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    #1

    Some questions from English learning books

    Dear Teachers,

    I have done some small tests on an English learning book but I feel some questions are quite ambiguous. Because the book does not have detail explanations, I am not sure whether the designs of those questions have some problems already or my understanding is wrong. Could teachers check them for me, please.

    1. A volcanic eruption is caused by powerful forces ________ the earth.
    (A) without (B) below (C) within (D) in

    According to the book, the answer is (B). I do know the word “earth” can mean “the soil”, “the ground”. However, it can also mean “the planet”. If I understand the word “earth” here as “the planet”, it seems (C) or (D) are both acceptable.

    2. Do you know how most Westerners look at the other parts of the Earth? To consider this interesting question, we may start ________ the Western education first.
    (A) in (B) from (C) to (D) at
    For too long, the study of Asia and Africa has been neglected in schools and ______ the textbooks of history.
                                   (A) by (B) in (C) on (D) at

    According to the book, the answer to the first gap is (A) and the explanation of it says “start in” is a phrasal verb and therefore (A) should be chosen. However, when I looked up Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, I couldn’t find the phrasal verb. Instead, I found others, such as “start off”, “start out”, “start up”. Also, in Longman Contemporary English Dictionary, it says:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    start in phr v AmE
    1. to begin doing something, especially with a lot of effort: I decided to just start in and see what I could do. | [+on] Lilly started in on her burger.
    2. to begin criticizing someone or complaining to them about something: [+on] Mom turned away from Rose and started in on me.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From here, It seems if we use “start in” as a phrasal verb, we cannot put the object directly after “start in”, but the question is “we may start in the Western education”?
    Should it be “we may start in on the Western education”?

    The answer to the second gap is (A). I know the writer try to use passive sentence. However, since “the textbooks of history” are not human beings, how can they be the subject to "neglect"? In addition, the first part of the sentence is “the study of Asia and Africa has been neglected in schools”. If here can be “in schools”, why the second gap cannot be “in the textbooks of history” or “on the textbooks of history”?

    That’s all from me. Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by sula54; 09-Sep-2010 at 06:46.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Some questions from English learning books

    Quote Originally Posted by sula54 View Post
    Dear Teachers,

    I have done some small tests on an English learning book but I feel some questions are quite ambiguous. Because the book does not have detail explanations, I am not sure whether the designs of those questions have some problems already or my understanding is wrong. Could teachers check them for me, please.

    1. A volcanic eruption is caused by powerful forces ________ the earth.
    (A) without (B) below (C) within (D) in

    This would normally be written "below the surface of the earth".
    As it is, C and D are right. I agree that "below the earth" is not good.

    According to the book, the answer is (B). I do know the word “earth” can mean “the soil”, “the ground”. However, it can also mean “the planet”. If I understand the word “earth” here as “the planet”, it seems (C) or (D) are both acceptable.

    2. Do you know how most Westerners look at the other parts of the Earth? To consider this interesting question, we may start ________ the Western education first.
    (A) in (B) from (C) to (D) at
    with.

    For too long, the study of Asia and Africa has been neglected in schools and ______ the textbooks of history.
                                   (A) by (B) in (C) on (D) at

    As in 2. this one should not include "the".
    I'd choose "B", but A is possible.


    According to the book, the answer to the first gap is (A) and the explanation of it says “start in” is a phrasal verb and therefore (A) should be chosen. However, when I looked up Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, I couldn’t find the phrasal verb. Instead, I found others, such as “start off”, “start out”, “start up”. Also, in Longman Contemporary English Dictionary, it says:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    start in phr v AmE
    1. to begin doing something, especially with a lot of effort: I decided to just start in and see what I could do. | [+on] Lilly started in on her burger.
    2. to begin criticizing someone or complaining to them about something: [+on] Mom turned away from Rose and started in on me.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From here, It seems if we use “start in” as a phrasal verb, we cannot put the object directly after “start in”, but the question is “we may start in the Western education”?
    Should it be “we may start in on the Western education”?
    Yes, if you used that rather bizarre phrasal verb. But it's inappropriate here. "start in" is far more likely to be a verb "start", and a preposition "in", I'd say in over 99.9% of cases.


    The answer to the second gap is (A). I know the writer try to use passive sentence. However, since “the textbooks of history” are not human beings, how can they be the subject to "neglect"?
    Yes, it can be used. It's an ellipsis for "authors of textbooks".
    "Most Western history books neglect to mention Africa and Asia." That's OK grammatically. (I'm not sure if it's true though.)

    In addition, the first part of the sentence is “the study of Asia and Africa has been neglected in schools”. If here can be “in schools”, why the second gap cannot be “in the textbooks of history”
    It can be. But not "the".

    or “on the textbooks of history”?
    No, "on" doesn't work.
    That’s all from me. Thank you in advance.
    R.

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    #3

    Re: Some questions from English learning books

    A learner

    Quote Originally Posted by sula54 View Post
    Dear Teachers,

    I have been dealing with a small test from an English learning book and I feel some questions are quite ambiguous. Because I didn't find detail explanations about the matter in the book I am not sure whether the designers of those questions had had some problems too or my understanding is wrong. Could the teachers check them for me, please.

    1. A volcanic eruption is caused by powerful forces ___hidden below _____ the earth.
    (A) without (B) below (C) within (D) in
    It means below surface of the earth.
    According to the book, the answer is (B). I do know the word “earth” can mean “the soil”, “the ground”. However, it can also mean “the planet”. If I understand the word “earth” here as “the planet”, it seems (C) or (D) are both acceptable.

    2. Do you know how does the most Westerners look at the other parts of the Earth? To consider this interesting question, we may start ____in from____ the Western education first.
    (A) in (B) from (C) to (D) at
    For too long, the study of Asia and Africa has been neglected in schools and ____in__ the textbooks of history.
                                   (A) by (B) in (C) on (D) at

    According to the book, the answer to the first gap is (A) and the explanation of it says “start in”. The start in is a phrasal verb and scarcely (A) should be chosen. However, when I looked up the phrasal verb inside Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, I couldn’t find it. Instead, I found others, such as “start off”, “start out”, “start up”. Also, Longman Contemporary English Dictionary, says:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    start in phr v AmE
    1. to begin doing something, especially with a lot of effort: I decided to just start in and see what I could do. | [+on] Lilly started in on her burger.
    2. to begin criticizing someone or complaining to them about something: [+on] Mom turned away from Rose and started in on me.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From here, It seems if we use “start in” as a phrasal verb, we cannot put the object directly after “start in”, but the question is “we may start in the Western education”?
    Should it be “we may start in on the Western education”?

    The answer to the second gap is (A). I know the writer tried to use the passive voice. However, since “the textbooks of history” are not human beings, how can they be the subject to "neglect"? In addition, the first part of the sentence is “the study of Asia and Africa has been neglected in schools”. If here can be “in schools”, why the second gap cannot be “in the textbooks of history” or “on the textbooks of history”?

    That’s all from me. Thank you in advance.
    I did what I could.

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    #4

    Re: Some questions from English learning books

    Quote Originally Posted by e2e4 View Post
    A learner



    I did what I could.
    I'm afraid you made a lot of mistakes.

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