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    #1

    Choosing the best answer in this sentence

    Dear all,
    First of all, i would like to thank you for your feedback. This question is from one of my students and it has caused me much headache ever since he asked me.
    A good friend is..........will stand by you when you are in trouble. A) one who B) a person that

    Between the two answers, it seems that both are grammatically correct. Though i prefer A, I would like to hear from you, which one should i pick and how to explain my choice to the students. This also will be a great help in my studying (obviously i am not a very good teacher )
    Your reply is highly appreciated. Thanks again.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Choosing the best answer in this sentence

    Welcome to the forum, thanhnhankaka.

    Although some people prefer to use 'who' for people, 'that' is acceptable, so both answers are grammatically correct.

    ps. Please remember always to capitalise first person 'I' in writing.

  2. Nersi's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Choosing the best answer in this sentence

    he/ she/ one who/that

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    #4

    Re: Choosing the best answer in this sentence

    So if both are correct, which one should I tell the students to choose? This question is from a mid-term test so it will need to have a definite answer.

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    #5

    Re: Choosing the best answer in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by thanhnhankaka View Post
    So if both are correct, which one should I tell the students to choose? This question is from a mid-term test so it will need to have a definite answer.
    If the test suggests that an acceptable form is unacceptable, then it's a bad test.

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    #6

    Re: Choosing the best answer in this sentence

    Unfortunately it is the case in my class, many of these tests just puzzle the students with equally meaningful choices which are widely used in reality. Many of my colleagues insist that the answer in B is more favorable to them. I am quite perplexed now.

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    #7

    Re: Choosing the best answer in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by thanhnhankaka View Post
    Many of my colleagues insist that the answer in B is more favorable to them. I am quite perplexed now.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) I repeat: NOT A TEACHER.

    (2) The other posters have given you excellent advice, which I shall not repeat.

    (3) I only offer some thoughts for you to consider. (These are not "answers.")

    (a) Here in the United States of America, there is a saying "To get along, go along."

    That is, to have friendly relations with others, it is often necessary to agree with

    them. If your colleagues believe that B is the "correct" answer, then you might

    consider agreeing with them.

    (b) Maybe I am mistaken, but sometimes teachers of English in non-English-speaking

    countries keep following "old-fashioned" rules that are no longer used in so-called

    "modern" English.

    (i) For example, maybe some of those teachers would insist on "It is I," even though

    99% of native speakers now consider "It is me" as correct.

    (c) I have checked my books, and there does seem to be some evidence to support

    B as the "better" answer.

    (i) Here is what The New Fowler's Modern English Usage (1996) says:

    "Either who or that may be used when the antecedent is human but representative [my emphasis] of a class."

    (a) Professor R. W. Burchfield (who edited the book) gives these examples:

    A baby that cries in unsocial hours.
    A fellow that sells a bracelet is not necessarily interested in people.

    (4) Let's look at your sentence: A good friend is _____will stand by you when you

    are in trouble.

    (a) "A good friend" seems to be "representative of a class."

    (b) In fact, I think that we could ask "What is a good friend?"

    Answer: A person that will stand by you ....
    Someone that will stand by you ....

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