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    #1

    grammar

    Dear teachers,

    I have problems understanding the following. Could you please kindly explain them to me?


    No.1
    First-year physics courses are supposed to teach students___ a lab report.
    a. the ways of writing b. how to write
    The key is 'b'. No problem. I guess 'b' means 'the skill to write'. But I think 'a' is also possible. It can mean the methods of writing. Is that right?

    No.2
    Foreign students_____ Chinese literature last year at this university came chiefly from Janpan and South Korea.
    a. who were studying b. studying
    The key is 'a'. No problem. 'b' isn't correct because there is 'last year' so 'studying' can't modify an action in the past. Is that right?
    But then in the same book there is another sentence:
    The young woman marching at the head of the procession was a gold medal winner at the recent Olympic Games.
    Here 'marching ' is used. I get confused by the two sentences. Could you please explain them to me?


    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    I have problems understanding the following. Could you please kindly explain them to me?


    No.1
    First-year physics courses are supposed to teach students___ a lab report.
    a. the ways of writing b. how to write
    The key is 'b'. No problem. I guess 'b' means 'the skill to write'. But I think 'a' is also possible. It can mean the methods of writing. Is that right?
    I agree with you, but I imagine the writer of your book feels that there's only one acceptable way to write a lab report. Many science teachers would agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    No.2
    Foreign students_____ Chinese literature last year at this university came chiefly from Janpan and South Korea.
    a. who were studying b. studying
    The key is 'a'. No problem. 'b' isn't correct because there is 'last year' so 'studying' can't modify an action in the past. Is that right?
    But then in the same book there is another sentence:
    The young woman [who was] marching at the head of the procession was a gold medal winner at the recent Olympic Games.
    Here 'marching ' is used. I get confused by the two sentences. Could you please explain them to me?


    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    You're right to be confused! I find b perfectly acceptable, as well as a - though, in an exam, if required to choose only one, I'd choose a.

    Good luck Jiang! You've obviously prepared well, so you should do fine.

    b

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #3

    Re: grammar

    No.1
    a. the ways of writing
    b. how to write

    I agree with you and BobK. Methods of writing doesn't fit the paralinguistcs given the assumption that there should be only one scientific method or way to write a lab report.

    No.2 Non-reduced relative
    Foreign students who were studying Chinese literature last year at this university came chiefly from Japan and South Korea.

    No.3 Reduced relative
    The young woman (who was) marching at the head of the procession was a gold medal winner at the recent Olympic Games.

    Redundancy is the key. Take another look at the verbs in 2 and 3:

    No.2 Foreign students who were..., came... <1st verb isn't redundant>
    No.3 The young woman (who was)...was... <1st verb is redundant>

    They're the same in 3, and hence the reduced relative, whereas they're different in 2, and hence a full clause is needed.

    All the best.

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    #4

    Re: grammar


    Dear BobK,
    Thank you very much for your explanation and encouragement.
    First, I understand your explanation.
    Second, I think I have psychological problem now in that I have become less confident in myself because as you might have found sometimes the keys are wrong and sometimes there are more than one keys in one choice. Now I can ask you and tell you what I think. But in the exam I might fail to decide which is correct. I'll try anyhow.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I agree with you, but I imagine the writer of your book feels that there's only one acceptable way to write a lab report. Many science teachers would agree.



    You're right to be confused! I find b perfectly acceptable, as well as a - though, in an exam, if required to choose only one, I'd choose a.

    Good luck Jiang! You've obviously prepared well, so you should do fine.

    b

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