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  1. random
    Guest
    #1

    Few grammar exercises I need confirmation on

    I thought I was pretty good in English but due to a business English course I'm taking at uni I'll have to deal with grammar once again and I had doubts while doing exercises.
    I'm only picking out the ones I'm not 100% sure on. Here it goes.

    Insert the correct tense of the verb in brackets:

    1. The ministry ________________ (not, give) its approval for the merger last month unless the commission ________________ (agree) to it.

    2. The company would hire more staff if it _______________ (be) in a position to do so.

    3. Sorry about being late. _________________ (you, wait) long?

    4. The interest rates we could charge would be far higher assuming we ________________ (lend) our capital to a start-up.

    5. Our products _____________________ (only, sell) in large quantities.

    6. I’m going to work in Peru. ___________________________ (you, be) there yet?


    My answers:
    1. did not give; agreed
    2. here I’m not sure if it is “were” or “was”. If I had to choose I'd probably pick "were".
    3. “Have you been waiting long?” Would “Did you wait long?” be incorrect?
    4. lent
    5. “are only sold” is probably right but what about “Our products only sell in large quantities.”?
    6. Is “Have you been” the only correct answer? What about “Will you be there yet?” or “Are you there yet?”

    Any help is appreciated.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810
    #2

    Re: Few grammar exercises I need confirmation on

    1. did not give; agreed

    This sentence implies a sense of condition. The approval could only be given on the basis of a condition.

    I would choose would not give.

    Agreed, the past tense, is fine.


    2. here I’m not sure if it is “were” or “was”. If I had to choose I'd probably pick "were".

    The company - singular - requires a singular verb. Was. However I think were is possible as a past subjunctive, but I'm not 100% sure.


    3. “Have you been waiting long?” Would “Did you wait long?” be incorrect?

    Have you been waiting is correct, as from the context of the sentence it seems that the speaker found the person still in the process of waiting. Did you wait long implies completion, and a sense that the person was no longer waiting when the speaker arrived.

    4. lent

    I think this is correct, but I'm not sure.


    5. “are only sold” is probably right but what about “Our products only sell in large quantities.”?

    Either is possible. I would go with the first.

    6. Is “Have you been” the only correct answer? What about “Will you be there yet?” or “Are you there yet?”

    The sentence implies the speaker is not yet in Peru. Will you be there yet is gramatically incorrect. Are you there yet is possible, but for it to be correct here the sentence would have to start I am coming to work in Peru.

    Have you been there seems correct to me.

    I am not a teacher.
    Last edited by colloquium; 01-Sep-2008 at 21:17.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #3

    Re: Few grammar exercises I need confirmation on

    Hi random.

    There are actually a few things you could say for many of these. No wonder you are confused.

    1. The ministry would not have given its approval for the merger last month unless the commission had agreed to it.

    1. The ministry will not give its approval for the merger last month unless the commission agrees to it. -- This implies that the merger took place but somehow could not become finalized until it receives approval. However, the "last month" suggests the test-preparer wants a past form.

    2. The company would hire more staff if it _______________ (be) in a position to do so.

    Yes, use "were" - it's the subjunctive, not the plural. If it were able, I would hire more staff. It shows a condition that is contrary to the truth.

    3. Sorry about being late. _________________ (you, wait) long?
    I agree with the comments above. If the person stopped waiting and left, then "Did you wait long?" makes sense. If the person is still waiting, then "Have you been waiting long" is the best choice.

    4. The interest rates we could charge would be far higher assuming we ________________ (lend) our capital to a start-up.
    With the "could" it suggests some sort of conditional/modal. I'd probably write "could lend" here.

    5. Our products _____________________ (only, sell) in large quantities.
    Another one with more than possibilty. If you offer for sale only in large quantities, then yes, are sold only. However, it could be you offer it for sale in small and large quantities, but people only seem to want it in bulk. in that case sell only works too. However, it's the less likely scenario, so go with your first choice.

    6. I’m going to work in Peru. ___________________________ (you, be) there yet?

    Are you there yet certainly can work if you are talking to a colleague scheduled to go there too, but I suspect Have you been there yet is the test-preparer's expected response.



    {not a teacher, but a business writer}

  3. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Sep 2008
    • Posts: 1
    #4

    Re: Few grammar exercises I need confirmation on

    Thanks heaps to both of you. That helped me tremendously, especially the first one.
    I've been hesitant to admit it but I actually spent close to 4 years in Australia. I thought that would be embarassing if I still had grammar issues. :o

    After reading your explanations I'm not so sure after all wth some of the others. If it's not too much to ask for I'd like to hear your opinion on some of the others too as I have an exam coming up.

    7. We wish our staff _________________ (be) more motivated!
    8. She is burning the candle at both ends. She _____________ (collapse) if she goes on like this.
    9. After we ______________ (finish) the project, we were given a bonus for good work.

    This one is about adjective and adverbs:
    10. Our new salesman sells products ___________ (incredible) ___________ (convincingly).

    What I think:
    7. "to be more motivated". I had doubts whether "would be more motivated" is correct too.
    8. "will collapse". "is going to collapse" is wrong, am I right?
    9. "had finished". What about "finished"?
    10. initially I thought "incredibly convincing" but it's probably "incredibly convincingly".

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