Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,618
    #1

    Coherent or not?

    This book is of great value. Nothing can be enjoyed until you have digested it.

    I read the sentences above from one of China's college entrance examination papers. 'Nothing' is the answer for the blank. But to me the two sentences sound odd, being put together. Do they sound coherent to you native speakers?

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by joham; 20-Feb-2009 at 14:41. Reason: an s added.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2008
    • Posts: 2,944
    #2

    Re: Coherent or not?

    Yes, a transition sentence or clause would have helped it make sense.

    This book is of great value, but you must read the entire novel to appreciate its message. Nothing can be enjoyed until you have digested it.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 3,615
    #3

    Re: Coherent or not?

    Yes. You can't enjoy a book without digesting it. You have to digest a book before you can enjoy it. A book can never be enjoyed unless it's digested.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #4

    Re: Coherent or not?

    Valiant try Susie, but for me, Lazarus is still dead. It doesn't save it.
    It's a nonsensical assertion as it stands.

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

    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 455
    #5

    Re: Coherent or not?

    Coherent or not? This might depend upon the relative coherence of other possible answer choices -- assuming that this was a multiple choice test.

    But what I'd really like to know is: Did Reader's Digest have anything to do with putting this test together?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,618
    #6

    Re: Coherent or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Monticello View Post
    Coherent or not? This might depend upon the relative coherence of other possible answer choices -- assuming that this was a multiple choice test.

    But what I'd really like to know is: Did Reader's Digest have anything to do with putting this test together?
    Yes, this was a multiple choice text. The choices are:
    A. Nothing B. Something C. Everything D. Anything

    Thank you again.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,618
    #7

    Re: Coherent or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    Valiant try Susie, but for me, Lazarus is still dead. It doesn't save it.
    It's a nonsensical assertion as it stands.
    Dear David,
    Did you mean that these two sentences aren't coherent?

    Thank you again.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,618
    #8

    Re: Coherent or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Dear David,
    Do you mean that these two sentences aren't coherent?

    Thank you again.
    Do you mean that these two sentences aren't coherent?

    And if the original sentences are:
    This book is of great value. Nothing can be enjoyed unless you digest it.

    then do the sentences sound coherent?

    A thousand thanks.

  3. Monticello's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 455
    #9

    Re: Coherent or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Yes, this was a multiple choice text. The choices are:
    A. Nothing B. Something C. Everything D. Anything

    Thank you again.
    Hi Joham,

    The answer to the question that you cite makes more sense now when weighed against the other three possible choices. In fact, it's clear (at least to those whose native language is English) that the only possible correct choice is:
    This book is of great value. Nothing can be enjoyed until you have digested it.
    As you may gather from the previous posts in this thread, most of the native English speakers / writers who did respond to your post questioned (to some degree) the logical coherence of the second statement (an apparent conclusion) needing to follow the first statement (a premis).

    And here it's important to see that the people who constructed this question are NOT looking to test for any logical connection between the two statements. (In fact, the two sentences express opinions that, by themselves, have no inherent logical connection.) So it's important not to get "hung up" on necessarily finding a logical connection between the two sentences because that is the "trick" part of this question!


    Instead, the question as constructed seeks to key in on three things:
    1. that the impersonal pronoun "it" in the 2nd sentence refers back and replaces the noun "book" from the 1st sentence;
    2. that the verb digest(ed), which usually means the process of fully absorbing the nutrients from the food that one eats, instead means here fully absorbing and processing the ideas from the "book of great value" of the 1st sentence;
    3. based upon the two preceding pieces of information, the logic of the nothing ... until construction of the 2nd sentence.
    Once you have grasped 1. & 2. above, and understand the meaning of the word "until" in this context -- that is, that it signals that "digesting the book" MUST HAPPEN BEFORE ANY ENJOYMENT CAN BE GAINED (simply an opinion -- don't get tricked!), then the only possible answer is "Nothing."

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Monticello; 25-Feb-2009 at 07:06.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,618
    #10

    Re: Coherent or not?

    Dear Monticello,
    Thank you very much for the trouble you took to help me. I didn't doubt the answer. I was not sure if the two sentences are good enough to be put together without any transition in between.

    Thank you again for your detailed explanation.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Is the paragraph coherent?
    By sky753 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-Oct-2008, 19:09
  2. [Essay] Being the only Child in the Family
    By TwistedSister18 in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Jul-2008, 12:31
  3. [Essay] Today's Internet
    By TwistedSister18 in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Jul-2008, 12:16
  4. List of Coherent Words?
    By draggy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-Feb-2008, 05:08
  5. no coherent discussion...
    By nyggus in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 13-Aug-2007, 19:40

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •