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    #1

    so much when/where

    Nancy enjoyed herself so much ________ she visited her friends in Sydney last year.
    A. that B. which C. when D. where

    This question is taken from my home province's 2008 College Entrance Examination paper. The given answer is 'when'.

    My questions:
    1. The 'so much' is used (ill-) meant as a trap to invite exam takers to choose 'that'. Does this question sound natural? Do native English teachers set exam questions like this seducing exam takers into making mistakes?

    2. If the given answer 'when' which means 'at a particular time' last year is correct, then why can't 'where' be used, which means 'at a particular in Sydney?

    Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited by joham; 04-May-2011 at 03:25. Reason: one sentence added.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: so much when/where

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Nancy enjoyed herself so much ________ she visited her friends in Sydney last year.
    A. that B. which C. when D. where

    This question is taken from my home province's 2008 College Entrance Examination paper. The given answer is 'when'.

    My questions:
    1. The 'so much' is used (ill-) meant as a trap to invite exam takers to choose 'that'.
    I would not have thought that.

    Does this question sound natural?
    The sentence is completely natural. The answer is 'when'. 'Where' and 'that' make grammatical sentences, but they are semantically wrong.

    Do native English teachers set exam questions like this seducing exam takers into making mistakes?
    Yes, they do. But I would not call this a trick question. (Trick questions are what they are called.)

    2. If the given answer 'when' which means 'at a particular time' last year is correct, then why can't 'where' be used, which means 'at a particular [place] in Sydney?
    It's just possible to say, "We enjoyed our stay where we camped in the mountains" as well as, "We enjoyed out stay when we camped in the mountains." This is because the place isn't named. But in your question, Sydney (the place) is already named.

    The following would have been an unfair question, since both 'when' and 'where' are possible (With 'where' it would require a comma after 'Sydney'):
    "Nancy enjoyed herself so much in Sydney ________ she visited her friends last year."
    A. that B. which C. when D. where

    Many thanks in advance.
    R.

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    #3

    Re: so much when/where

    Thank you very much, Raymott, for your detailed explanation. But I'm still confused why 'where' can't be used. Since a time last year is correct, a place in Sydney is correct too because Sydney is a very large city.

    Does the sentence 'The place we stayed in Shanghai is very beautiful' not make sense?

    Thank you again.

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    #4

    Re: so much when/where

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Thank you very much, Raymott, for your detailed explanation. But I'm still confused why 'where' can't be used. Since a time last year is correct, a place in Sydney is correct too because Sydney is a very large city.

    Does the sentence 'The place we stayed in in Shanghai is very beautiful' not make sense?
    It does with two 'in's.
    Your sentence requires two 'in's. One for "in Shanghai" and one for "The place we stayed in".
    "The place in Shanghai that we stayed in was very beautiful."
    "The place in which we stayed in Shanghai was very beautiful."
    "The place where we stayed in Shanghai is/was very beautiful. ('where' = "in which")

    Thank you again.
    Yes, I understand your confusion, and perhaps there's no logical explanation. But "where" just doesn't work in the original sentence. It would sound completely wrong.

    PS: You can use 'stayed at' for the 'stayed in' in each case.
    'The place we stayed at in Shanghai is very beautiful', etc.
    Last edited by Raymott; 04-May-2011 at 18:30.

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    #5

    Re: so much when/where

    Thank you very much, Raymott. I'm clear now.
    Another question:
    The MACMILLAN dictionary has this sentence in the entry of place:
    IalwaysthinkItalywouldbeagreatplacetolive.

    Could you tell me when the preposition after 'place' + intransitive verb can be omitted? (Omition like this is a big headache for us ESLS)

    Thank you again.


  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: so much when/where

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Thank you very much, Raymott. I'm clear now.
    Another question:
    The MACMILLAN dictionary has this sentence in the entry of place:
    IalwaysthinkItalywouldbeagreatplacetolive.

    Could you tell me when the preposition after 'place' + intransitive verb can be omitted? (Omition like this is a big headache for us ESLS)

    Thank you again.
    You can say, "Italy is a great place to live", or "Italy is a great place to live in," or "Italy is a great country to live in," but not "Italy is a great country to live."
    "The Ritz is a great hotel to stay at", or "The Ritz is a great place to stay", but not "The Ritz is a great hotel to stay."

    With the word "place", you can generally omit the preposition. But if you use specific place words like 'country', city', 'hotel' you can't. How does that work? (I haven't tested this rule much.)

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