comprehension and vocabulary

Status
Not open for further replies.

jiang

Key Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
Dear teachers,
I have four questions to ask.

No.1
With eyes glued to the video screen, they tap on for hours. For the rest of the world, it might be the middle of the night, but here time does not exist. This is a world unto intself. These young computer "hackers" are pursuing a kind of compulsion, a drive so consuming it overshadows nearly every other part of their lives and forms the focal point of their existence. They are compulsive computer programmers. Some of these students have been at the console for thirty hours or more without a break for meals or sleep.
We can learn from the passage that those at the computer center in the middle of the night are_________.
a. students working on a program
b. students deeply fascinated by the computer

The key is ' b'. The reason that 'a' isn't correct is there is a word 'compulsion'. Is that right?

No.2
Just as in that year, when those catastrophes were followed by substantial increases in insurance premiums, insurers are already lobbying for rate relief.

What does 'rate relief' mean?

No.3
For Soviets, clothing is the ______of greatest complaint, housing follows, and food is last.
a. source b. cause
What's the difference between the two?

No.4
I prefer badminton to sauash tennis. It's not so tiring__________.
a. for instance b. for one thing
What's the difference between the two?

No.5
He worked seven days a week, and six of ________until one o'clock at night.
a. those b. them
I think both are correct. 'b' is better. Is that right?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Jiang
 

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
jiang said:
Dear teachers,
I have four questions to ask.

No.1
With eyes glued to the video screen, they tap on for hours. For the rest of the world, it might be the middle of the night, but here time does not exist. This is a world unto intself. These young computer "hackers" are pursuing a kind of compulsion, a drive so consuming it overshadows nearly every other part of their lives and forms the focal point of their existence. They are compulsive computer programmers. Some of these students have been at the console for thirty hours or more without a break for meals or sleep.
We can learn from the passage that those at the computer center in the middle of the night are_________.
a. students working on a program
b. students deeply fascinated by the computer

The key is ' b'. The reason that 'a' isn't correct is there is a word 'compulsion'. Is that right?

The more I think about it the more I favor a. That is because the students are not fascinated by the computer itself so much as what they are able to do with it. Also, it explicitly says they are compulsive computer programmers. That stongly suggests that they are working on a program or programs. What else would they be doing? :)

jiang said:
No.2
Just as in that year, when those catastrophes were followed by substantial increases in insurance premiums, insurers are already lobbying for rate relief.

What does 'rate relief' mean?

They want a reductiion in the rate they have to pay. They want to pay less money for insurance. :)

jiang said:
No.3
For Soviets, clothing is the ______of greatest complaint, housing follows, and food is last.
a. source b. cause
What's the difference between the two?

It is hard for me to see an important difference between the two. The source of a complaint is where it originates. In this case it is inadequate clothing. The cause of a complaint is the reason for it. Again, in this case it is the clothing. It is hard for me to see that one is better than the other.

jiang said:
No.4
I prefer badminton to sauash tennis. It's not so tiring__________.
a. for instance b. for one thing
What's the difference between the two?

The only thing I can see is that we don't normally use "for instance" at the end of a sentence. However, I can envision a native speaker using "For instance" at the beginning of sentence two (although I think "For one thing" is more likely). For example:
  • I prefer badminton to squash. For instance, it is not so tiring.

jiang said:
No.5
He worked seven days a week, and six of ________until one o'clock at night.
a. those b. them
I think both are correct. 'b' is better. Is that right?

Prefer "those" if you are referring to something specific, which you are not doing here. (The sentence should have been written without the and.)

:)
 

jiang

Key Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
:D & :?
Thank you so much for your explanation. I think I understand 3,4 and 5. The reason that I don't understand 1 and 2 is my fault. I am going to type relative articles:


No.1
It is 3 A.M. Everything on the university campus seems ghostlike in teh quiet, misty darkness-------everything except the computer center. Here, twenty students rumpled and bleary-eyed, sit transfixed at their consoles, tapping away on the terminal keys.With eyes glued to the video screen, they tap on for hours. For the rest of the world, it might be the middle of the night, but here time does not exist. This is a world unto intself. These young computer "hackers" are pursuing a kind of compulsion, a drive so consuming it overshadows nearly every other part of their lives and forms the focal point of their existence. They are compulsive computer programmers. Some of these students have been at the console for thirty hours or more without a break for meals or sleep. Some have fallen asleep on sofas and lounge chairs in the computer center, trying to catch a few winks but loathe to get too far away from their beloved machines.
Most of these students don't have to be at the computer center in the middle of the ight. They aren't working on assignments. They are there because they watn to be------they are irresistibly drawn there.
And they are not alone. There are hackers at computer center all across the country. In their extreme form, they focus on nothing else. They flunk out of school and lose contact with friends; they might have difficulty finding jobs, choosing instead to wander from one computer center to another. They may even forgo personal hygiene.
" I remember one hacker. We literally had to carry him off his chair to feed him and put him to sleep. We really feared for his health," says a computer science professor at MIT.
Computer sicence teachers are now more aware of the implications of this hacker phenomenon and are on the lookout for potential hackers and cases of computer addiction that are already severe. They know that the case of the hackers is not just the sotry of one person's relationshop with a machine. It is the story of a cociety's relationsip to the so-called thinking machines, which are becoming almost ubiquitous.
I also chose 'a' for the same reason as yours but the 'key' is 'b'. And there is another question:
Which of the following may be a most appropriate title for the passage?
a. Compulsive Conputer Programmers
b. Cmputer Addicts
And the key is 'b'. I just don't understand why.

No.2
Just as in that year, when those catastrophes were followed by substantial increases in insurance premiums, insurers are already lobbying for rate relief.
a. resort to a very big increase in insurance premiums
b. ask for subsidies from the government
c.reduce their insurance coverage thereafter
d.require a higher interest rate from the bank.
Originally I chose 'b' but the answer is 'a'. I just don't understand why so I thought I failed to understand 'rate relief'.

Could you please kindly help me again?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Jiang



No.2
We can learn from the passage that those at the computer center in the middle of the night are_________.
a. students working on a program
b. students deeply fascinated by the computer


RonBee said:
jiang said:
Dear teachers,
I have four questions to ask.

No.1
With eyes glued to the video screen, they tap on for hours. For the rest of the world, it might be the middle of the night, but here time does not exist. This is a world unto intself. These young computer "hackers" are pursuing a kind of compulsion, a drive so consuming it overshadows nearly every other part of their lives and forms the focal point of their existence. They are compulsive computer programmers. Some of these students have been at the console for thirty hours or more without a break for meals or sleep.
We can learn from the passage that those at the computer center in the middle of the night are_________.
a. students working on a program
b. students deeply fascinated by the computer

The key is ' b'. The reason that 'a' isn't correct is there is a word 'compulsion'. Is that right?

The more I think about it the more I favor a. That is because the students are not fascinated by the computer itself so much as what they are able to do with it. Also, it explicitly says they are compulsive computer programmers. That stongly suggests that they are working on a program or programs. What else would they be doing? :)

jiang said:
No.2
Just as in that year, when those catastrophes were followed by substantial increases in insurance premiums, insurers are already lobbying for rate relief.

What does 'rate relief' mean?

They want a reductiion in the rate they have to pay. They want to pay less money for insurance. :)

jiang said:
No.3
For Soviets, clothing is the ______of greatest complaint, housing follows, and food is last.
a. source b. cause
What's the difference between the two?

It is hard for me to see an important difference between the two. The source of a complaint is where it originates. In this case it is inadequate clothing. The cause of a complaint is the reason for it. Again, in this case it is the clothing. It is hard for me to see that one is better than the other.

jiang said:
No.4
I prefer badminton to sauash tennis. It's not so tiring__________.
a. for instance b. for one thing
What's the difference between the two?

The only thing I can see is that we don't normally use "for instance" at the end of a sentence. However, I can envision a native speaker using "For instance" at the beginning of sentence two (although I think "For one thing" is more likely). For example:
  • I prefer badminton to squash. For instance, it is not so tiring.

jiang said:
No.5
He worked seven days a week, and six of ________until one o'clock at night.
a. those b. them
I think both are correct. 'b' is better. Is that right?

Prefer "those" if you are referring to something specific, which you are not doing here. (The sentence should have been written without the and.)

:)
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
jiang said:
Dear teachers,
I have four questions to ask.

No.1
With eyes glued to the video screen, they tap on for hours. For the rest of the world, it might be the middle of the night, but here time does not exist. This is a world unto intself. These young computer "hackers" are pursuing a kind of compulsion, a drive so consuming it overshadows nearly every other part of their lives and forms the focal point of their existence. They are compulsive computer programmers. Some of these students have been at the console for thirty hours or more without a break for meals or sleep.
We can learn from the passage that those at the computer center in the middle of the night are_________.
a. students working on a program
b. students deeply fascinated by the computer

Hacking into computers is illegal--Not something you'd see students doing under the supervision of a university. :shock:


No.2
Just as in that year, when those catastrophes were followed by substantial increases in insurance premiums, insurers are already lobbying for rate relief.

