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  1. csharp's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 51
    #1

    A Toelf example

    Below is an example in Toelf test. I think "foods" is wrong bc food is uncountable, but the key says that " few fat " is wrong. Could you explain me how?
    Saturated fat is almost always found in the same foods that contain high levels of cholesterol, except shellfish, which have very few fat
    Thanks

  2. Philly's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 620
    #2

    Re: A Toelf example

    Hi csharp

    The word 'food' can be used either as an uncountable or a countable noun:
    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press

    When the word 'foods' is used, the meaning is similar to 'types of food'.

    In the sentence you need 'little fat'. ('Fat' is uncountable here.)

  3. csharp's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 51
    #3

    Re: A Toelf example

    Thanks :D


    • Join Date: Sep 2005
    • Posts: 260
    #4

    Re: A Toelf example

    I would use 'low fat' rather than 'little fat', because the opposite of 'little fat' would have to be 'big fat', but we usually say 'high fat'.

    Looking at that TOEFL sentence, the one that jumps out at me is 'which have'. The sentence is about food in general, so I would read 'shellfish' as a singular generic term for all shellfish and use 'has' rather than 'have'

  4. Philly's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 620
    #5

    Re: A Toelf example

    I disagree that the opposite of 'little' has to be 'big'. In this context the opposite of 'little' woud be 'a lot of'.

    Though I didn't like this sentence very much either, the error can only be 'few fat'.

    The word 'which' refers to 'shellfish'. It is possible to use that word as a plural noun here and therefore I see the verb 'have' as correctly used.
    Last edited by Philly; 26-Feb-2007 at 12:33.


    • Join Date: Sep 2005
    • Posts: 260
    #6

    Re: A Toelf example

    Quote Originally Posted by Philly View Post
    I disagree that the opposite of 'little' has to be 'big'. In this context the opposite of 'little' woud be 'a lot of'.
    Though I didn't like this sentence very much either, the error can only be 'few fat'.
    The word 'which' refers to 'shellfish'. It is possible to use that word as a plural noun here and therefore I see the verb 'have' as correctly used.
    A lot of people would agree with you. My own view is that big/little are sizes, not quantities. This is because the etymological root if 'little' goes through the Germanic 'lutila' to the P.I.E 'leud', which meant 'small' and described size but not quantity.

    I agree that in the TOEFL example 'few fat' has to be the error - I never said it wasn't - but I still don't like the 'have'. It is not grammatically wrong, but the style is very poor.

    If they say 'foods' in the first part, to maintain consistency they should use shellfish to refer to a 'food' rather than a group of shellfish the second.

    If the sentence were 'Saturated fat is almost always found in the same food that contains high levels of cholesterol...' then the ' shellfish have' would be more congruous.

    Maybe that is asking a bit to much of a grammar question....

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