Quick english grammar sanity check?

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Quick english grammar sanity check?

Postby pqkdzrwt » 10 Sep 2011, 11:09

Saw this on a Taiwanese english test, what is the correct answer?

The course was divided into three sessions, __ was taught by a different instructor.

1) each of them
2) it 
3) which
4) each of which


How would you answer? Every single student answered 1 even though to me that doesn't sound quite right.
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Re: Quick english grammar sanity check?

Postby Lili » 10 Sep 2011, 11:14

It should be a semi-colon if you use "each of them", not a comma.

3 is the correct answer. But the sentence is wrong because I assume the test maker wanted to state that each session was taught by a different teacher. However, when one uses choice 3 all you are saying is that the class is taught by a different teacher than another class and btw, there are three sessions in this class.

It should be "The course was divided into three sessions; each of which was taught by a different instructor."
I believe...
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Re: Quick english grammar sanity check?

Postby Funk500 » 10 Sep 2011, 11:16

Lili wrote:It should be a semi-colon if you use "each of them", not a comma.

3 is the correct answer. But the sentence is wrong.

It should be "The course was divided into three sessions; each of which was taught by a different instructor."
I believe...

surely you mean 4
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Re: Quick english grammar sanity check?

Postby Nuit » 10 Sep 2011, 11:27

got no problem with 4, and a comma. But then I don't teach grammar and thinking about it, I rarely use semi-colons myself. Happy to be put right.
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Re: Quick english grammar sanity check?

Postby pqkdzrwt » 10 Sep 2011, 11:35

All of the students chose answer 1. I had thought the correct answer was 4, but I wanted to check first to make sure I wasn't going crazy.
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Re: Quick english grammar sanity check?

Postby Hartzell » 10 Sep 2011, 11:47

It could be argued that the Chinese language is without the concept of "which."

Hence, that is a difficult point for very many Chinese speaking students.

It is not surprising to me that most students in Taiwan would tend to pick answer 1.
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Re: Quick english grammar sanity check?

Postby Abacus » 10 Sep 2011, 12:43

my grammar is awful. But I would just simplify it to: ...sessions and each was... I also have no idea what punctuation to use in the previous sentence.

Of course I've butchered the American language since I was born. :discodance:

imo this is a case of the native grammar nazi's trying to police the local grammar nazi's and further derailing the students from actually gaining useful comprehension of the language. I would be more interested in knowing if the students could identify which word each replaces.
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Re: Quick english grammar sanity check?

Postby merge » 10 Sep 2011, 12:51

Answer 4, no semicolon needed.
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Re: Quick english grammar sanity check?

Postby Petrichor » 10 Sep 2011, 13:42

Answer 1 sounds wrong because it's a new piece of information, so needs a semi-colon or full stop to separate it from the previous sentence.
Answer 2 and 3 are wrong because 'it' and 'which' are singular pronouns and the object referred to in the first part of the sentence is plural (sessions) so there is disagreement.
Answer 4 is correct. It's a non-defining relative clause. The 'each of which' refers back to the preceding clause but doesn't define it, just gives more detail.
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Re: Quick english grammar sanity check?

Postby pqkdzrwt » 10 Sep 2011, 13:43

Abacus wrote:imo this is a case of the native grammar nazi's trying to police the local grammar nazi's and further derailing the students from actually gaining useful comprehension of the language. I would be more interested in knowing if the students could identify which word each replaces.


I agree that a significant number of native english speakers could probably not answer this question correctly but it distracts from the main point.


Lets assume for the sake of the discussion this is an advanced/high level test for native chinese speakers trying to perfect their English. (: None of us would want to deny a Tawanese person a chance to polish / perfect their english to a native english level.
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