[Vocabulary] about millions of people

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LiuJing

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A Chinese English test recently designated 'about millions of' people as proper English.

Our country receives ______ visitors every year.

a-ten millions b-about millions of c-million of d-ten millions of


I know we can say 'millions of visitors', but how about about millions of?

Thank you.
 

emsr2d2

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A Chinese English test recently designated 'about millions of' people as proper English.

Our country receives ______ visitors every year.

a-ten millions b-about millions of c-million of d-ten millions of


I know we can say 'millions of visitors', but how about about millions of?

Thank you.

I'm sorry, but that's rubbish! "About millions of" is not correct English. None of the four answers you have been given to choose from are correct.

Possible sentences would be:

Our country receives millions of visitors every year.
Our country receives about ten million visitors every year.
Our country receives approximately a million visitors every year.
 

Amigos4

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Hi, LiuJing!

I agree with emsr2d2: None of the four answers you have been given to choose from are correct.

What was the source for the test questions? Perhaps the answer to my question can be found in the first four words of your post: A Chinese English test. What is Chinese English? :)
 

LiuJing

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You know China has a group of English teachers who have never been to an English speaking country to study the language before assigned a job to set test papers.

They tend to issue vocabulary questions like 'twelfth' and 'ninth' to see to it that students remember they are very irregular and treacherous. But there would be almost no chance for a Chinese student to use these words in real life.

In grammar, they are keen on testing subjunctive mood, other, the other, another, others, the others and so on so forth. Currently, only one out of one hundred Chinese students can write and speak English properly with the rest speaking broken English or barely speaking any , although 95 percent of them can pass the tests.
 

LiuJing

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Let me give you a Chinese English example:

I have known him since three years ago.


Since the Chinese language has this kind of version, it is widely deemed correct English on Chinese university campuses. However, I know it is not correct English.
 

bhaisahab

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Let me give you a Chinese English example:

I have known him since three years ago.


Since the Chinese language has this kind of version, it is widely deemed correct English on Chinese university campuses. However, I know it is not correct English.
You are right, it's not correct, it should be "I have known him for three years" or "I have known him since 2007".
 

emsr2d2

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You know China has a group of English teachers who have never been to an English speaking country to study the language before assigned a job to set test papers.

They tend to issue vocabulary questions like 'twelfth' and 'ninth' to see to it that students remember they are very irregular and treacherous. But there would be almost no chance for a Chinese student to use these words in real life.

In grammar, they are keen on testing subjunctive mood, other, the other, another, others, the others and so on so forth. Currently, only one out of one hundred Chinese students can write and speak English properly with the rest speaking broken English or barely speaking any , although 95 percent of them can pass the tests.

Why do they think you're probably never going to use the words "twelfth" and "ninth" in real life?!
 

emsr2d2

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Let me give you a Chinese English example:

I have known him since three years ago.


Since the Chinese language has this kind of version, it is widely deemed correct English on Chinese university campuses. However, I know it is not correct English.

Just because something exists in another language, that doesn't mean that a direct translation is acceptable! Life would be much simpler if that were the case, but it isn't. The universities that are teaching this kind of phrase are doing their students a grave injustice.
 
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rx-f

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If you were to read some older literature in English, you'd probably find quite a few examples of phrases like "ten millions of..." I have a strong feeling that used to be correct usage, though the "-s" got dropped over time.

Unless I've gone mad and am wrong about the above, I suspect the reason why you're taught this sort of phrase is that all of your teachers studied archaic English from old, traditional-grammar books, and don't realize that much of what they memorized all those years ago is no longer current.
 

2006

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I have known him since three years ago.

I would like someone to tell me what is wrong with the above sentence. This is not to dispute that Bhaisahab's sentences are probably more common.

I have known him since (word or words indicating a time in the past).

I have known him since (February)(2007)(three years ago)(I started university)(we moved here).
2006
 
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birdeen's call

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I'm sharing 2006's doubts. In addition to what s/he said, I'm positive that I heard this phrase said by native speakers many times. Is it wrong to say that?
 

Barb_D

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Probably you have heard native people say it... but don't forget that in real life we change our minds about what we are going to say or even lose track of what we have already said.

I'd be less surprised to hear a native person say it than I would be to read that an educated native speaker wrote it.
 

Raymott

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The universities that are teaching this kind of phrase are doing their students a grave injustice.
Of course, but where did the Chinese English lecturers learn their English except in the same universities? And who are going to become the next batch of teachers but the very students who are being given these tests today?
 

emsr2d2

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Of course, but where did the Chinese English lecturers learn their English except in the same universities? And who are going to become the next batch of teachers but the very students who are being given these tests today?

