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  1. #1
    Glizdka is offline Senior Member
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    No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom

    This comes from Matura exam in Poland from 2017. All exams from previous years are available on the official website cke.gov.pl, including the one from 2017.

    The question in question is 9.1 on page 10. The instruction is in Polish, but it's a very simple one. Chose the sentence closest in meaning to the original.


    9.1. No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom.

    A) Tom isn't such a good player as the other boys in the team.

    B) Some boys in the team are better players in the team.

    C) Tom is the best player in the team.


    Although C is closest in meaning, it doesn't have the same meaning. The original sentence allows a girl in the team to be better than Tom; option C doesn't.

    Here's a modification I suggest:



    9.1. No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom.

    A) Tom isn't such a good player as the other boys in the team.

    B) Some boys in the team are better players in the team.

    C*) Tom is the best player boy in the team.



    Is my alternative, C*, correct? Does it have the same meaning as the original sentence?

  2. #2
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    This comes from Matura exam in Poland from 2017. All exams from previous years are available on the official website cke.gov.pl, including the one from 2017.

    The question in question is 9.1 on page 10. The instruction is in Polish, but it's a very simple one. Chose the sentence closest in meaning to the original.


    9.1. No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom.

    A) Tom isn't such a good player as the other boys in the team.

    B) Some boys in the team are better players in the team.

    C) Tom is the best player in the team.


    Although C is closest in meaning, it doesn't have the same meaning. The original sentence allows a girl in the team to be better than Tom, option C doesn't.

    Here's a modification I suggest:



    9.1. No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom.

    A) Tom isn't as good a player as the other boys in the team.

    B) Some boys in the team are better players in the team.

    C*) Tom is the best player boy in the team.



    Is my alternative, C*, correct? Does it have the same meaning as the original sentence?
    You're right. The girls on the team might be better.

    Also, in the original sentence, other boys might be just as good as Tom. They're just not better.

    So you're right. C is the closest, but it's not the same.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. #3
    Glizdka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Also, in the original sentence, other boys might be just as good as Tom. They're just not better.
    If two boys, Tom and Ron, are both equally as skillful, and no other boys in the team are better players than Tom and Ron, which of the below are correct?

    A) Tom is the best boy in the team.
    B) Tom is one of the best boys in the team.
    C) Tom is one of the two best boys in the team.
    D) Tom and Ron are the best boys in the team.
    E) Tom and Ron are the two best boys in the team.


    Can/should I change the preposition in to on?
    Last edited by Glizdka; 16-Dec-2020 at 00:44. Reason: Rephrased base sentence to better match the original

  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    If two boys, Tom and Ron, are both equally as skillful, and no other boys on the team are better players than Tom and Ron, which of the below are correct?

    None of them.


    A) Tom is the best boy on the team.

    No. Ron is just as good, and others might also be. We only know that no other boys on the team are better.

    B) Tom is one of the best boys on the team.

    The other boys might be just as good. It might be a great team!


    C) Tom is one of the two best boys on the team.

    We don't know that. There might be others who are just as good.


    D) Tom and Ron are the best boys on the team.

    See C.

    E) Tom and Ron are the two best boys on the team.

    See C.


    Can/should I change the preposition in to on?

    I beat you to it.
    This looks like one of those Mensa logic questions!
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 16-Dec-2020 at 09:51. Reason: making a further correction in the quote
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  5. #5
    tedmc is offline VIP Member
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    Re: No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom

    Can you say "boy player" to distinguish it from the girls, if there are any?
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  6. #6
    Tarheel's Avatar
    Tarheel is online now VIP Member
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    Re: No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    Can you say "boy player" to distinguish him from the girls, if there are any?
    Yes. Unless you have already mentioned that it's the boys team. (Then it's not necessary.)
    Not a professional teacher

  7. #7
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Yes. Unless you have already mentioned that it's the boys team. (Then it's not necessary.)
    Right. Gliz caught the gender question right at the start.

    The other point is that just because none is better doesn't mean that any are worse. All the boys might be as good as Tom (and Ron). We only know that they're not better.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  8. #8
    Glizdka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom

    I'd like to ask how it works both in logic and in common everyday speech.

    I'd expect "No other boy is as good as Tom is" to be commonly understood as "Every other boy is worse than Tom is", but in logic, only to mean "Every other boy is either better or worse than Tom, just not equally good".

    I'd analogously expect "No other boy is a better player than Tom" to be commonly understood as "Tom is better than every other boy", but in logic, to mean "Every other boy is either as good as or worse than Tom".

    Am I right?



    I notice you've corrected one of the three options included in the original test.

    "Tom isn't such a good player as the other boys in the team." → "Tom isn't as good a good player as the other boys in the team."

    Does it mean "such a(n) [adjective] [noun] as..." is wrong, unlikely, or you just don't like it? It looks odd to me, and it's not something I'd say, but it was in the original test as found on the official website. I've seen them giving ungrammatical options in some questions on purpose. After all, only one option must be correct, and the rest must be wrong; this means they can be ungrammatical as well.

  9. #9
    GoesStation is online now Moderator
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    Re: No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    I notice you've corrected one of the three options included in the original test.

    "Tom isn't such a good player as the other boys in the team." → "Tom isn't as good a good player as the other boys in the team."

    Does it mean "such a(n) [adjective] [noun] as..." is wrong, unlikely, or you just don't like it?
    It's wrong.
    I am not a teacher.

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: No other boy in the team is a better player than Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    This looks like one of those Mensa logic questions!
    We do use in the team in BrE.

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