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  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default top

    Dear teachers,

    Please read the sentence

    Many blamed relationship problems or lack of close relationships stemming from their mental health problems as a _______ cause of isolation.
    a. main b. sole c. top
    The key is 'c'. According to the explanation 'a' and 'b' can only be used with 'the'. Is that correct?

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

    Jiang

  2. #2
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: top

    It is sort of correct, as main and top are normally superlatives, but they can be used in the other way, if we can accept two or three main causes, or if we can say there are two or three top causes. In American English, we do use main and top in this way, and so none absolutely requires the definite article here, in my view.

  3. #3
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: top

    Dear konungursvia,
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    It is sort of correct, as main and top are normally superlatives, but they can be used in the other way, if we can accept two or three main causes, or if we can say there are two or three top causes. In American English, we do use main and top in this way, and so none absolutely requires the definite article here, in my view.

  4. #4
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: top

    Looking at it again, I feel the answer should be B rather than C, according to the logic given. However, it doesn't really matter, as long as you understand the reasoning.

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