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    #1

    vanish,slip and crucial

    Dear teachers,
    I have four questions to ask. Please kindly explain them to me.

    No.1

    Corruption will not vanish__________.
    a. of itself b. by itself

    The key is 'a'. My questions are: why isn't 'b' correct; Is 'vanish of' a phrase or 'of oneself' is a phrase?

    No.2

    I think we have still _______ many other countries' capitals in pollution control. The coming 2008 Olympic Games is a wonderful opportunity to address this problem. We should not let it __________.

    a. lagged behind, slip by b. been left behind, slip through
    The key is 'a'. In 'a' 'by' means 'past' 'through' in 'b' can also mean 'past'. My question is: why isn't 'b' corect?

    No.3
    These thinkers follow________ and evidence.
    a. logic b. reason
    The key is 'b'. My question is: why 'a' is not correct?

    No.4
    I find the words 'crucial' and 'critical' confusing. I have consulted my dictionary. 'crucial' means extremely important becasue many other things depend on it. 'critical' means of the greatest importance. Can I say other things rather than itself makes 'crucial' important while the thing iteself can be 'critical'?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang


    • Join Date: Feb 2007
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    #2

    Re: vanish,slip and crucial

    Hmmmm . . .
    Quick visit today:
    1. 'of itself' and 'by itself' are both correct, but 'of itself' is an older structure. Prepositions love to sneak around in English, and come into and go out of fashion. Patience!! Here are a couple of examples: Australians say, 'out the back of the house,' but Americans say, 'in back of the house' -- that 's a modern difference. My answer is an example of a preposition ('of') which has been dropped from use, and 'replaced' with another ('by'). You will find the expression 'to treat of,' which means 'deal with,' in Victorian novels; but you'll never hear or see it now.

    Learn the principle of praxis, and issues like this will make sense -- more sense!

    2. 'We still lag behind . . . ' -- present simple tense of 'lag,' or 'We have fallen behind . . . ' -- present perfect tense of 'fall.'

    3. I think 'logic' is correct -- beware, though: perhaps the assessor is looking for that evil creature collocation!! ('hue and cry,' 'let and hindrance')

    4. Hmmm . . . They seem synonymous to me. However, look them both up in a thesaurus; and see if they ARE listed as synonyms. Then, look them both up in a good dictionary a dictionary that provides etymological details and see if their etymologies give you any clues.

    Gotta go. See you soon.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: vanish,slip and crucial

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    ...
    No.4
    I find the words 'crucial' and 'critical' confusing. I have consulted my dictionary. 'crucial' means extremely important becasue many other things depend on it. 'critical' means of the greatest importance. Can I say other things rather than itself makes 'crucial' important while the thing iteself can be 'critical'?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    As Mark said, look at the etymologies:

    crucial - crux L. 'cross'
    critical - something Greek which I forget - 'judgement'

    There's a lot of overlap between the meanings, because decisions tend to occur where there's a choice of ways - like a crossroads. But an accident victim whose condition is critical (the judgement being: 'will he live or will he die?') isn't crucial. But medical facilities are crucial.

    Of course, meanings aren't fixed at some arbitrary point in time; but etymology can help sort out some problems for language learners.

    This will get you started: Online Etymology Dictionary

    b

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    #4

    Re: vanish,slip and crucial

    Hi,
    Thank you very much for your explanation. I think I understand No.1 and No.4.
    Could you please further explain No.2? Can I choose 'b'?
    As for No.3 did you mean 'reason' isn't correct and what's the difference between 'logic' and 'reason'?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by mark in perth View Post
    Hmmmm . . .
    Quick visit today:
    1. 'of itself' and 'by itself' are both correct, but 'of itself' is an older structure. Prepositions love to sneak around in English, and come into and go out of fashion. Patience!! Here are a couple of examples: Australians say, 'out the back of the house,' but Americans say, 'in back of the house' -- that 's a modern difference. My answer is an example of a preposition ('of') which has been dropped from use, and 'replaced' with another ('by'). You will find the expression 'to treat of,' which means 'deal with,' in Victorian novels; but you'll never hear or see it now.

    Learn the principle of praxis, and issues like this will make sense -- more sense!

    2. 'We still lag behind . . . ' -- present simple tense of 'lag,' or 'We have fallen behind . . . ' -- present perfect tense of 'fall.'

    3. I think 'logic' is correct -- beware, though: perhaps the assessor is looking for that evil creature collocation!! ('hue and cry,' 'let and hindrance')

    4. Hmmm . . . They seem synonymous to me. However, look them both up in a thesaurus; and see if they ARE listed as synonyms. Then, look them both up in a good dictionary a dictionary that provides etymological details and see if their etymologies give you any clues.

    Gotta go. See you soon.

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    #5

    Re: vanish,slip and crucial

    Dear BobK,
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    As Mark said, look at the etymologies:

    crucial - crux L. 'cross'
    critical - something Greek which I forget - 'judgement'

    There's a lot of overlap between the meanings, because decisions tend to occur where there's a choice of ways - like a crossroads. But an accident victim whose condition is critical (the judgement being: 'will he live or will he die?') isn't crucial. But medical facilities are crucial.

    Of course, meanings aren't fixed at some arbitrary point in time; but etymology can help sort out some problems for language learners.

    This will get you started: Online Etymology Dictionary

    b

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