Vocabulary

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Dear teachers,

I am sorry to come up with more questions so soon. I don't trust the book I bought as I used to after the discussions in the past several days. I think I must be careful about the answers.

1. There may several _____ but this is the best one fit for the context.
a. ways b. alternatives c. choices
The key is 'b'. My question is: What's wrong with 'c'? Is 'a' possible since it can mean 'method'?

2. The majority of people, about nine out of ten, are righthanded. ____until recently, people who were lefthanded were considered abnormal and once children showed this tendency they were forced to use their right hands.
a. Up b. Not
The key is 'a'. 'until recently' means 'not long ago' and 'up till now' means 'the time lasting till the present moment'.
My question is: Is there a phrase such as 'up until recently'? I can't find it in my dictionaries.

3. ( This is error correction exercise)
When people communicate face-to-face, they convey information in several ways apart from by the words they use. Thus, how often they make eye contact and how long they sustain that contact can indicate their degree of intimacy, interest or understanding of what they are communicating verbally.
The key to the second sentence is that an 'in' should be inserted between 'interest' and 'or' so that the part should be '.....interest in or underdering of what they are .....'. I don't see the reason of doing so.

4. Failure to do this often enough may result in the speaker interrupting himself or herself to ask if the other person is 'still there'. My question is: Is 'often enough' an idiomatic usage?

5. In sports,_____ contrast, doing things with the left hand or foot, is often an advantage.
a. by b. in
The key is 'b'. I think if we use 'in' we should use in the phrase 'in contrast to/with'. Am I right?

6. The ratio of the work done by the machine to the work done on it is called the efficiency of the machine. My question is what the sentence means? In 'work done on it' 'it' refers to the machine. How can we work on it? Does it mean to maintain it or repair it, etc?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Jiang
 
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Mr Jiang - (our ex-president of People's Republic of China)

I think Homeworks should be done at home!

Also, there are many on-line dictionaries
 

RonBee

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Jiang said:
Dear teachers,



1. There may several _____ but this is the best one fit for the context.
a. ways b. alternatives c. choices
The key is 'b'. My question is: What's wrong with 'c'? Is 'a' possible since it can mean 'method'?

An alternative is a different way of doing the same thing. So it wouldn't be choices, which is more about the decision-making process than taking action. Unfortunately, that sentence needs to be rewritten. I might try:
  • There may be several alternatives, but this is the best one for the context.

Jiang said:
2. The majority of people, about nine out of ten, are righthanded. ____until recently, people who were lefthanded were considered abnormal and once children showed this tendency they were forced to use their right hands.
a. Up b. Not
The key is 'a'. 'until recently' means 'not long ago' and 'up till now' means 'the time lasting till the present moment'.
My question is: Is there a phrase such as 'up until recently'? I can't find it in my dictionaries.

"Until recently" is a complete phrase, but if I had to pick one it would be "up" as in "up till now".
 

MikeNewYork

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Anonymous said:
Dear teachers,

I am sorry to come up with more questions so soon. I don't trust the book I bought as I used to after the discussions in the past several days. I think I must be careful about the answers.

That's quite all right. I would be concerned also. :wink:

1. There may several _____ but this is the best one fit for the context.
a. ways b. alternatives c. choices
The key is 'b'. My question is: What's wrong with 'c'? Is 'a' possible since it can mean 'method'?

First, the stem is poorly worded. It should be: "but this is the one best fit for the context."

In my opinion, c is clearly wrong, even though many people use the word in this way. There are two main meanings for choice that fit this context. One is the act of choosing between/among options. If there are three options here, there is but one choice. The second meaning is "the option chosen". Once a choice is made, the chosen option becomes the choice. Since the choice has not yet been made, one does not have multiple choices.

Even though "b" is keyed correct (and I would accept it as correct) "alternatives" would not be accepted by everyone. Some say that an alternative is one of exactly two mutually exclusive options. I don't agree, but notice that the AHD usage panel stiill has a amjority that holds that opinion.

USAGE NOTE Some traditionalists hold that alternative should be used only in situations where the number of choices involved is exactly two, because of the word's historical relation to Latin alter, “the other of two.” Despite the word's longstanding use to mean “one of a number of things from which only one can be chosen” and the acceptance of this usage by many language critics, a substantial portion of the Usage Panel adheres to the traditional view, with only 49 percent accepting the sentence Of the three alternatives, the first is the least distasteful.•Alternative is also sometimes used to refer to a variant or substitute in cases where there is no element of choice involved, as in We will do our best to secure alternative employment for employees displaced by the closing of the factory. This sentence is unacceptable to 60 percent of the Usage Panel.•Alternative should not be confused with alternate. Correct usage requires The class will meet on alternate (not alternative) Tuesdays.

That leaves "ways" as the safest choice, but "options" would be even better.

2. The majority of people, about nine out of ten, are righthanded. ____until recently, people who were lefthanded were considered abnormal and once children showed this tendency they were forced to use their right hands.

a. Up b. Not
The key is 'a'. 'until recently' means 'not long ago' and 'up till now' means 'the time lasting till the present moment'.

