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Is the question and answer natural? (9) Options
DavidLearn
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 4:35:40 AM

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Hi teachers,
Amy and Lee live in Beijing.
Amy: The newspaper article said that a quarter of the population own a bike. That's three million out of twelve million. It's amazing.
Lee: Yeah! It is a lot and then people rent bicycles too. You can get them from all kinds of shops and booths across the city.

According to the text, is the question natural?
After listening to the next audio segment, answer the question and then use direct speech to support your answer.
According to the text, is the question natural?
Does Lee say that bikes are easy to rent in Beijing?
Yes, he does.
Lee said, "You can get them from all kinds of shops and booths across the city."

Thanks.
thar
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 7:07:25 AM

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Yes, I think that works.
They have to make the link that something is easy to do if you can do it in lots of places, which is the idea that is implied but not explicitly stated in the audio.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 7:44:42 AM
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OK, this is just something that's been bugging me a bit: "ARE the question and answer natural." You're asking about two things: a) The question and b) the answer.

So because it's plural - 2 things - the plural verb applies.
DavidLearn
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 9:35:06 AM

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thar wrote:
Yes, I think that works.
They have to make the link that something is easy to do if you can do it in lots of places, which is the idea that is implied but not explicitly stated in the audio.


Hi thar,
Great! Thanks for your comments once again.

David.
DavidLearn
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 9:36:46 AM

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Romany wrote:
OK, this is just something that's been bugging me a bit: "ARE the question and answer natural." You're asking about two things: a) The question and b) the answer.

So because it's plural - 2 things - the plural verb applies.

Hi Romany,
Really? I have always thought that the verb had to be in singular. Thanks for the correction.

David.
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 12:27:46 PM

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In today's post, your question is correct:

According to the text, is the question natural?

We sometimes treat both the question and answer as a single item. In that case, we might ask, "Is the question and its answer natural?"

To separate them into two items, we would say, "Are the question and answer natural?"


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
DavidLearn
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 12:35:35 PM

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Location: Girona, Catalonia, Spain
FounDit wrote:
In today's post, your question is correct:

According to the text, is the question natural?

We sometimes treat both the question and answer as a single item. In that case, we might ask, "Is the question and its answer natural?"

To separate them into two items, we would say, "Are the question and answer natural?"

Hi FounDit,
Thanks a lot for your reply and comments. I really didn't know anything about that. I'm going to save that information immediately.

David.
DavidLearn
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 5:17:56 AM

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Amy: The newspaper article said that a quarter of the population own a bike. That's three million out of twelve million. It's amazing.
Lee: Yeah! It is a lot and then people rent bicycles too. You can get them from all kinds of shops and booths across the city.

According to the text, is the question natural?
After listening to the next audio segment, answer the question and then use direct speech to support your answer.
According to the text, is the question natural?
Does Lee say that bikes are easy to rent in Beijing?
Yes, he does.
Lee said, "You can get them from all kinds of shops and booths across the city."

Hi again,
One more question please.
Is the that in red mandatory or optional?

I've read this advive. Do you agree?
Omit that after the verb to say–“usually.”
• Do not omit that when a time element intervenes between the the verb and the dependent clause.

• Include that after the verbs advocate, assert, contend, declare, estimate, make clear, point out, propose, and state–“usually.”

• Include that before clauses beginning with conjunctions such as after, although, etc.

Thanks.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 5:30:04 AM

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I would include another rule - include 'that' if the following clause is anything but very simple.

Does Lee say bikes are cheap?
Does Lee say that bikes are easy to obtain in the city because you can get them everywhere?

It is only there to indicate that is what he is saying. It is omitted when that is so obvious you don't need to be shown. It is there when not having it could be confusing, and you get half-way through the clause before you realise it is a 'that' clause.

This is something in the middle. It is quite simple, but it has an infinitive and an adverbial phrase at the end.
I think in speech I would use the 'that', although I can't say whether it is for that reason.
DavidLearn
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 5:44:22 AM

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Hi thar,
Thanks for the other rule and further explanations as well.

David.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 6:38:18 AM

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That's actually a good set of rules for 'that' after 'say' (also works pretty well for "tell" and "report", too).

Concerning the first one, it's because of ambiguity.

"He says usually he enjoys Christmas parties." - Which is the time-limited verb-phrase?
Is it "He says usually (that he enjoys Christmas parties)" - or -
He says (that usually he enjoys Christmas parties.)"

