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BBC News's Grammar Quiz

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Mise, May 14, 2013.

  1. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    :lol:

    Good quiz.

    Great thread.

    (I confess some of my "correct" answers were largely lucky guesses, too.)
     
  2. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Holy smokes, I got rolled. 4/10. Some of them were weird "what's this called?" questions, those I don't count, I don't care. But the "may/might", "which/that" questions got me, and showed me to be a dummy.
     
  3. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    Yeah, the two "what random grammar thing is this on about?" questions I made educated guesses on. I knew the gerund one wasn't an infinitive, and I took a guess that it wasn't modal (I knew that modal logic dealt with what was possible, and the sentence seemed peculiarly phrased to explicitly avoid asking whether it was possible), so I took a shot at gerund. I knew a gerund was something to do with verbs but couldn't remember exactly what, so that was an educated guess.

    The last question was the other one I took an educated guess on. "Fallen subjunctive" didn't sound like a real thing (turned out it wasn't), and the problem with the sentence wasn't to do with a participle (the problem was the ambiguity created by the comma placement -- is the king wearing that????). So I went with the misplaced modifier, because it sounded closest of the three to what actually was wrong with the sentence.
     
  4. Atticus

    Atticus Deity Retired Moderator

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    9/10 :smug:

    Hilary went wrong. Some of them were more or less educated guesses. For example the one about King and queen, I really had never heard of any of the options, but chose the one that looked most suitable.
     
  5. Grendeldef

    Grendeldef Trancerelic

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    7/10. Apparently as with grammar I'm crap with Churchill & Royals. Also there's something fundamentally wrong when to pass a question one needs a dictionary to translate it & then Wikipedia to understand it - freakin' gerund. I neglected grammar back in school and even though I respect it more these days I doubt I'm any better at it few decades later.
     
  6. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    They couldn't be bothered to make it a test where I can click on answers and get my score?

    I got 1/1 before I ran out of attention.
     
  7. NickyJ

    NickyJ Retired Narrator

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    7/10 I missed may/might, Hilary, and the Churchill sentence.

    Gerund's are basically any words that look like verbs with -ing added to the end.

    Imperatives are sentences that are a cross between interrogatives and demonstratives. "Please pass the salt" is imperative because it is a sort of command. It isn't a question, but it isn't a statement.)

    Embarrassingly, I have never heard of modals before.
     
  8. peter grimes

    peter grimes ... Retired Moderator

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    As an American, I was surprised by some of the idioms and usage here. Don't feel bad about it, many of the questions were very oddly worded.

    And grammatical terms like 'gerund' don't matter one bit. They only matter to people who study grammar. Do you need to know the taxonomic name of the bear that's chasing after you? Nope - all you need to know is whether you should play dead or run like mad.

    Usage is the only thing that matters in practice. Which of these sentences is correct?

    I like running
    I like to run
    He went running through the streets
    I was running when I fell
    The running race was cancelled due to rain

    Spoiler :
    All are correct. There are gerunds and a gerundive. But that doesn't matter, as long as one can understand the meaning and/or construct the sentence.
     
  9. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Super Moderator

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    Why did people keep tripping up on the Hilary question? It was a simple logic problem .
     
  10. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    Yeah I'm surprised too tbh, it was indeed a logic problem that just required a bit of careful reading IMO.
     
  11. Atticus

    Atticus Deity Retired Moderator

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    I read it "Here's my sister Clara, she lives in Madrid. Here's my brother Benedict, he doesnt't live there (heh heh, I'm teh funny). And then there's Hilary who is the last one of my siblings". I had no idea how someone could have arrived to a conclusion about Hilary's sex. I guess when you're fixed to some interpretation it's just very hard to see it outside the box.
     
  12. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    I just wasn't expecting it to be based on commas, so I hadn't read the statement closely enough.

    Not one of these "sentences" is correct. A sentence must end with a full-stop, period. :smug:
     
  13. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    Most people are really bad at logic.
     
  14. peter grimes

    peter grimes ... Retired Moderator

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    Here's the question from the quiz:
    I'm still not sure I understand their explanation.
     
  15. Atticus

    Atticus Deity Retired Moderator

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    "My brother who doesn't" means "Of all my brothers this is the one that doesn't live in Madrid".

    "My brother, who doesn't" would mean "this is my brother, and by the way, he doesn't live in Madrid".
     
  16. Winston Hughes

    Winston Hughes Wrathful Warlock Retired Moderator

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    Those are the better ones to get wrong, as they're only of interest to pedantic bores (same goes for less/fewer).

    More important are the ones in which bad grammar can cloud meaning - the Hilary question being a rather tricksy example.
     
  17. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Yeah. That makes sense. It does take some thought, though.

    --------------------------------

    I'm not sure that less/fewer can't cause confusion too.

    "I work less hours" should mean the hours I work are shorter. (Not that I think you can work shorter hours, but I can't think of a better example, atm.)

    "I work fewer hours" means I work for only, say, 5 hours instead of 8.
     
  18. dido

    dido Prince

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    8/10

    Missed the singular neighbor on the first one and Hilary. Made some educated guesses on the gerund/misplaced whatever

    The first one is a careless mistake and the Hilary one is awkwardly worded, so I am gonna give myself 10/10:smug:
     
  19. NickyJ

    NickyJ Retired Narrator

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    Ahhhhh. Now I understand the Hilary question. Still, who the heck would introduce people that way? Jeeze.
     
  20. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Super Moderator

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    Logic problems are not intended to present vocational problems. :)
     

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