My question is: Is there a phrase such as 'up until recently'? I can't find it in my dictionaries.

I would choose a if forced to choose between these two options. However, the statment is innacurate, IMO. Had this been written in the 1960s, I would accept it. The thinking about handedness changed some time ago. "Not until recently" should be follwed by "did".

People use "up until recently", but the "up" is not needed, IMO.

3. ( This is error correction exercise)
When people communicate face-to-face, they convey information in several ways apart from by the words they use. Thus, how often they make eye contact and how long they sustain that contact can indicate their degree of intimacy, interest or understanding of what they are communicating verbally.
The key to the second sentence is that an 'in' should be inserted between 'interest' and 'or' so that the part should be '.....interest in or underdering of what they are .....'. I don't see the reason of doing so.

First, by doesn't belong there. That is the most serious error. I think the end of the sentence is poorly written, but an "in" between "interest" and "or" makes it worse, in my opinion. As written, there is a problem with parallelism. The series is "intimacy, interest, or understanding". Those are all nouns and they work fine with "degree of". When the added words are added after "understanding", it becomes unclear as to which of the nouns are included. As written, those words apply only to understanding. If you add an "in" after "interest", the end words also apply to "interest". But that leaves, "intimacy" hanging there, and changes the series.

4. Failure to do this often enough may result in the speaker interrupting himself or herself to ask if the other person is 'still there'. My question is: Is 'often enough' an idiomatic usage?

Yes. It means "sufficiently often", "as often as needed".

5. In sports,_____ contrast, doing things with the left hand or foot, is often an advantage.
a. by b. in
The key is 'b'. I think if we use 'in' we should use in the phrase 'in contrast to/with'. Am I right?

No, that won't work here, becuse what is contrasted is in another sentence. The "in" works OK here, but I would not phrase "in x in y".
I would use "In sports, however,".

6. The ratio of the work done by the machine to the work done on it is called the efficiency of the machine. My question is what the sentence means? In 'work done on it' 'it' refers to the machine. How can we work on it? Does it mean to maintain it or repair it, etc?

That would be one reading. It is poorly phrased.

It could be referring to the ratio of how much work/product the machine puts out versus its downtime/cost for repairs etc. It also could be a sentence from physics, comparing the energy put out by the machine to the energy put into the machine. It is difficult to tell.
 

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3. ( This is error correction exercise)
When people communicate face-to-face, they convey information in several ways apart from by the words they use. Thus, how often they make eye contact and how long they sustain that contact can indicate their degree of intimacy, interest or understanding of what they are communicating verbally.
The key to the second sentence is that an 'in' should be inserted between 'interest' and 'or' so that the part should be '.....interest in or underdering of what they are .....'. I don't see the reason of doing so.
If it's an error it's a small one. I have difficulty seeing an error, and I'm a proofreader (albeit not a professional one). I think the error might be the statement that there is an error.

:wink:

4. Failure to do this often enough may result in the speaker interrupting himself or herself to ask if the other person is 'still there'. My question is: Is 'often enough' an idiomatic usage?
Yes, it is. It is another way of saying sufficiently. What does "this" refer to? (Curious)

5. In sports,_____ contrast, doing things with the left hand or foot, is often an advantage.
a. by b. in
The key is 'b'. I think if we use 'in' we should use in the phrase 'in contrast to/with'. Am I right?
Yes, you could say, "in contrast with that", for example. I would probably phrase that sentence thusly:
  • By contrast, in some sports it is an advantage to be left-handed.

6. The ratio of the work done by the machine to the work done on it is called the efficiency of the machine. My question is what the sentence means? In 'work done on it' 'it' refers to the machine. How can we work on it? Does it mean to maintain it or repair it, etc?
I am afraid it is somewhat unclear to me what that means. However, a good site for learning about such stuff is www.howstuffworks.com.

:)
 

RonBee

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See:
  • We convey information by the words we use. We also convey information in other ways than by the words we use.
You could also say:
  • We communicate in ways other than by the words we use.

:)

[Edited because I had left a word out.]
 

jiang

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Thank you for your suggestion. If I had found the answers in the dictionaries I wouldn't have asked the teachers. I always try my best answers before I ask the teachers when I am desperate.


Hong Kong Chinese said:
Mr Jiang - (our ex-president of People's Republic of China)

I think Homeworks should be done at home!

Also, there are many on-line dictionaries
 

jiang

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RonBee said:
3. ( This is error correction exercise)
When people communicate face-to-face, they convey information in several ways apart from by the words they use. Thus, how often they make eye contact and how long they sustain that contact can indicate their degree of intimacy, interest or understanding of what they are communicating verbally.

