1. Anonymous Guest

comprehension, vocabulary and grammar

Dear teachers,
I have some questions to ask.
A: Don't worry about the meter ma'am. It's broken. I'll charge you a flat two dollars for the ride.
B:If the traffic is this bad everyday. It's worth twice as much.
According to the taxi driver the meter is broken. 'flat' means not changing or varying. But it is impossible that the driver only charged two dollars. What 'B' suggested that if the traffic is bad everyday. She needs to pay twice, that is four dollars. But I don't think it makes sense. I am totally confused by the dialogue. So please explain it to me.
Add to this the comment of Gauss that "if others would but reflect on mathematical truths as deeply and continuously as I have...." I think the sentence is an inverted sentence. The original sentence should be ' The comment of Gauss that ......adds to this'. If I am right the sentence should begin with 'Adds' or 'aded'. Am I right?
3. The general insisted on taking _______ as he did not trust the defeated leaders.
a. hostages b. captives
'a' is certainly correct. But does 'b' necessarily wron? Since the expression 'take captives' means 'keep somebody as a prisoner' we may also choose 'b'. Am I right?
4. This gentleman must have stayed in New Zealand for quite a long time, the way he talks about it.
I don't quite understand the grammar. I know 'the way' can be followed by a clause. In other words it can serve as a conjunction. Should we say '.....a long time. The way he talks about it shows the fact'?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Jiang

2. Re: comprehension,vocabulary and grammar

Originally Posted by Anonymous
Dear teachers,
I have some questions to ask.
A: Don't worry about the meter ma'am. It's broken. I'll charge you a flat two dollars for the ride.
B:If the traffic is this bad everyday. It's worth twice as much.
According to the taxi driver the meter is broken. 'flat' means not changing or varying. But it is impossible that the driver only charged two dollars. What 'B' suggested that if the traffic is bad everyday. She needs to pay twice, that is four dollars. But I don't think it makes sense. I am totally confused by the dialogue. So please explain it to me.
Both individuals are trying to be fair. The taxi driver does not want to appear dishonest, so he probably chose a low number. The rider does not want to take advantage of a bad situation. That being said, the rider did not offer \$4; his/her remark could be interpreted as agreeing that the driver was being more than fair. With no other information, I would guess that the rider paid \$2, but added a generous tip.

Add to this the comment of Gauss that "if others would but reflect on mathematical truths as deeply and continuously as I have...." I think the sentence is an inverted sentence. The original sentence should be ' The comment of Gauss that ......adds to this'. If I am right the sentence should begin with 'Adds' or 'aded'. Am I right?
No. This is an imperative construction. The subject of the sentence is the implied "you". "The comment of Gauss" is the object of the verb "add". This construction "add to this/that" is used as a transition to add to what had been said before.

[quote]3. The general insisted on taking _______ as he did not trust the defeated leaders.
a. hostages b. captives
'a' is certainly correct. But does 'b' necessarily wron? Since the expression 'take captives' means 'keep somebody as a prisoner' we may also choose 'b'. Am I right?

I would say that both could be correct, depending on the rest of the context. "Prisoners" would work also. If one digs into the text, however, one could make the following assumptions.

1. There is a war or at least an attempted coup.
2. The general won, as the (other) leaders were defeated.
3. Since "trust" is mentioned, one could presume that the other leaders surrendered and promised to put down their weapons.
4. The general doesn't trust them to keep his word.

If this is a war, and the General won, he can certainly take prisoners or captives. I don't know why he would need "hostages". Even if he took captives to insure that the leaders on the other side would keep their word, I don't think they would be properly called hostages. If this is a coup, captives/prisoners could more properly be called hostages. This gets a bit tricky.

4. This gentleman must have stayed in New Zealand for quite a long time, the way he talks about it.
I don't quite understand the grammar. I know 'the way' can be followed by a clause. In other words it can serve as a conjunction. Should we say '.....a long time. The way he talks about it shows the fact'?
Well, "the way", in this case, is a bit of an idiom. It is missing the preposition "by" or "considering". Making it a new sentence is not necessary, IMO. :wink:

3. Key Member
Join Date
Nov 2003
Posts
2,733

Re: comprehension,vocabulary and grammar

:D
Thank you very much for your explanation.

No.3 is an isolated sentence. So there is no context. The most important thing is that I know the differences.
Jiang
[quote="MikeNewYork"]
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Dear teachers,
I have some questions to ask.
A: Don't worry about the meter ma'am. It's broken. I'll charge you a flat two dollars for the ride.
B:If the traffic is this bad everyday. It's worth twice as much.
According to the taxi driver the meter is broken. 'flat' means not changing or varying. But it is impossible that the driver only charged two dollars. What 'B' suggested that if the traffic is bad everyday. She needs to pay twice, that is four dollars. But I don't think it makes sense. I am totally confused by the dialogue. So please explain it to me.
Both individuals are trying to be fair. The taxi driver does not want to appear dishonest, so he probably chose a low number. The rider does not want to take advantage of a bad situation. That being said, the rider did not offer \$4; his/her remark could be interpreted as agreeing that the driver was being more than fair. With no other information, I would guess that the rider paid \$2, but added a generous tip.

Add to this the comment of Gauss that "if others would but reflect on mathematical truths as deeply and continuously as I have...." I think the sentence is an inverted sentence. The original sentence should be ' The comment of Gauss that ......adds to this'. If I am right the sentence should begin with 'Adds' or 'aded'. Am I right?
No. This is an imperative construction. The subject of the sentence is the implied "you". "The comment of Gauss" is the object of the verb "add". This construction "add to this/that" is used as a transition to add to what had been said before.

3. The general insisted on taking _______ as he did not trust the defeated leaders.
a. hostages b. captives
'a' is certainly correct. But does 'b' necessarily wron? Since the expression 'take captives' means 'keep somebody as a prisoner' we may also choose 'b'. Am I right?

I would say that both could be correct, depending on the rest of the context. "Prisoners" would work also. If one digs into the text, however, one could make the following assumptions.

1. There is a war or at least an attempted coup.
2. The general won, as the (other) leaders were defeated.
3. Since "trust" is mentioned, one could presume that the other leaders surrendered and promised to put down their weapons.
4. The general doesn't trust them to keep his word.

If this is a war, and the General won, he can certainly take prisoners or captives. I don't know why he would need "hostages". Even if he took captives to insure that the leaders on the other side would keep their word, I don't think they would be properly called hostages. If this is a coup, captives/prisoners could more properly be called hostages. This gets a bit tricky.

4. This gentleman must have stayed in New Zealand for quite a long time, the way he talks about it.
I don't quite understand the grammar. I know 'the way' can be followed by a clause. In other words it can serve as a conjunction. Should we say '.....a long time. The way he talks about it shows the fact'?
Well, "the way", in this case, is a bit of an idiom. It is missing the preposition "by" or "considering". Making it a new sentence is not necessary, IMO. :wink:

4. Re: comprehension,vocabulary and grammar

Originally Posted by jiang
:D
Thank you very much for your explanation.

No.3 is an isolated sentence. So there is no context. The most important thing is that I know the differences.
Jiang
You're very welcome, as always. :wink:

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