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  1. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #1

    Superstitions

    Below is an excerpt(excerpts?) from a material (for practicing reading English) for Japanese junior high school students(aged 13-15).



    Some superstitions have been with us so long that they have become customs. For example, in some parts of the world people often say "God bless you!" when someone sneezes. A long time ago people thought that the soul could fly out of their body during a sneeze. So people asked God to send the soul back into the body. Today we no longer believe that people who sneeze will lose their souls, but we still say "God bless you!" We say it because (...........................).


    Q) Choose the most suitable sentence to put in the blank.

    a.we don't believe superstitions about sneezes now.
    b.some people still believe they can lose their souls.
    c.many people believe superstitions about sneeze.
    d.we think it is polite for us to say so.
    e.customs are different in different cultures.



    I think d. is the best choice, but....
    b. and c. are kind of tricky to me.
    Do they contradict the statement indicated by boldface(Today....souls)?
    Who on earth is "we"???(presumably...western people?)

    Could you please explain?

    Thank you in advance.


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    #2

    Re: Superstitions

    WE=all the people around the world. D is correct, just because it is the only sentence that suits the whole text. The rest is nonsense due to the facts you read in it.

  2. Soup's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Superstitions

    Some superstitions have been with us so long that they have become customs. For example, in some parts of the world people often say "God bless you!" when someone sneezes. A long time ago people thought that the soul could fly out of their body during a sneeze. So people asked God to send the soul back into the body. Today we no longer believe that people who sneeze will lose their souls, but we still say "God bless you!" We say it because (...........................).



    Q) Choose the most suitable sentence to put in the blank.

    a. we don't believe superstitions about sneezes now.
    Redundant. It restates the clause in bold.


    b. some people still believe they can lose their souls.
    The author states otherwise. Moreover, the author doesn't mention anything about people who believe in superstitions.

    c. many people believe superstitions about sneeze.
    The author doesn't mention 'many people'. Moreover, see (b) above.

    d. we think it is polite for us to say so.

    e. customs are different in different cultures.
    This is not a valid reason.

    ___________________
    Correction
    tricky for me, not tricky to me

  3. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Superstitions

    Thank you rapsodia and Soup!

    I actually heard people say "Bless you" many times when they sneezed during my stay in Britain. I had never heard of the expression before I got out of Japan. We don't have the expression in Japanese. It's very interesting.

  4. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Superstitions

    I'd like to give you the whole passage here.


    Do you think that it is bad luck to walk under a ladder or break a mirror? Do you think that black cats and the number 13 are unlucky? There are some people who don't believe superstitions, but there are more than one million superstitions, and most people believe at least one or two of them.

    Many people believe superstitions about numbers. They think the number 13 is unlucky. In some parts of the world, buildings have no thirteenth floor and streets have no houses with the number 13. In Japan, many people believe that four is unlucky because in Japanese the word "four" sounds just like the word "death." So you will find Room 105 next to Room 103 in some hotels.

    What are the lucky numbers? Seven is a lucky number in many places, and eight is a lucky number in Japan and China. When Toyoda family of Japan wanted to form a company, they named their company "Toyota", not "Toyoda." In kana letters, "Toyoda" takes ten strokes of pen to write and ten is not a lucky number.

    There are many other superstitions, too. There are superstitions about eating, sleeping, animals, holidays, etc. There are even superstitions about superstitions!

    Some superstitions have been with us so long that they have become customs. For example, in some parts of the world people often say "God bless you!" when someone sneezes. A long time ago people thought that the soul could fly out of their body during a sneeze. So people asked God to send the soul back into the body. Today we no longer believe that people who sneeze will lose their souls, but we still say "God bless you!" We say it because (...........................).






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    #6

    Re: Superstitions

    ToYOTA is the best!

  5. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Superstitions

    Quote Originally Posted by rapsodia85 View Post
    ToYOTA is the best!
    Thank you!
    Mine is NISSAN, though.

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