Thank you for your explanation. The part before this part is as follows:

There is an unwritten rule of telephone conversations that the listener must supply frequent and regular confirmation that he or she is listening. This is done by saying " Aha, M,hm, Yes, I see," and so on. So I think 'this ' refer to saying so.
Jiang

The key to the second sentence is that an 'in' should be inserted between 'interest' and 'or' so that the part should be '.....interest in or underdering of what they are .....'. I don't see the reason of doing so.
If it's an error it's a small one. I have difficulty seeing an error, and I'm a proofreader (albeit not a professional one). I think the error might be the statement that there is an error.

:wink:

4.
Failure to do this often enough may result in the speaker interrupting himself or herself to ask if the other person is 'still there'.
My question is: Is 'often enough' an idiomatic usage?
Yes, it is. It is another way of saying sufficiently. What does "this" refer to? (Curious)

5. In sports,_____ contrast, doing things with the left hand or foot, is often an advantage.
a. by b. in
The key is 'b'. I think if we use 'in' we should use in the phrase 'in contrast to/with'. Am I right?
Yes, you could say, "in contrast with that", for example. I would probably phrase that sentence thusly:
  • By contrast, in some sports it is an advantage to be left-handed.

6. The ratio of the work done by the machine to the work done on it is called the efficiency of the machine. My question is what the sentence means? In 'work done on it' 'it' refers to the machine. How can we work on it? Does it mean to maintain it or repair it, etc?
I am afraid it is somewhat unclear to me what that means. However, a good site for learning about such stuff is www.howstuffworks.com.

:)
 

Casiopea

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6. The ratio of the work done by the machine to the work done on it is called the efficiency of the machine.

the work done by the machine = the machine does the work
the work done on the machine = someone works on (i.e. fixes) the machine when it breaks down.

All the best,
 

jiang

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Dear RonBee,

I got a bit confused at your explanation to the following choice.

5. In sports,_____ contrast, doing things with the left hand or foot, is often an advantage.
a. by b. in
The key is 'b'. I think if we use 'in' we should use in the phrase 'in contrast to/with'. Am I right?

Your wrote ' Yes, you could say, "in contrast with that", for example. I would probably phrase that sentence thusly: '

By contrast, in some sports it is an advantage to be left-handed.

Does it mean in the original sentence I should choose 'in'. But when you phrase the sentence we can choose 'by'?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Jiang

RonBee said:
3. ( This is error correction exercise)
When people communicate face-to-face, they convey information in several ways apart from by the words they use. Thus, how often they make eye contact and how long they sustain that contact can indicate their degree of intimacy, interest or understanding of what they are communicating verbally.
The key to the second sentence is that an 'in' should be inserted between 'interest' and 'or' so that the part should be '.....interest in or underdering of what they are .....'. I don't see the reason of doing so.
If it's an error it's a small one. I have difficulty seeing an error, and I'm a proofreader (albeit not a professional one). I think the error might be the statement that there is an error.

:wink:

4. Failure to do this often enough may result in the speaker interrupting himself or herself to ask if the other person is 'still there'. My question is: Is 'often enough' an idiomatic usage?
Yes, it is. It is another way of saying sufficiently. What does "this" refer to? (Curious)

5. In sports,_____ contrast, doing things with the left hand or foot, is often an advantage.
a. by b. in
The key is 'b'. I think if we use 'in' we should use in the phrase 'in contrast to/with'. Am I right?
Yes, you could say, "in contrast with that", for example. I would probably phrase that sentence thusly:
  • By contrast, in some sports it is an advantage to be left-handed.

6. The ratio of the work done by the machine to the work done on it is called the efficiency of the machine. My question is what the sentence means? In 'work done on it' 'it' refers to the machine. How can we work on it? Does it mean to maintain it or repair it, etc?
I am afraid it is somewhat unclear to me what that means. However, a good site for learning about such stuff is www.howstuffworks.com.

:)
 

Casiopea

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:) Suggestion :)

I'd like to test something out, if you wouldn't mind. The next time you post multiple choice sentences, I wonder if you could post the sentences first and then post the answers later. In this way, you'll get a chance to see what native speakers would actually use/say in the contexts given. :)

All the best,
 

jiang

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Thank you for your suggestion. If it doesn't bother you teachers, I can certainly do so.

Jiang

Casiopea said:
:) Suggestion :)

I'd like to test something out, if you wouldn't mind. The next time you post multiple choice sentences, I wonder if you could post the sentences first and then post the answers later. In this way, you'll get a chance to see what native speakers would actually use/say in the contexts given. :)

All the best,
 

Tdol

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Fill your boots! ;-)
 

RonBee

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tdol said:
Fill your boots! ;-)

At your pleasure? (Never heard that one before.)

:?:
 

RonBee

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Casiopea said:
RonBee said:
tdol said:
Fill your boots! ;-)

At your pleasure? (Never heard that one before.)

:?:

I've heard Canadians say it--at the buffet table :shock:

So my guess at the meaning of that expression is the correct one?

:)
 

MikeNewYork

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Casiopea said:
I've heard Canadians say it--at the buffet table :shock:

:lol:
 

MikeNewYork

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RonBee said:
So my guess at the meaning of that expression is the correct one?

:)

The boots sound like large doggie bags. :wink:
 
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