Oh, I know! That's why it should be a requirement that languages in schools/universities be taught by native speakers only!
 

birdeen's call

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Oh, I know! That's why it should be a requirement that languages in schools/universities be taught by native speakers only!
This is a very strange requirement. What do you mean by "should"? I see two ways of making it possible. First, every native speaker could become a teacher - it would be enough I think; maybe the world could even afford saving some spare natives. The other way is letting only a small group of people learn English. Both ideas don't seem realistic...
Sure, it would be nice to be taught by a native speaker, but today, not everybody can afford it. In my country, it's at least twice as much as having a fellow Pole as a teacher. I coudn't afford it myself when I was younger (it was even more then), and I can't afford it for my children now.
 

emsr2d2

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This is a very strange requirement. What do you mean by "should"? I see two ways of making it possible. First, every native speaker could become a teacher - it would be enough I think; maybe the world could even afford saving some spare natives. The other way is letting only a small group of people learn English. Both ideas don't seem realistic...
Sure, it would be nice to be taught by a native speaker, but today, not everybody can afford it. In my country, it's at least twice as much as having a fellow Pole as a teacher. I coudn't afford it myself when I was younger (it was even more then), and I can't afford it for my children now.

I realise that it's something that isn't going to work straight away, but I'm sure there are plenty of English teachers in the world who would love to go and work abroad! As an English teacher in Madrid, I know that one of the biggest problems for the Spaniards that I'm teaching is that, at school, they were taught English by other Spaniards. Now they're taking lessons from a native speaker, they're realising how many mistakes were being made by their original teachers!

When I said "should", I simply meant that it would be nice if schools made a point of hiring native speakers as language teachers. When I was learning French at school, my first teacher was a British guy. However, when I was 16 and went to college to continue my French studies, my French teacher was actually French! I learnt more from him in 2 years than I had in the previous 5 or 6 years from the British guy.
 

birdeen's call

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I realise that it's something that isn't going to work straight away, but I'm sure there are plenty of English teachers in the world who would love to go and work abroad! As an English teacher in Madrid, I know that one of the biggest problems for the Spaniards that I'm teaching is that, at school, they were taught English by other Spaniards. Now they're taking lessons from a native speaker, they're realising how many mistakes were being made by their original teachers!

When I said "should", I simply meant that it would be nice if schools made a point of hiring native speakers as language teachers. When I was learning French at school, my first teacher was a British guy. However, when I was 16 and went to college to continue my French studies, my French teacher was actually French! I learnt more from him in 2 years than I had in the previous 5 or 6 years from the British guy.
I still think it can't be done... One way of getting closer to this ideal is forcing more book reading and film watching in schools. For example, for their final exams in Polish in high schools, a Pole must read tens of Polish books. For English exams, there are no books to be read. Children only read very short texts in English. Also, I think my children are lucky to have a teacher who watches movies and listens to songs in English with them. Not every teacher does it, even though it's such a great way of learning the real language.
I'm not sure if we're to continue this discussion here as it's become off-topic.
 

emsr2d2

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I still think it can't be done... One way of getting closer to this ideal is forcing more book reading and film watching in schools. For example, for their final exams in Polish in high schools, a Pole must read tens of Polish books. For English exams, there are no books to be read. Children only read very short texts in English. Also, I think my children are lucky to have a teacher who watches movies and listens to songs in English with them. Not every teacher does it, even though it's such a great way of learning the real language.
I'm not sure if we're to continue this discussion here as it's become off-topic.

It's a little off-topic, that's true! But we've both made our point!!
 

bertietheblue

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I'm sharing 2006's doubts. In addition to what s/he said, I'm positive that I heard this phrase said by native speakers many times. Is it wrong to say that?

We use 'since + a time in the past' and 'three years ago' is a time in the past, so 'since ... ago' might seem logical. But that is not how 'ago' is used - it is used with the past simple to talk about past events, in answer to the question 'When?'. You might have heard 'since ... ago' used by native speakers but it's certainly not common enough - in fact, I can't recall ever hearing it - to be considered acceptable colloquial usage.

Treat it as sub-standard English and avoid.
 

birdeen's call

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We use 'since + a time in the past' and 'three years ago' is a time in the past, so 'since ... ago' might seem logical. But that is not how 'ago' is used - it is used with the past simple to talk about past events, in answer to the question 'When?'. You might have heard 'since ... ago' used by native speakers but it's certainly not common enough - in fact, I can't recall ever hearing it - to be considered acceptable colloquial usage.

Treat it as sub-standard English and avoid.
Thank you bertie!
 
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