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Are these two questions natural and correct? (17) Options
DavidLearn
Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2019 6:53:16 AM

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Joined: 1/27/2014
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Location: Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Hi teachers,
This is part of an audio file. It is about Beijing.

Lee: Ghost Street has the nicest restaurants. It looks amazing at night with all the paper lanterns and it is the best place to go for traditional Chinese food.

Are these questions natural and correct about the text above?

1. What seems to be awesome after dark? Have I twisted too much the question?
Ghost Street with all the paper lanterns.

2. Where's the best place to eat traditional Chinese food? Can I use "popular" instead of "traditional" in the question?
Ghost Street.


Thanks.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2019 7:43:14 AM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
I think that the first one is good. "Awesome" in its modern usage means the same as "amazing" in its modern meaning (the original meanings were a bit different, but in modern English they are almost exact synonyms).
Changing the word is a slightly more difficult "comprehension" question, but it does test understanding very well.

I'm not sure about changing "traditional" to "popular".
At least in Britain, the most popular "take-away" food are kebabs and curries. In restaurants, it is still Asian, Oriental, Italian, etc. - and none of these are traditional English foods!
Maybe in China, traditional food is still the most popular, but I don't know.
DavidLearn
Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2019 5:06:24 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/27/2014
Posts: 3,585
Neurons: 24,312
Location: Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
I think that the first one is good. "Awesome" in its modern usage means the same as "amazing" in its modern meaning (the original meanings were a bit different, but in modern English they are almost exact synonyms).
Changing the word is a slightly more difficult "comprehension" question, but it does test understanding very well.

I'm not sure about changing "traditional" to "popular".
At least in Britain, the most popular "take-away" food are kebabs and curries. In restaurants, it is still Asian, Oriental, Italian, etc. - and none of these are traditional English foods!
Maybe in China, traditional food is still the most popular, but I don't know.

Hi Drag0n,
I do appreciate your comments and help.

David.
thar
Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2019 5:16:42 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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Yes, 'popular' does not mean 'of the people'. Often in English contexts, apart from most eaten, it means cheap and possibly low quality.
(Which says something disturbing about respect for people's tastes!' Whistle

Unlike drago I do find awesome problematic. Either it is slang for 'great' which feels a bit cheesy and faddish (awesome, dude, like so rad!), or it holds its meaning of inspiring awe, which is far too strong for a street scene.

'spectacular' is also a bit strong, but OK and most literal - it is a spectacle. Stunning, maybe. Or 'especially attractive at night' ie more so than during the day.

Also to me 'what place? (ie where?) - it is 'the place' (that street, the scene) that is amazing, not 'the thing'.
What place is amazing? The street, with all the lanterns.

What is amazing? The sight of all the lanterns in the street.


But I guess that is really nitpicking.
DavidLearn
Posted: Monday, June 24, 2019 2:32:51 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/27/2014
Posts: 3,585
Neurons: 24,312
Location: Girona, Catalonia, Spain
thar wrote:
Yes, 'popular' does not mean 'of the people'. Often in English contexts, apart from most eaten, it means cheap and possibly low quality.
(Which says something disturbing about respect for people's tastes!' Whistle

Unlike drago I do find awesome problematic. Either it is slang for 'great' which feels a bit cheesy and faddish (awesome, dude, like so rad!), or it holds its meaning of inspiring awe, which is far too strong for a street scene.

'spectacular' is also a bit strong, but OK and most literal - it is a spectacle. Stunning, maybe. Or 'especially attractive at night' ie more so than during the day.

Also to me 'what place? (ie where?) - it is 'the place' (that street, the scene) that is amazing, not 'the thing'.
What place is amazing? The street, with all the lanterns.

What is amazing? The sight of all the lanterns in the street.


But I guess that is really nitpicking.


Hi thar,
What if I use "street" and "to Lee" in the question? Would that make the question more specific?
What street seemed awesome after dark to Lee? Why?
Ghost street (seemed awesome to Lee) because it looked amazing at night with all the red paper lanterns.

I believe I can also ask the question in present; right?
What street seems awesome after dark to Lee? Why?
Ghost street (seems awesome to Lee) because it looks amazing at night with all the red paper lanterns.

David.
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