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A little/some Options
Tara2
Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2020 8:21:02 AM

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This is a question in an English test in China.

Maria: Can you speak French?
Jack: ____.
Maria: Where did you learn it?
Jack: At school.
A. A lot
B. A few
C. A little
D. Some

The answer key is C. Why is D wrong?
pjharvey
Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2020 9:48:11 AM
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D is wrong because the answer ("a little") refers to the verb ("speak") and not to the noun ("French").
Tara2
Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2020 10:58:31 AM

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pjharvey wrote:
D is wrong because the answer ("a little") refers to the verb ("speak") and not to the noun ("French").

Interesting point, many thanks!
thar
Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2020 11:17:22 AM

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There is a speech pattern, I think in American English, where you might hear 'some' used in this way. But since it isn't my speech pattern I can't comment. And it is not an acceptable answer in a test.



put the answer at the end of the word order in the question

"I speak French some"

no, that doesn't work.

as pj says, that only modifies the noun.
I can speak some French.


The matching adverb would be 'somewhat'.

But you wouldn't use it for how well you speak a language.


Tara2
Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2020 11:55:34 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/8/2017
Posts: 1,802
Neurons: 7,192
thar wrote:
There is a speech pattern, I think in American English, where you might hear 'some' used in this way. But since it isn't my speech pattern I can't comment. And it is not an acceptable answer in a test.



put the answer at the end of the word order in the question

"I speak French some"

no, that doesn't work.

as pj says, that only modifies the noun.
I can speak some French.


The matching adverb would be 'somewhat'.

But you wouldn't use it for how well you speak a language.



Many thanks, thar for the excellent explanation!!!
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