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    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #1

    Arrow some awkward questions

    Each of your fingertips has many tiny lines. Some of these lines form circles, while the others, arches or loops. If you put ink on your fingers and roll them into paper, you (1) fingerprints. Even when you are very old, your fingerprints will still look (2) the way they do now.
    For thousands of years, people have known that no two people have the same fingerprints. Long (3), people used fingerprints instead of signatures as a way of identifying themselves. About a hundred years ago, fingerprinting began to be used as a way to identify people who committed crimes. Today, we can make computers look at the fingerprints of people to identify them.

    1. (A) making (B) would make (C) make (D) made
    2. (A) very much (B) more like (C) very alike (D) much like
    3. (A) before (B) past (C) ago (D) previously

    The answers are 1.C 2.A 3.C.
    But I can't figure out what's wrong with 1.B 2.B&D 3.A.


  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: some awkward questions

    Quote Originally Posted by wahaha View Post
    Each of your fingertips has many tiny lines. Some of these lines form circles, while the others, arches or loops. If you put ink on your fingers and roll them into paper, you (1) fingerprints. Even when you are very old, your fingerprints will still look (2) the way they do now.
    For thousands of years, people have known that no two people have the same fingerprints. Long (3), people used fingerprints instead of signatures as a way of identifying themselves. About a hundred years ago, fingerprinting began to be used as a way to identify people who committed crimes. Today, we can make computers look at the fingerprints of people to identify them.

    1. (A) making (B) would make (C) make (D) made
    2. (A) very much (B) more like (C) very alike (D) much like
    3. (A) before (B) past (C) ago (D) previously

    The answers are 1.C 2.A 3.C.
    But I can't figure out what's wrong with 1.B 2.B&D 3.A.

    1B isn't grammatically right. The answer is 1C.
    a. "If you do this, you make/will make fingerprints."
    b. "If you did this, you would make fingerprints."
    Note that the "put" in the sentence is both present tense and past tense, so either would work, but "roll" is present tense. So the pattern is as in my sentence a.
    If the sentence had "rolled", you could put "would make".

    2 A, D are correct. I prefer 2 D.
    B and C are not possible.
    I would say, "Your fingerprints will still look [very] much like they do now."

    3 C. "Long ago" is the only idiomatic choice.
    With "long before", you'd need to say, "Long before [something], ..."


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #3

    Re: some awkward questions

    But I found some sentences using long before without connecting other words.
    Might it not be better to bow to the inevitable, as Tocqueville had suggested long before, and accept democracy in its limited representative forms as a framework. (from British National corpus)
    She said she had seen the film long before.
    They've seen that TV play long before.

    As for the second question, does the word "do" mean "look"?
    If it does, maybe plus the word "like" may not be a good idea, for fingerprints remain the same.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: some awkward questions

    Quote Originally Posted by wahaha View Post
    But I found some sentences using long before without connecting other words.
    "Might it not be better to bow to the inevitable, as Tocqueville had suggested long before, and accept democracy in its limited representative forms as a framework." (from British National corpus)

    That's right, but I think you'd find that, in that passage, there was some mention of the referent of "long before".
    You still have to ask, "Long before what?". If that's not supplied somewhere, you can't use it. This sentence also uses the past perfect, so the existence of that referent is given further evidence.
    The original passage contains no referent, or even an allusion to one.

    She said she had seen the film long before. No, that's not colloquial.
    They've seen that TV play long before. No, sorry.


    As for the second question, does the word "do" mean "look"? Yes.
    If it does, maybe plus the word "like" may not be a good idea, for fingerprints remain the same.
    They might do. That would make the science wrong, not the grammar.
    "Long ago" means "Long before now".
    "Long before" means "Long before something else" that has to be at least implicit.
    Last edited by Raymott; 23-Jun-2010 at 07:08.

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