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jiang

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I posted two questions a few days ago but it seems they didn't reach you. Now I am going to post them again.

I came across two multiple choice sentences. Two of the choices are confusing and the other two are totally wrong. I'd like to discuss the two confusing ones.

1. They will have it finished in__________.
a. three quarters of an hour. b. three quarters of an hour's time
The key is 'b' but I think 'a' sounds more comfortable while 'b' sounds weird. But since English is my foreign language I'd like to know what you native speakers think of it.

2. _______ of the two books holds the opinion that the danger of nuclear war is increasing.
a. Either b. Neither
The correct anwser is b while I think a is also correct . Am I right?
 
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Red5

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(bumping topic to let our teachers see it)
 

RonBee

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jiang said:
I posted two questions a few days ago but it seems they didn't reach you. Now I am going to post them again.

Oddly, I remember answering the first question. (It may have been by somebody else. I'm not sure.)

jiang said:
1. They will have it finished in__________.
a. three quarters of an hour. b. three quarters of an hour's time
The key is 'b' but I think 'a' sounds more comfortable while 'b' sounds weird. But since English is my foreign language I'd like to know what you native speakers think of it.

Either is fine, but the first one (three quarters of an hour) is more likely to be used.

jiang said:
2. _______ of the two books holds the opinion that the danger of nuclear war is increasing.
a. Either b. Neither
The correct anwser is b while I think a is also correct . Am I right?

While the two answers mean two opposite things, they are equally valid. They are both correct.

:)
 

RonBee

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I was wrong! I have changed my mind on one of the questions.

jiang said:
2. _______ of the two books holds the opinion that the danger of nuclear war is increasing.
a. Either b. Neither
The correct anwser is b while I think a is also correct . Am I right?

While both books might advance a particular opinion it does not, in my opinion, make sense to say that either of them does. Thus, only b is correct.

:)

[Edited for clarity.]
 

Casiopea

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jiang said:
I posted two questions a few days ago but it seems they didn't reach you. Now I am going to post them again.

I came across two multiple choice sentences. Two of the choices are confusing and the other two are totally wrong. I'd like to discuss the two confusing ones.

1. They will have it finished in__________.
a. three quarters of an hour. b. three quarters of an hour's time
The key is 'b' but I think 'a' sounds more comfortable while 'b' sounds weird. But since English is my foreign language I'd like to know what you native speakers think of it.

2. _______ of the two books holds the opinion that the danger of nuclear war is increasing.
a. Either b. Neither
The correct anwser is b while I think a is also correct . Am I right?


I, too, had answered the questions some time ago; but, for the sake of learning, I'll post answers once again. :D

1a. is incorrect. Although, three quarters of an hour is spoken and written in English, its true form is 1b. Speakers omit the -'s time part, so 1b. is the better choice.

2a. is incorrect. Either refers to one or the other, not both. The statment calls for the meaning both, so Neither is the better choice.

Sometimes, there isn't a wrong answer, per se, just a better answer.

:D
 

jiang

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RonBee,
I got confused. Am I wrong in thingking that 'either' means 'one of the two'? The dictionary says so. So if I understand it as 'one of the two books holds the opinion....' then can I choose 'a'
Jiang

RonBee said:
I was wrong! I have changed my mind on one of the questions.

jiang said:
2. _______ of the two books holds the opinion that the danger of nuclear war is increasing.
a. Either b. Neither
The correct anwser is b while I think a is also correct . Am I right?

Normally, either and neither are grammatically interchangeable. However, while both books might advance a particular opinion it does not, in my opinion, make sense to say that either of them does. Thus, only b is correct.

:)
 

jiang

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Dear Casiopea ,
I got different answers. According to you in No.2 both are correct but neither is better. Is it?
Jiang


Casiopea said:
jiang said:
I posted two questions a few days ago but it seems they didn't reach you. Now I am going to post them again.

I came across two multiple choice sentences. Two of the choices are confusing and the other two are totally wrong. I'd like to discuss the two confusing ones.

1. They will have it finished in__________.
a. three quarters of an hour. b. three quarters of an hour's time
The key is 'b' but I think 'a' sounds more comfortable while 'b' sounds weird. But since English is my foreign language I'd like to know what you native speakers think of it.

2. _______ of the two books holds the opinion that the danger of nuclear war is increasing.
a. Either b. Neither
The correct anwser is b while I think a is also correct . Am I right?


I, too, had answered the questions some time ago; but, for the sake of learning, I'll post answers once again. :D

1a. is incorrect. Although, three quarters of an hour is spoken and written in English, its true form is 1b. Speakers omit the -'s time part, so 1b. is the better choice.

2a. is incorrect. Either refers to one or the other, not both. The statment calls for the meaning both, so Neither is the better choice.

Sometimes, there isn't a wrong answer, per se, just a better answer.

:D
 

RonBee

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jiang said:
Dear Casiopea ,
I got different answers. According to you in No.2 both are correct but neither is better. Is it?
Jiang

No, I am afraid you are mistaken. She clearly says that 2a is incorrect.

:)
 

Casiopea

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Casiopea said:
2. _______ of the two books holds the opinion that the danger of nuclear war is increasing.
a. Either b. Neither


2a. is incorrect. Either refers to one or the other, not both. The statement calls for the meaning both, so Neither is the better choice.

