal is to be clear. "Plainly" means "without frills", so to speak: since we don't expect any "extravagance" in a definition, "clearly" is - clearly - the better choice.
    3. Think of "alien" as "from another world, that you cannot understand". If something is alien to you (like, jealousy), you simply don't understand how one can be jealous. As for "foreign", it just means that it is not familiar to you eg. foreign accent, food etc.
    4. You can exceed a limit or an objective, but not someone else's results.

    Cheers,

    Francois

  3. #3
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: completely etc

    Dear Francois,
    Thank you very much for your explanation. I understand your explanation. I hope somebody could explain No.1.
    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Francois View Post
    Hello Jiang,

    1. Honestly, I would use both Teachers?
    2. Your goal is to be clear. "Plainly" means "without frills", so to speak: since we don't expect any "extravagance" in a definition, "clearly" is - clearly - the better choice.
    3. Think of "alien" as "from another world, that you cannot understand". If something is alien to you (like, jealousy), you simply don't understand how one can be jealous. As for "foreign", it just means that it is not familiar to you eg. foreign accent, food etc.
    4. You can exceed a limit or an objective, but not someone else's results.

    Cheers,

    Francois

  4. #4
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: completely etc

    Hi Jiang

    I suppose the people who wrote the test might prefer the word 'completely' since that word also carries a sense of finality.

  5. #5
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: completely etc

    Dear Philly,
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see. Did you mean 'entirely' is not correct or it is correct but 'completely' is better?

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

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Philly View Post
    Hi Jiang

    I suppose the people who wrote the test might prefer the word 'completely' since that word also carries a sense of finality.

  6. #6
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: completely etc

    Hi Jiang

    No, I don't see the word 'entirely' as incorrect, but I think 'completely' is a tad better.

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    Default Re: completely etc

    Philly, could you elaborate, I still don't see the nuance.

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    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: completely etc

    Hi Francois

    Like you, I don't really see much difference between using one or the other in this particular sentence. As I was scratching my head, I had a few thoughts about the two choices. One was the association of complete with the idea of finish. Another was the fact that "entirely" is frequently used to mean "completely" in the sense of "unreservedly". So, given a choice between the two words, I suppose I'd go with "completely" in the sentence.

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    Default Re: completely etc

    How about?

    No.1
    You can never wipe out the terrorists _________.

    a. completely <from to complete, to end something>
    b. entirely <from whole, the whole of something>

    While both adverbs can mean totally, there is a slight difference in the meanings they express sentence-finally, as evidenced here:

    Ex: Max ate his cereal entirely. <He ate it all up, the entire bowl>
    Ex: Max ate his cereal completely. <semantically awkward>

    All the best.

  10. #10
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: completely etc

    To be honest, Cas, I think both of those sentences sound awkward, though I do think the second one sounds more awkward. What about:

    He read the book entirely.
    He read the book completely.

    In this case, I think "entirely" sounds awkward.

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