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    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 722
    #1

    Againts which?

    Tests at the age of seven provide a benchmark against which the child’s progress at school can be measured.
    I don't get it at " againts which", anybody help me?

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      • England
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    • Join Date: Feb 2005
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    #2

    Re: Againts which?

    Hello Belly,

    The underlying structure of the phrase is:

    1. X can be measured against Y.

    When you measure e.g. a piece of material with a tape measure, you place the tape measure against (i.e. next to) the material.

    The same applies in metaphors of measurement, as in your example.

    ("Benchmark" is a surveyor's term, with a quite complicated definition. But in popular usage, it tends to mean "something that serves as a measure".)

    Best wishes,

    MrP
    ·
    Not a professional ESL teacher.
    ·


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 722
    #3

    Re: Againts which?

    My friend explained to me that this sentence is in the Formal style, so if we change it into Informal style like this:
    Tests at the age of seven provide a benchmark which the child’s progress at school can be measured againts.
    Is it right?

    When I checked in my dicitionary, it said that "measure againts " means "compare with", so I can infer the meaning of this sentence as "This test at the age of seven is used to compare with the child' progress at school"
    Is my deduction right?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Feb 2005
    • Posts: 2,585
    #4

    Re: Againts which?

    Hello Belly,

    Your revised version is fine, except that "againts" should be "against".

    The sentence implies that a particular child's performance in the tests is compared against average performances in the tests.

    Thus the tests provide a benchmark, but are not themselves the benchmark.

    (I hope that makes it clearer!)

    Best wishes,

    MrP
    ·
    Not a professional ESL teacher.
    ·

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