"Does Lee say often bikes are easy to rent in Beijing?"
"Does Lee say often 'Bikes are easy to rent in Beijing'?" -or -
"Does Lee say 'Often bikes are easy to rent in Beijing'?"
Verbally, one can't easily hear the quotation marks, so it's clearer to shift to indirect speech.
"Does Lee say often that bikes are easy to rent in Beijing?" -or -
"Does Lee say that, often, bikes are easy to rent in Beijing'?"
To be honest, I'd be more likely to just move the time-adverb to before the first verb or after the second.

I don't UNDERSTAND the second 'rule' but it works.
I contend that I usually use it as 'natural', but I must point out, I don't always.

I think the third rule is similar to the first - there is a good chance of producing ambiguity if you just "tack on" a clause without 'that'.
I think that, in speech (informal conversation) you will hear this rule violated - but tone of voice will be used to separate out the different phrases. It is VERY easy to create a 'garden-path' sentence for yourself this way (The sentence starts out seeming to say one thing, then swaps round in the middle and says something completely different - "leading the listener down the garden path".) If the speaker is not careful, it can become almost impossible to finish the sentence sensibly - the speaker leads him/herself down the garden path.
"He says although the birds were singing he was asleep." - It's pretty clear, just because of experience of life. However it COULD mean:
1 "He says that, although the birds were singing, he was asleep." = He said that the singing of the birds did not prevent him from sleeping.
2. "He says, although the birds were singing, that he was asleep." = The singing of the birds did not prevent him from saying "I was asleep."


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
DavidLearn
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 6:56:02 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
That's actually a good set of rules for 'that' after 'say' (also works pretty well for "tell" and "report", too).

Concerning the first one, it's because of ambiguity.

"He says usually he enjoys Christmas parties." - Which is the time-limited verb-phrase?
Is it "He says usually (that he enjoys Christmas parties)" - or -
He says (that usually he enjoys Christmas parties.)"

"Does Lee say often bikes are easy to rent in Beijing?"
"Does Lee say often 'Bikes are easy to rent in Beijing'?" -or -
"Does Lee say 'Often bikes are easy to rent in Beijing'?"
Verbally, one can't easily hear the quotation marks, so it's clearer to shift to indirect speech.
"Does Lee say often that bikes are easy to rent in Beijing?" -or -
"Does Lee say that, often, bikes are easy to rent in Beijing'?"
To be honest, I'd be more likely to just move the time-adverb to before the first verb or after the second.

I don't UNDERSTAND the second 'rule' but it works.
I contend that I usually use it as 'natural', but I must point out, I don't always.

I think the third rule is similar to the first - there is a good chance of producing ambiguity if you just "tack on" a clause without 'that'.
I think that, in speech (informal conversation) you will hear this rule violated - but tone of voice will be used to separate out the different phrases. It is VERY easy to create a 'garden-path' sentence for yourself this way (The sentence starts out seeming to say one thing, then swaps round in the middle and says something completely different - "leading the listener down the garden path".) If the speaker is not careful, it can become almost impossible to finish the sentence sensibly - the speaker leads him/herself down the garden path.
"He says although the birds were singing he was asleep." - It's pretty clear, just because of experience of life. However it COULD mean:
1 "He says that, although the birds were singing, he was asleep." = He said that the singing of the birds did not prevent him from sleeping.
2. "He says, although the birds were singing, that he was asleep." = The singing of the birds did not prevent him from saying "I was asleep."


Hi Drag0n,
I really do think that I have to squeeze drop by drop that explanation of yours till the end.

David.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:16:02 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
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Applause
It wasn't really an explanation - it's just what I saw/realised as I saw your 'rules'.
I had never heard them before, but I realised that they are true - "usually".

EDITED to correct a typo ('say' for 'saw')

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
DavidLearn
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:31:26 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/27/2014
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Location: Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Applause
It wasn't really an explanation - it's just what I saw/realised as I say your 'rules'.
I had never heard them before, but I realised that they are true - "usually".


Hi Drag0n,
This is another "rule". Whistle
When in doubt, include that. Omission can hurt. Inclusion never does.

David.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 9:11:25 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 31,949
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
DavidLearn wrote:
Hi Drag0n,
This is another "rule". Whistle
When in doubt, include that. Omission can hurt. Inclusion never does.
David.

That's interesting. I guess that is still concerning "after the verb 'say'".

It's rather a rule of colloquial English to omit 'that' whenever possible.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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