problem answering celta pre interview question

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problem answering celta pre interview question

Unread postby secret » 03 Jun 2009, 22:30

hi there

i am applying to do the celta course and have been given a pre interview task that i am having a little trouble answering. would you be kind enough to help me through some of the question. thank you

the task goes as follows:

Each of the exchanges below contains a mistake
in each case:
a) underline the mistake
b) write the corrected version in the space provided
c) write in simple terms, as if speaking to a learner of english, how you would make the correction clear.

1) " Is John ill? He's lost a lot of weight."
" Yes, he is rather slender these days, isn't he?"

the correct version of this sentence to my understanding will go

" Is John ill? He's lost alot of weight."
"Yes, he is rather slender these days."

i will explain this change to a learner of english by telling them that;
i have ommited 'isn't he' in the reply as it doesnt make sense to agree that he has lost weight and then in the same response try to get confirmation if he is slender these days.the sentence does not make sense as the person is agreeing to the statement that john has lost weight and then appears not sure by asking if if john is slender

please respond back and tell me if i am on the right track.
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Re: problem answering celta pre interview question

Unread postby Jo » 04 Jun 2009, 05:36

secret wrote:" Is John ill? He's lost a lot of weight."
"Yes, he is rather slender these days, isn't he?"

I'm not surprised you're having trouble answering. It sounds like a perfectly normal English conversation to me, without getting into the philosophy of whether people actually answer other people's questions. (In other words, the answerer hasn't said whether John is ill or not, which is the real question - but that's life, that's how people "converse".) Grammatically, there is nothing wrong with the exchange.

Your explanation by the way doesn't hold any water. We constantly use question tags in this way :twisted:
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Re: problem answering celta pre interview question

Unread postby secret » 04 Jun 2009, 09:45

thank you for the response on my question. i do have another question that i am battling with.

the exchange is

"Have you got any money"
"Yes, I've been to the bank yesterday"

i corrected it by saying

"Have you got any money"
"Yes, I've been to the bank today"

i would explain my change to a non eglish speaker by saying that the sentence is in present tense as it is happening in the now
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Re: problem answering celta pre interview question

Unread postby Jo » 04 Jun 2009, 18:05

Typical responses:
Yes, I've been to the bank. OR
Yes, I went to the bank this morning/yesterday.

http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verb ... erfect.htm
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Re: problem answering celta pre interview question

Unread postby Lucy » 05 Jun 2009, 10:35

I would say that the conversation sounds normal.

I would focus on the word "slender" and its connotations. It's not usually used to describe a person who has lost weight due to an illness.

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Re: problem answering celta pre interview question

Unread postby Eltheza » 10 Jun 2009, 16:39

Hi! I'd just say that "slender" has positive connotations, so correct it to "thin". "Slender" is not associated with being ill - it's a good thing to be. (I used to be an English teacher in Greece!) Hope it helps. Cheers, Eltheza
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Re: problem answering celta pre interview question

Unread postby Triton » 12 Jun 2009, 13:48

I also agree that the problem in the first question is the word slender which has positive connotations since it basically means being ideally thin as opposed to being overweight or obese: "He looks wonderfully slender after losing 20 Kg during his diet".

Slender is being thin within the right limits. From the context we know the word should be negative. The word you are looking for is one to describe excessive, unhealthy thinness and lack of strength. This could be "skinny"or "scrawny" and even "emaciated" or "gaunt" stronger words which refer to extreme thinness and lack of vigour.

As for the second question, in British English but perhaps not American English when a time period is mentioned or at least clearly implied we use the simple past instead of the present perfect tense.

"She saw them this morning going down the road"

and NOT

"She has seen them this morning going down the road".
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