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  1. #1
    whitemoon's Avatar
    whitemoon is offline Senior Member
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    Too - to pattern with any

    Question: The question was so difficult that no student in the class could answer it.
    Book-answer: The question was too difficult for the/all students in the class to answer.
    Student’s answer: The question was too difficult for any student in the class to answer.

    The student complained that " too - to " has a negative sense and so he can use “any”.
    On the other hand, he said that no is equal to “not any” and so his answer is correct.
    I’d like to know whether the student's answer is correct or not in real English.
    I appreciate your kind help.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Too - to pattern with any

    I actually prefer your student's answer. In addition, the book gives two different answers by its use of "the/all".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    whitemoon's Avatar
    whitemoon is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Too - to pattern with any

    It's difficult to say the student's answer is right, because the teachers use the answers of the book in the exam. In the exam, if he would give his answer, he could not get the mark. Therefore I'm searching the explanation of refusing his answer. In my opinion, there is a little bit difference between them, I believe. But I can't explain how different they are. Could you help me please?

  4. #4
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    Re: Too - to pattern with any

    The student's answer is a better answer.

    If you say it was too difficult for all of them to answer it, it implies that some got it right, but some didn't.
    If you say it was too difficult for any of them to answer it, it says that not one student got it right. That matches the original.

    Just because the teacher uses the wrong answer doesn't make it right. To try to find a way to say the student was wrong is a misguided quest. The student was right. If the test says that "all" is correct and "any" is wrong, the problem is with the test, not the well-reasoned student who takes it!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    whitemoon's Avatar
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    Re: Too - to pattern with any

    Thank you very much. We have many problems like this. Also I appreciate your kind suggestion with all my heart.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Too - to pattern with any

    Sometimes people don't think through all the possibilities for answers- they have something in mind and don't think of alternatives. If a student gives a correct answer that is not in the book, then the right thing is to recognise that they have given a correct answer. Arguing that it is wrong because it's not in the list is a road to nowhere IMO.

    PS As someone who makes online quizzes, I have made the same mistake, so I am not trying to blame the authors. The way to avoid this is to have many people go over something.

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