What does 'rate relief' mean?

Insurance rates go up (increase in fee/price/value) after a disaster strikes. A relief rate is lower than the usual rate. It provides insurance holders (people hit by disasters) a reduction in the rate. They could use some relief, don't you think? :)

All the best,
 

jiang

Key Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
Dear Casiopea,
Thank you so much for your explanation.

For No.1 I still don't understand how to interpret 'They are compulsive computer programmers' in the passage.

For No.2 The question is:
The end of the passage implies that, to compensate for their huge loss, the insurers will__________.
a. resort to a very big increase in insurance premiums
b. ask for subsidies from the government
c.reduce their insurance coverage thereafter
d.require a higher interest rate from the bank.
The key is 'a' while I chose 'b'. Could please tell me what your opinion is?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Jiang

Casiopea said:
jiang said:
Dear teachers,
I have four questions to ask.

No.1
With eyes glued to the video screen, they tap on for hours. For the rest of the world, it might be the middle of the night, but here time does not exist. This is a world unto intself. These young computer "hackers" are pursuing a kind of compulsion, a drive so consuming it overshadows nearly every other part of their lives and forms the focal point of their existence. They are compulsive computer programmers. Some of these students have been at the console for thirty hours or more without a break for meals or sleep.
We can learn from the passage that those at the computer center in the middle of the night are_________.
a. students working on a program
b. students deeply fascinated by the computer

Hacking into computers is illegal--Not something you'd see students doing under the supervision of a university. :shock:


No.2
Just as in that year, when those catastrophes were followed by substantial increases in insurance premiums, insurers are already lobbying for rate relief.

What does 'rate relief' mean?

Insurance rates go up (increase in fee/price/value) after a disaster strikes. A relief rate is lower than the usual rate. It provides insurance holders (people hit by disasters) a reduction in the rate. They could use some relief, don't you think? :)

All the best,
 

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
jiang said:
:D & :?
Thank you so much for your explanation. I think I understand 3,4 and 5. The reason that I don't understand 1 and 2 is my fault. I am going to type relative articles:


No.1
It is 3 A.M. Everything on the university campus seems ghostlike in teh quiet, misty darkness-------everything except the computer center. Here, twenty students rumpled and bleary-eyed, sit transfixed at their consoles, tapping away on the terminal keys.With eyes glued to the video screen, they tap on for hours. For the rest of the world, it might be the middle of the night, but here time does not exist. This is a world unto intself. These young computer "hackers" are pursuing a kind of compulsion, a drive so consuming it overshadows nearly every other part of their lives and forms the focal point of their existence. They are compulsive computer programmers. Some of these students have been at the console for thirty hours or more without a break for meals or sleep. Some have fallen asleep on sofas and lounge chairs in the computer center, trying to catch a few winks but loathe to get too far away from their beloved machines.
Most of these students don't have to be at the computer center in the middle of the ight. They aren't working on assignments. They are there because they watn to be------they are irresistibly drawn there.
And they are not alone. There are hackers at computer center all across the country. In their extreme form, they focus on nothing else. They flunk out of school and lose contact with friends; they might have difficulty finding jobs, choosing instead to wander from one computer center to another. They may even forgo personal hygiene.
" I remember one hacker. We literally had to carry him off his chair to feed him and put him to sleep. We really feared for his health," says a computer science professor at MIT.
Computer sicence teachers are now more aware of the implications of this hacker phenomenon and are on the lookout for potential hackers and cases of computer addiction that are already severe. They know that the case of the hackers is not just the sotry of one person's relationshop with a machine. It is the story of a cociety's relationsip to the so-called thinking machines, which are becoming almost ubiquitous.
I also chose 'a' for the same reason as yours but the 'key' is 'b'. And there is another question:
Which of the following may be a most appropriate title for the passage?
a. Compulsive Conputer Programmers
b. Cmputer Addicts
And the key is 'b'. I just don't understand why.

The additional context you provided makes a big difference. The people that story describes are addicted to their computers beyond all reason. I would call them computer addicts. The reason is they stay working at their computers to the exclusion of everything else. Everybody needs to eat and sleep, but those people want to be at their computers instead of doing those things. Their fascination with computers is out of control.

