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    #1

    tactics vs ploy

    Hello!
    In the following sentence I need to choose the best option to fill in the gap:
    Andrew's ... was to only tell his mother bad news when she was busy, so that she would have less chance to react.
    A tactics B intent C ploy D threat
    I know the right answer is C (ploy), but I was wondering why A is not correct as it also means "any mode of procedure for gaining advantage or success"
    Thank you.


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    #2

    Re: tactics vs ploy

    Because 'tactics' is plural and the verb 'be' which follows would need to agree (were not was) but it doesn't.

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    #3

    Re: tactics vs ploy

    Words end in -ics like phonetics, linguistics usually take is not are.

    Linguistics is the study ...

    However, tactics can take both is/are as far as I think and that depends on the meaning of the sentence.


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    #4

    Re: tactics vs ploy

    Sorry, I've found several dictionaries accepting "tactics" plus a singular or plural verb, so I'm afraid the reason it's incorrect must be a different one.


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    #5

    Re: tactics vs ploy

    I accept that there are some uses where a singular verb is not just possible but necessary, however, the meaning in the example sentence is not one of these cases.

    It is possible that there is a difference between British and American Ennglish here. Did the sentence come from a British or American source?

    Below is an entry from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. You will see that the word even has a singular form. I have also checked the Cambridge Dictionary and other well-known British dictionaries they all say pretty much the same.

    tac‧tic [countable]

    1 a method that you use to achieve something: a tactic employed to speed up the peace process
    Republicans accuse Democrats of using delaying tactics (=something you do in order to give yourself more time) to prevent a final vote on the bill.
    Shock tactics are being used in an attempt to stop drink drivers.


    2 tactics [plural] the science of arranging and moving military forces in a battle
    ➔ strong-arm tactics at strong-arm


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    #6

    Re: tactics vs ploy

    Quote Originally Posted by micaelo View Post
    Hello!
    In the following sentence I need to choose the best option to fill in the gap:
    Andrew's ... was to only tell his mother bad news when she was busy, so that she would have less chance to react.
    A tactics B intent C ploy D threat
    I know the right answer is C (ploy), but I was wondering why A is not correct as it also means "any mode of procedure for gaining advantage or success"
    Thank you.

    If the verb = "were", you could use tactics.

    You are not given an option of "tactic".


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    #7

    Re: tactics vs ploy

    The right answer is "intent." A ploy is something quite different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    If the verb = "were", you could use tactics.

    You are not given an option of "tactic".


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    #8

    Re: tactics vs ploy

    Quote Originally Posted by baqarah131 View Post
    The right answer is "intent." A ploy is something quite different.

    Ploy = a cunning manoeuvre to gain an advantage


    Why would it be wrong in this context? Seems to fit fine.

    The one word of the four options provided that is definitely wrong as an answer is "tactics" which requires a plural verb.

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    #9

    Re: tactics vs ploy

    Hi,

    I have some reservation regarding some inconsiderate statements in preceding posts.

    "If the verb = "were", you could use tactics. "

    "The one word of the four options provided that is definitely wrong as an answer is "tactics" which requires a plural verb."

    I read the following interpretation in my computer.

    tactics (n)
      1. (used with a sing. verb) The military science that deals with securing objectives set by strategy, especially the technique of deploying and directing troops, ships, and aircraft in effective maneuvers against an enemy: Tactics is a required course at all military academies.
      2. (used with a pl. verb) Maneuvers used against an enemy: Guerrilla tactics were employed during most of the war.
    1. (used with a sing. or pl. verb) A procedure or set of maneuvers engaged in to achieve an end, an aim, or a goal.
    Regards.

    V.


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    #10

    Re: tactics vs ploy

    Quote Originally Posted by micaelo View Post
    Hello!
    In the following sentence I need to choose the best option to fill in the gap:
    Andrew's ... was to only tell his mother bad news when she was busy, so that she would have less chance to react.
    A tactics B intent C ploy D threat
    I know the right answer is C (ploy), but I was wondering why A is not correct as it also means "any mode of procedure for gaining advantage or success"
    Thank you.

    The previous answers focus on whether "tactics" can be used in the singular as well as plural and I think it has been established as being true.

    Ploy means An action calculated to frustrate an opponent or gain an advantage indirectly or deviously; a maneuver: “A typical ploy is to feign illness, procure medicine, then sell it on the black market”

    Tactics means A procedure or set of maneuvers engaged in to achieve an end, an aim, or a goal. ( to use the definition that fits this situation)

    The difference between the two is the way the advantage is gained. Tactics are a worked out plan that overtly gains an advantage, whereas ploy is more sneaky and indirect.

    Andrew waited until his mother was otherwise occupied before he told her the news. This is indirect and sneaky in my opinion, making ploy the best answer.

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