Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Tombraiders Guest

    Help on understanding the meaning of a sentence

    The sentence is from this Web page:
    http://cwx.prenhall.com/bookbind/pub...e-content.html
    Question 4

    Mr. Beasley was quite fond of his niece, Sarah. He offered to pay for her college education. When she graduated from high school, he gave her her first tuition check. He continued to send tuition checks for her education for the next two years. She was a junior in college when he died. Sarah's tuition is not mentioned in his will, and the estate refuses to pay her last year's tuition. Her parents are urging Sarah to sue the estate for the tuition money. Will she win?

    A. Yes, because it is obvious that he intended to pay for her tuition, and thus, it is promissory estoppel.
    B. No, because this is a gift and cannot be construed as consideration for a contract.
    C. Yes, because this was a contract between Mr. Beasley and Sarah.
    D. No, because Sarah has not held up her side of the bargain by finishing school

    For the meaning of answer D there are two different opnions:

    1. Sarah has not secured the financial term with Mr. Beasley that it should last till the end of her college, i.e. finishing school. So the agreement can be ended at any time.

    2. Sarah has finished her school, paying her money now won't help with her college education.


    Which explanation is correct? Or is there any other interpretation?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help on understanding the meaning of a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Tombraiders
    The sentence is from this Web page:
    http://cwx.prenhall.com/bookbind/pub...e-content.html
    Question 4

    Mr. Beasley was quite fond of his niece, Sarah. He offered to pay for her college education. When she graduated from high school, he gave her her first tuition check. He continued to send tuition checks for her education for the next two years. She was a junior in college when he died. Sarah's tuition is not mentioned in his will, and the estate refuses to pay her last year's tuition. Her parents are urging Sarah to sue the estate for the tuition money. Will she win?

    A. Yes, because it is obvious that he intended to pay for her tuition, and thus, it is promissory estoppel.
    B. No, because this is a gift and cannot be construed as consideration for a contract.
    C. Yes, because this was a contract between Mr. Beasley and Sarah.
    D. No, because Sarah has not held up her side of the bargain by finishing school

    For the meaning of answer D there are two different opnions:

    1. Sarah has not secured the financial term with Mr. Beasley that it should last till the end of her college, i.e. finishing school. So the agreement can be ended at any time.

    2. Sarah has finished her school, paying her money now won't help with her college education.


    Which explanation is correct? Or is there any other interpretation?
    D. appears to be irrelevant. She was still in school (i.e. college) at the time of his death.

  3. #3
    Tombraiders Guest

    Re: Help on understanding the meaning of a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    D. appears to be irrelevant. She was still in school (i.e. college) at the time of his death.
    Casiopea, I am more interested to know the meaning of D, rather than which answer is the correct one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help on understanding the meaning of a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Tombraiders
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    D. appears to be irrelevant. She was still in school (i.e. college) at the time of his death.
    Casiopea, I am more interested to know the meaning of D, rather than which answer is the correct one.
    My apologies. Let's look at the options for D. :D

    D. No, because Sarah has not held up her side of the bargain by finishing school.

    1. Sarah has not secured the financial term with Mr. Beasley that it should last till the end of her college, i.e. finishing school. So the agreement can be ended at any time.

    2. Sarah has finished her school, paying her money now won't help with her college education.
    According to D., the assumption is that Sarah has not yet graduated, which is true. According to 2., Sarah has graduated, which is false.
    Answer: 1.

    Hope that helps.

  5. #5
    Tombraiders Guest
    Thank you, Casiopea. But you are still not getting to my question.

    What I like to know is the explanatoin of the answer D that why Sarah can't win, or rephrase of it, so we know clearly what its argument point is.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,369
    Post Thanks / Like
    No, because Sarah has not held up her side of the bargain by finishing school
    If Adam do X then Steve will do Y, and if Steve do Y then Adam must do X.
    Obviously if Adam doesn't do X, then Steve is not forced to do Y, because the "contract" was clear: Adam must do X. We could say that X has not held up his side of the bargain. Eg. If you don't tidy you room, you won't get allowance/pocket money. If you don't pass your SAT, you won't get a car. Etc.

    FRC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Tombraiders
    Thank you, Casiopea. But you are still not getting to my question.