Does that help?

jiang said:
No.2
Just as in that year, when those catastrophes were followed by substantial increases in insurance premiums, insurers are already lobbying for rate relief.
a. resort to a very big increase in insurance premiums
b. ask for subsidies from the government
c.reduce their insurance coverage thereafter
d.require a higher interest rate from the bank.
Originally I chose 'b' but the answer is 'a'. I just don't understand why so I thought I failed to understand 'rate relief'.

I have trouble understanding it too. The reason for that is that rate relief is usually sought by the insured, not the insurer. It is the insurer that charges the rates and the insured that pays the rates. Of course, if an insurer wanted more money what that insurer would most likely do is raise the rates it charges customers. (Raise the insurance premiums.)




jiang said:
No.2
We can learn from the passage that those at the computer center in the middle of the night are_________.
a. students working on a program
b. students deeply fascinated by the computer

I would say b there. :)
 

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
That text reminds me of a passage from 'Computer Power and Human Reason' by Professor Weisenbaum, who used the term 'hackers' in the 1970s where we might use 'geeks' for computer obssessives rather than people breaking into machines.;-)
 

jiang

Key Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
:D

Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I understand No.1 perfectly and I am sorry I didn't provide more text last time ( for fear reading too much would cost your much time and being sure the answer lies in that perticular sentence). As to No.2 If you have trouble understanding it maybe I'd better forget it. Maybe it's the old problem again.

Have a nice weekend.

Jiang
RonBee said:
jiang said:
:D & :?
Thank you so much for your explanation. I think I understand 3,4 and 5. The reason that I don't understand 1 and 2 is my fault. I am going to type relative articles:


No.1
It is 3 A.M. Everything on the university campus seems ghostlike in teh quiet, misty darkness-------everything except the computer center. Here, twenty students rumpled and bleary-eyed, sit transfixed at their consoles, tapping away on the terminal keys.With eyes glued to the video screen, they tap on for hours. For the rest of the world, it might be the middle of the night, but here time does not exist. This is a world unto intself. These young computer "hackers" are pursuing a kind of compulsion, a drive so consuming it overshadows nearly every other part of their lives and forms the focal point of their existence. They are compulsive computer programmers. Some of these students have been at the console for thirty hours or more without a break for meals or sleep. Some have fallen asleep on sofas and lounge chairs in the computer center, trying to catch a few winks but loathe to get too far away from their beloved machines.
Most of these students don't have to be at the computer center in the middle of the ight. They aren't working on assignments. They are there because they watn to be------they are irresistibly drawn there.
And they are not alone. There are hackers at computer center all across the country. In their extreme form, they focus on nothing else. They flunk out of school and lose contact with friends; they might have difficulty finding jobs, choosing instead to wander from one computer center to another. They may even forgo personal hygiene.
" I remember one hacker. We literally had to carry him off his chair to feed him and put him to sleep. We really feared for his health," says a computer science professor at MIT.
Computer sicence teachers are now more aware of the implications of this hacker phenomenon and are on the lookout for potential hackers and cases of computer addiction that are already severe. They know that the case of the hackers is not just the sotry of one person's relationshop with a machine. It is the story of a cociety's relationsip to the so-called thinking machines, which are becoming almost ubiquitous.
I also chose 'a' for the same reason as yours but the 'key' is 'b'. And there is another question:
Which of the following may be a most appropriate title for the passage?
a. Compulsive Conputer Programmers
b. Cmputer Addicts
And the key is 'b'. I just don't understand why.

The additional context you provided makes a big difference. The people that story describes are addicted to their computers beyond all reason. I would call them computer addicts. The reason is they stay working at their computers to the exclusion of everything else. Everybody needs to eat and sleep, but those people want to be at their computers instead of doing those things. Their fascination with computers is out of control.

Does that help?

jiang said:
No.2
Just as in that year, when those catastrophes were followed by substantial increases in insurance premiums, insurers are already lobbying for rate relief.
a. resort to a very big increase in insurance premiums
b. ask for subsidies from the government
c.reduce their insurance coverage thereafter
d.require a higher interest rate from the bank.
Originally I chose 'b' but the answer is 'a'. I just don't understand why so I thought I failed to understand 'rate relief'.

