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HARDCORE GRAMMAR PEOPLE...HELP!!!
« on: April 30, 2021, 02:03:11 pm »
So it was the mid-term and two of my co-workers can't decide if an answer is wrong or not. One says that the sentence is wrong because of some grammar stuff that the other says she doesn't understand what she is talking about and she thinks it is correct. I may be wrong, but I also think it is correct.

**Preface: the instructions to the question don't say that a student must emphasize what should be correct when filling in the blanks: It just says fill in the blanks.

Here is the paragraph:

       Last Friday, Maebong Middle School 3rd grade students went to the Amusement Park for the school picnic. Many students liked the roller coaster the most. The least popular ride was the merry-go-round. The 2nd graders plan to visit the amusement park next week.

Q1:
Anna: Wow, they went to the National Park for the school picnic? That sounds great!
Paul: No. It was ___________________ _ that they went to for the school picnic.

      Teachers 1: The only correct answer is "No. It was the Amusement Park that they went to for the school picnic."
      Teacher 2 thinks this is also correct: "No. It was not the National Park that they went to for the school picnic."

Q2.
Tom: I can't believe they liked the merry-go-round the most.
Sally: No. It ____________ that _______________ the most.

      Teacher 1: The only correct answer is: "No. It was the roller coaster that they liked the most."
     Teacher 2 thinks this is also correct: "No. It was not the merry-go-round that they liked the most."

Teacher 2 needs to understand why she is actually correct, or why it is incorrect, GRAMMATICALLY!

Thank you to anyone who takes time to respond and shed some light on it.


  • CallinIn
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Re: HARDCORE GRAMMAR PEOPLE...HELP!!!
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2021, 03:19:03 pm »
I would think the fault is with the instructions. It just said: Fill in the Blank. Not, 'Correct Anna/Tom's mistake'.
Answer 1 corrects what speaker A says. Answer 2 makes a grammatically correct negative sentence.
I mean, anyone can correct ME if I'm wrong as well. I wouldn't call myself a hardcore grammar person.


Re: HARDCORE GRAMMAR PEOPLE...HELP!!!
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2021, 03:29:10 pm »
They're both grammatically correct but so so awkward lol. To understand what teacher 2 is going for, it helps to contract "was not," since that's slightly more natural sounding. "No, it wasn't the National Park (that) they went to." Teacher 1 is correcting Anna's mistake, while Teacher 2 is just pointing it out. imo, both of these sentences sound like something out of 19th century lit though lol


Re: HARDCORE GRAMMAR PEOPLE...HELP!!!
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2021, 07:03:08 pm »
I checked Michael Swan's Practical English Usage (third edition) for an answer. Unfortunately, I didn't get a very clear answer-- the closest I got was that contradiction statements (which I think could apply here as Paul and Sally are contradicting Anna and Tom's statements) are supposed to take a positive form when disagreeing with a negative statement ("The phone isn't working" - "Yes, it is") and a negative form when disagreeing with a positive statement ("It's raining outside" - "No, it isn't"). Judging by this rule, only Teacher 2's answer is technically correct as the full answer is a negative contradicting statement. However, as the 'No' is a separate sentence, I'm not sure that the rule applies in this context.

My personal opinion is that both answers are correct because the question doesn't specify what type of answer should be written. Teacher 2's answer is slightly closer to the kind of answer I'd expect from a native speaker (perhaps something like "No, they didn't. They went to ___"), but both answers seem very unnatural to me.


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Re: HARDCORE GRAMMAR PEOPLE...HELP!!!
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2021, 11:13:42 pm »
It's inversion with a provisional subject 'it',  frequently used in British English (BrE). Both answers are correct. The only thing I could add is that the thing that makes it sound odd to American speakers is that usually the last clause is elided in colloquial English (Also in Swan under elision probs).

Compare:

Quote
No. It was not the National Park they went to.

Such questions should be enough reason to bin these dreary grammar tests forever, nothing is really tested.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 11:22:39 pm by HappyPlanetAbuser »
Who's ready for another 4 years of Trump 2020!


Re: HARDCORE GRAMMAR PEOPLE...HELP!!!
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2021, 01:37:22 pm »
Thanks all. We ended up counting both answers as technically correct answers. I had to get a vote from you all about it, just to see if I was missing something. In the end, teacher 1, with a bit of persuasion, agreed that both were correct, or at least not incorrect if you know what I mean.