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    #1

    Some questions on grammar

    Dear teacher, I just took a quiz from online, and the explanation was so short. So can you please explain this answer please


    It took the director two hours__________.
    A) explaining us the new plan
    B) to explain us the new plan
    C) explaining the new plan to us
    D) to explain the new plan to us

    Answer : It took the director two hours to explain the new plan to us

    V.ing should be after a preposition, so we use “to explain”.

    1. Can't I use explaining as participle phrase?
    It took the director two hours(to be)explaining the new plan to us.

    How about this sentence?
    It took me an hour finishing the work last night

    Ancient civilizations were not aware that the earth ____ a sphere.
    A) is
    B) was
    C) has been
    D) had been

    Answer: is
    The truth is always the truth. So we use “is”. If we don’t, it means that the earth now is not a sphere.


    2. Can't I use has been? Because it is always a sphere, and now it is still a sphere.


    He directed that no one _____ eat before sunset.
    A) must
    B) should
    C) would
    D) could

    Answer : Should
    ....to direct that + noun + should + verb….

    3. Why I can't use could? Directed can be a command which means
    he orders everyone that no one can eat before sunset.

    thank you very much
    Last edited by Pakhavit; 04-Jul-2010 at 16:54.

  1. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Some questions on grammar

    **Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.**

    Hey,

    1)
    Sometimes it's not the same to say "to verb" or "verb+ing".
    I'm not sure if "explain" is such a case.
    Anyway, to me the answer is perfect.
    Another reason could be that "took" needs the "to".
    It took hours to...

    2)
    If you say, "The Earth has been a sphere", some people could think some day the Earth will not be a sphere anymore.
    So it was a sphere, is a sphere, and will always be a sphere.
    -> Simple Present

    3)
    To me this sounds more like some advice.
    If you say "could", then it means it's not possible.
    "You could try to eat before sunset, but you'll see it's not possible."
    -> Nonsense.

    "You could try to fly, but you'll see it's not possible."
    -> Correct.

    I hope I could help you.

    Cheers!

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    #3

    Re: Some questions on grammar

    I thought it was an order, like from the king.

    The king directed that no one could eat before sunset.
    The king directed that no one could eat before him.

    It's not possible because he might kill you if you don't follow his order.

    Maybe I think too much.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Some questions on grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by Pakhavit View Post
    I thought it was an order, like from the king.

    The king directed that no one could eat before sunset.
    The king directed that no one could eat before him.

    It's not possible because he might kill you if you don't follow his order.

    Maybe I think too much.
    1. has to use the infinitive.
    You can write, "Explaining the new plan to us took the director two hours." But, rearranged, you have to write, "It took the director two hours to explain the new plan to us."

    I partly agree with you about 2 and 3.

    The colloquial way of saying 2 is:
    "Ancient civilizations were not aware that the earth was a sphere."

    For 3, I agree that "should" is wrong.
    He is directing them not to eat. You can't direct/order someone that they should not eat. I'd choose "must" - only because you have to make a choice. But if the direction is an order, I'd prefer, "He directed that no one eat before sunset."
    You can suggest to, or advise, someone that they shouldn't eat.
    But you can't order someone that they shouldn't eat.

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    #5

    Re: Some questions on grammar

    MrPedantic
    Moderator

    I spent three hours to try to understand these.
    I spent three hours try to understand these. I hope both are correct.


    — No; "I spent three hours trying to understand these".
    This is from my other thread. The sentence is different though.

    1. has to use the infinitive.
    You can write, "Explaining the new plan to us took the director two hours." But, rearranged, you have to write, "It took the director two hours to explain the new plan to us."
    What if I change the sentence a little bit to match the other sentence?

    I spent three hours trying to understand these. < Pedantic sentence
    Director took two hours explaining the new plan to us. < is it correct?
    Last edited by Pakhavit; 05-Jul-2010 at 15:21.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Some questions on grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by Pakhavit View Post
    This is from my other thread. The sentence is different though.

    Yes the sentence is different.
    "Spent" and "Took" are two different verbs.

    What if I change the sentence a little bit to match the other sentence?

    I spent three hours trying to understand these. < Pedantic sentence
    Director took two hours explaining the new plan to us. < is it correct?
    No. He took two hours to explain it; he needed two hours to explain it.
    R.

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