    What I like to know is the explanatoin of the answer D that why Sarah can't win, or rephrase of it, so we know clearly what its argument point is.
    I'm so confused. Let's try this one more time, shall we? :)

    D. No, because Sarah has not held up her side of the bargain by finishing school.

    1. Sarah has not secured the financial term with Mr. Beasley that it should last till the end of her college, i.e. finishing school. So the agreement can be ended at any time.

    2. Sarah has finished her school, paying her money now won't help with her college education.
    Rephrasing
    D. Sarah can't win because she hasn't finished school. The assumption here is that in order to win her case Sarah has to be either registered as a student in school or she has to have graduated.

    1. Sarah didn't get Mr Beasley to state in writing that he would pay her tuition for the entire four years of college. Although he paid her tuition in the past, it was year by year. Given that history, no one really knows if he was willing to pay for all four years. Maybe he was paying year by year because the agreement was that Sarah had to get good grades? That is, if she got good grades, he'd pay for the next year. No one knows what agreement Sarah and Mr Beasley had; they know only what Sarah has told them.

    2. Sarah graduated from college. Students pay tuition at the start of every new school term/year. In order for Sarah to have been able to graduate, she would have had to have paid the tuition. Since the tuition has been paid already, there's no reason to pay it again.

    Does that help out a little bit? If not, we'll give it another go. :D

  8. #8
    Tombraiders Guest
    The structure of the sentence introduces ambiguity.

    Let's see an example:

    Is she happy?
    No, because she hasn't been promoted by proving herself.

    There are at least two ways to interpret it:

    1. She is no happy because even she has been working hard, she hasn't got the promotion.

    2. She is not happy because she had to pull some strings to get the promotion, not by proving herself.

    Now let's look at the sentence:
    No, because Sarah has not held up her side of the bargain by finishing school.

    You can interpret it as: 1. No because by finishing school Sarah has not held up her side of the bargain。Or 2. No because she has held up her side of bargain not by finishing school but by something else.

    For the first interpretation, Sarah has finished school, maybe by using her own money or getting a loan. Since litigation could take long waiting time in processing. Her case is heard after her graduation -- about a year from her filing. The estate argues that Mr. Beasley agreed to pay for her education only. Since Sarah has finished school, she has no tuition to pay any more.

    For the second interpretation, Sarah has held up her side of bargain not by finishing school, but by something else. i.e. Sarah has stopped school and is depending on Mr. Beasley's money to continue. I don't see why Sarah can not win in this case -- Mr. Beasley was willing to pay for it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mr. Beasley offered to pay for Sarah's college education. When she graduated from high school, he gave her a tuition check for the 1st school year. He continued to send tuition checks for her education for the next two years. She was a junior in college when he died. Sarah's tuition is not mentioned in his will, and the estate refuses to pay her last year's tuition. Her parents are urging Sarah to sue the estate for the tuition money. Will she win?
    The ambiguity of "by finishing school"
    D. No, she won't win because she has not held up her part of the bargain by finishing school.

    Meaning #1: by dropping out due to lack of funds
    By dropping out, Sarah has not held up her part of the bargain. (False)
    There was no bargain; the money was a gift. If one wants to agrue that lack of funding caused Sarah to drop out, that's all find and dandy, but the issue here is whether Mr Beasley intended to pay for Sarah's entire tuition. A good lawyer would ask, "If Mr Beasley had the money, and apparently he did, why then didn't he pay the tuition fees all at once, in a lump sum?"

    Meaning #2: by graduating.
    By graduating, Sarah has not held up her part of the bargain. (False)
    There was no bargain in the first place. The money was a gift. Again, Mr Beasley paid the tuition year by year; if it were his intention to pay for her entire college education as Sarah says, then he would have sent her a check/checks for the entire four years of college, but he didn't.

    The answer is in the payment schedule. :D

Similar Threads

  1. Are the 5 basic sentence patterns sacred?
    By infinikyte in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 49
    Last Post: 28-Aug-2009, 22:52
  2. what is the meaning of the sentence?
    By Anonymous in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 29-Jul-2004, 02:49
  3. Sentence meaning
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 19-Jun-2004, 11:53
  4. grammar
    By jiang in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 17-Dec-2003, 20:02
  5. meaning of a sentence
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-Nov-2003, 01:52

Posting Permissions

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