Sometimes, there isn't a wrong answer, per se, just a better answer.

Please re-read my response. It clearly states 2a is incorrect, which means, it's incorrect for that particular set of test questions. Given native speaker speech, "Either of the two" is OK, but given that the test you're taking gives you one choice only, 2b. is the better choice. The reason being, Neither of the two books holds the opinionmeans, This book nor that book, both, do not hold the opinion...

Hope that helps.

:D
 

Casiopea

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I should clarify something.

"Either of the two" is OK as it stands,

Pat: Which do you prefer, apples or bananas?
Sam: Either of the two. One or the other. (or = singular)

Pat: Which do you prefer, apples or bananas?
Sam: Neither of the two. Not apples and not oranges (and = plural)

"Either of the two books hold", however, is not OK. The reason being, The verb is plural in number, whereas "Either" is singular in number. The test question is testing you on subject verb agreement.

Neither is here. (OK) *edit are -> is
Either are here (Not OK)

Neither holds (OK) *edit hold -> holds
Either hold (Not OK)

:D
 

jiang

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I am terribly sorry that it should be Either of the two books holds the opinion..... Is it correct to choose 'either' then?

Casiopea said:
I should clarify something.

"Either of the two" is OK as it stands,

Pat: Which do you prefer, apples or bananas?
Sam: Either of the two. One or the other. (or = singular)

Pat: Which do you prefer, apples or bananas?
Sam: Neither of the two. Not apples and not oranges (and = plural)

"Either of the two books hold", however, is not OK. The reason being, The verb is plural in number, whereas "Either" is singular in number. The test question is testing you on subject verb agreement.

Neither are here. (OK)
Either are here (Not OK)

Neither hold (OK)
Either hold (Not OK)

:D
 

RonBee

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Either is incorrect.

8)
 

jiang

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RonBee said:
Either is incorrect.

8)

:?
I once came across the sentence in Random House Webster's Dictionary of American English ( P438) :
Either of the shrubs grows well in this soil. That's why I don't understand your explanation. Here either of is followed by pl noun.

Jiang
 

RonBee

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jiang said:
RonBee said:
Either is incorrect.

8)

:?
I once came across the sentence in Random House Webster's Dictionary of American English ( P438) :
Either of the shrubs grows well in this soil. That's why I don't understand your explanation. Here either of is followed by pl noun.

Jiang

Yes. Of course. Either means one or the other. Notice that Either takes a singular verb: grows. The word neither would include both of them, thus: "Neither of the shrubs grow well in this soil."

:)
 

RonBee

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Casiopea said:
1a. is incorrect. Although, three quarters of an hour is spoken and written in English, its true form is 1b. Speakers omit the -'s time part, so 1b. is the better choice.

Since I have never heard anybody say (at least that I can remember) three quarters of an hour's time I would say it is not the better choice. It is not even an option. I must disagree. An ESL learner is unlikely to ever hear the "better" choice.

:)
 

MikeNewYork

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RonBee said:
jiang said:
RonBee said:
Either is incorrect.

8)

:?
I once came across the sentence in Random House Webster's Dictionary of American English ( P438) :
Either of the shrubs grows well in this soil. That's why I don't understand your explanation. Here either of is followed by pl noun.

Jiang

Yes. Of course. Either means one or the other. Notice that Either takes a singular verb: grows. The word neither would include both of them, thus: "Neither of the shrubs grow well in this soil."

:)

I will have to disagree with that. The rules for "neither" are the same as for "either". In most cases, both words should take a singular verb.
 

RonBee

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You are right, Mike. It should be: "Neither of the shrubs grows well in this soil."

:oops:
 

MikeNewYork

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RonBee said:
You are right, Mike. It should be: "Neither of the shrubs grows well in this soil."

:oops:

No blushing required! You answer so many questions in a day, I'm surprised you can keep anything straight. :wink:
 

jiang

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confirmation

RonBee said:
You are right, Mike. It should be: "Neither of the shrubs grows well in this soil."

:oops:

Dear RonBee,

I feel uneasy to have disturbed you so much. So either is still incorrect?
If it is could you please explain the difference between my sentence and the dictionary example?

Thanks!


Jiang
 

RonBee

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Re: confirmation

jiang said:
RonBee said:
You are right, Mike. It should be: "Neither of the shrubs grows well in this soil."

:oops:

Dear RonBee,

I feel uneasy to have disturbed you so much. So either is still incorrect?
If it is could you please explain the difference between my sentence and the dictionary example?

Let's focus on meaning. If I say Neither book A nor book B say a certain thing then what I say applies to both. In other words, book A doesn't say it and book B doesn't say it. What if I say either book says it? Does it mean book A says it? No, it doesn't. Does it mean book B says it? No, it doesn't. I can't make either apply to one book or the other and certainly not both. So I can't use either.

What about the other example? What if I say "Neither of those bushes can grow in that soil"? What I said applies to both of them. Bush A can not grow in that soil, and bush B can not grow in that soil. What if I say "Either of those bushes can grow in that soil"? It's just the opposite. Bush A can grow in that soil, and bush B can grow in that soil.

Does that help?

:)
 
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