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  1. #1
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    Which pair is correct?

    The police accused him of ..... fire to the building but he denied ..... in the area on the night of the fire.

    A/ setting/having been
    B/ setting/being
    C/ having set/having been
    D/ set/be

    I have just finished my homework. This question makes me confused. I chose C and now I am wondering whether A is more correct. Please help.

  2. #2
    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Which pair is correct?

    C is correct! You get an A+

  3. #3
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Re: Which pair is correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Searching for language View Post
    C is correct! You get an A+
    What's 'wrong' with B?

  4. #4
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    Re: Which pair is correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    What's 'wrong' with B?
    My question too!

  5. #5
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    Re: Which pair is correct?

    I like 'B'!

  6. #6
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    Cool Re: Which pair is correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    My question too!
    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    What's 'wrong' with B?
    It's just better academic grammar, I'd say.
    The police accused him of having set fire to the building but he denied having been in the area on the night of the fire.

    The reference is clearly to past time, that is to say anything that happened before the accusations and denial.
    The police believed that he had set fire to the building but he denied that he had been in the area on the night of the fire.

  7. #7
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    Re: Which pair is correct?

    There's nothing wrong with B.
    The only one that's not possible is D.
    I suspect however, that A is the expected answer, because it is more 'marked' than B or C. The test-setter could be testing whether the student understands that the "not being in the area" happened at a time prior to the "being accused", and the tester believes that two different tenses are needed to express this. The tester would be wrong, of course, but that is a perennial problem.
    [rant]
    Frankly, I think the person who initiated this idea of multiple choice grammar questions written by non-native teachers has done a grave disservice to second language pedagogy. People don't speak in isolated multiple choice sentences.
    [/rant]

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: Which pair is correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    It's just better academic grammar, I'd say.
    Maybe. But do the students who are burdened with these tests understand that the answer is supposed to reflect good academic grammar that almost no native speaker would use in normal speech or writing?

  9. #9
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    Lightbulb Re: Which pair is correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Maybe. But do the students who are burdened with these tests understand that the answer is supposed to reflect good academic grammar that almost no native speaker would use in normal speech or writing?
    That's the problem, I'm afraid.
    But in this one-sentence case, it seems likely that the students are supposed to pick one of the four options, three of which are acceptable regardless their usage. If a student can't differentiate between them, he or she may be perceived by the professor as the one who may need more attention and help. I may be wrong though.

  10. #10
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    Re: Which pair is correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    That's the problem, I'm afraid.
    But in this one-sentence case, it seems likely that the students are supposed to pick one of the four options, three of which are acceptable regardless their usage. If a student can't differentiate between them, he or she may be perceived by the professor as the one who may need more attention and help. I may be wrong though.
    No, I think you're right.
    If more than one choice is right, the student must rely on meta-linguistic information. What is the trick here? What is the teacher actually trying to assess with this question? Why would the tester want me to tick this correct answer rather than that correct answer ...?

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