I have trouble understanding it too. The reason for that is that rate relief is usually sought by the insured, not the insurer. It is the insurer that charges the rates and the insured that pays the rates. Of course, if an insurer wanted more money what that insurer would most likely do is raise the rates it charges customers. (Raise the insurance premiums.)




jiang said:
No.2
We can learn from the passage that those at the computer center in the middle of the night are_________.
a. students working on a program
b. students deeply fascinated by the computer

I would say b there. :)
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
jiang said:
No.2
Just as in that year, when those catastrophes were followed by substantial increases in insurance premiums, insurers are already lobbying for rate relief.

The end of the passage implies that, to compensate for their huge loss, the insurers will__________.

a. resort to a very big increase in insurance premiums
b. ask for subsidies from the government
c. reduce their insurance coverage thereafter
d. require a higher interest rate from the bank.

Afer a catastrophe (i.e. disaster), the insurance companies pay out money to insurance holders. If the catastrophe is great, then the greater the amount of money the insurance company pays out. The insurance company (i.e. 'insurer') loses a great deal of money. So in order to compensate for their monetary losses, they increase the insurance rates/premiums.

For example, if a typhoon destroys your house, your insurance company gives you a set amount of money to rebuild your house, and your insurance rates will probably increase.

The insurance company, which is in the business of making money, loses money when there is a disaster. In order to make up their losses, they increase their premiums/rate/fee.
 

jiang

Key Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
:?
I got somewhat confused. 'rate relief' means to reduce rate. Now as I understand it it means 'to raise rate'. Is that right?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Have a nice weekend.

Jiang
Casiopea said:
jiang said:
No.2
Just as in that year, when those catastrophes were followed by substantial increases in insurance premiums, insurers are already lobbying for rate relief.

The end of the passage implies that, to compensate for their huge loss, the insurers will__________.

a. resort to a very big increase in insurance premiums
b. ask for subsidies from the government
c. reduce their insurance coverage thereafter
d. require a higher interest rate from the bank.

Afer a catastrophe (i.e. disaster), the insurance companies pay out money to insurance holders. If the catastrophe is great, then the greater the amount of money the insurance company pays out. The insurance company (i.e. 'insurer') loses a great deal of money. So in order to compensate for their monetary losses, they increase the insurance rates/premiums.

For example, if a typhoon destroys your house, your insurance company gives you a set amount of money to rebuild your house, and your insurance rates will probably increase.

The insurance company, which is in the business of making money, loses money when there is a disaster. In order to make up their losses, they increase their premiums/rate/fee.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Raising rates is a relief to the insurance companies. ;-)
 

jiang

Key Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
:D
Thank you very much for your explanation.

The end of the passage implies that, to compensate for their huge loss, the insurers will__________.
a. resort to a very big increase in insurance premiums
b. ask for subsidies from the government
c.reduce their insurance coverage thereafter
d.require a higher interest rate from the bank.
The key is 'a' .

Now I see 'insurance premiums' refers to 'rate set by insurance companies'. When the rate is increased the companies are relieved. Is that right?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Have a nice weekend.

Jiang

tdol said:
Raising rates is a relief to the insurance companies. ;-)
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
jiang said:
:D
Thank you very much for your explanation.

The end of the passage implies that, to compensate for their huge loss, the insurers will__________.
a. resort to a very big increase in insurance premiums
b. ask for subsidies from the government
c.reduce their insurance coverage thereafter
d.require a higher interest rate from the bank.
The key is 'a' .

Now I see 'insurance premiums' refers to 'rate set by insurance companies'. When the rate is increased the companies are relieved. Is that right?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Have a nice weekend.

Jiang

tdol said:
Raising rates is a relief to the insurance companies. ;-)

That's correct. :D Insurance companies increase their insurance rate in order to alleviate their monetary or financial problems. :D

All the best,
 

jiang

Key Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
:D
Thank you very much for your further explanation. Now I understand it perfectly.

Jiang

Casiopea said:
jiang said:
:D
Thank you very much for your explanation.

The end of the passage implies that, to compensate for their huge loss, the insurers will__________.
a. resort to a very big increase in insurance premiums
b. ask for subsidies from the government
c.reduce their insurance coverage thereafter
d.require a higher interest rate from the bank.
The key is 'a' .

Now I see 'insurance premiums' refers to 'rate set by insurance companies'. When the rate is increased the companies are relieved. Is that right?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Have a nice weekend.

Jiang

tdol said:
Raising rates is a relief to the insurance companies. ;-)

That's correct. :D Insurance companies increase their insurance rate in order to alleviate their monetary or financial problems. :D

All the best,
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top