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    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 29

    Major semantic difficulties.


    Two objects: a fork, and Buckingham Palace. The key language item is "Where's this". Are both objects subject to their location, ie, "The fork is on the table" and "Buckingham Palace is in London", or with regard to Buckingham Palace can we use "where's this" to name the object, ie, "this is Buckingham Palace. Otherwise should I use "what's this"? Please help as I am in a quandary over this.

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,398

    Re: Major semantic difficulties.

    "What is this" is asking for identification of something.
    "Where is this/it" is asking for the location of something.

    What is this?
    It is a fork
    Where is it?
    It is on the table.

    What is this?
    It is Buckingham Palace.
    Where is it?
    It is in London.

    The question "Where's this?" would make sense if asked about something shown in a picture.

    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 29

    Re: Major semantic difficulties.

    Thanks a lot. I feel the same way, but I was giving the "where's this" instead of "what's this" by an examiner. I then had to teach a class using this language item knowing in my heart that it was wrong.

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