a dark chocolate, an eclair and a pastry

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Himanshu Sindhi

Senior Member
Hindi
This question was asked in an exam in India as...

In the following questions, some parts of the sentences have errors and some are correct. Find out which part of a sentence has an error. The number of that part is the answer. If a sentence is free from error, your answer is (4) i.e. No error.

The food basket contained (1)/ a dark chocolate, an eclair and a pastry (2)/ neatly wrapped in foil paper. (3)/ No error

The error is in part 2 but don't know what it is.
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The food basket contained a dark chocolate, an eclair and a pastry neatly wrapped in foil paper.
    No error. The pastry is wrapped in foil paper.

    The food basket contained a dark chocolate, an eclair and a pastry, neatly wrapped in foil paper.
    No error. All three items are wrapped in foil paper.

    You could add an Oxford comma:

    The food basket contained a dark chocolate, an eclair, and a pastry neatly wrapped in foil paper.
    No error. The pastry is wrapped in foil paper.

    The food basket contained a dark chocolate, an eclair, and a pastry, neatly wrapped in foil paper.
    No error. All three items are wrapped in foil paper.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    For me, an eclair is a pastry so it contained two pastries or an eclair and another pastry.

    It would help to know if there was a lesson being taught with this exercise or if the surrounding exercises seem to have a theme. Are we looking for errors in the grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, style, ...?
     

    Himanshu Sindhi

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    For me, an eclair is a pastry so it contained two pastries or an eclair and another pastry.

    It would help to know if there was a lesson being taught with this exercise or if the surrounding exercises seem to have a theme. Are we looking for errors in the grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, style, ...?
    Any kind of error can be the answer.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    The obvious one to me is "dark chocolate". These look like shop purchases, and it would be unusual to buy a single countable chocolate. However buying uncountable chocolate, for example in the form of a bar, is common. I'll also happily distinguish between eclairs and pasties so Myridon's objection would not occur to me. Choux pastry isn't really pastry, is it?:)
     
    Last edited:

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I don't understand why only the pastry would be neatly wrapped in foil paper, and not also the eclair, which would, after all, make the bigger mess if the basket were subjected to even a mild collision. Perhaps all three items were so wrapped, but this would require Andy's red comma in #2. Could the official error be this missing comma?

    I too would have thought something like "some dark chocolate" would be better than "a dark chocolate". Or perhaps there is a word missing, e.g. "a dark chocolate cake".
     

    Via32

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    The obvious one to me is "dark chocolate". These look like shop purchases, and it would be unusual to buy a single countable chocolate.
    That’s what my guess would’ve been too, shouldn’t it be “some dark chocolate” or “a bar of dark chocolate” to be correct?

    Cross posting
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    There is no context, Uncle Jack, Edinburgher and anybody else cross-posting. ;) It's a basket of unknown provenance. Somebody has put a dark chocolate in it, perhaps from a box of chocolates. It can't be called an error to say "a dark chocolate".

    There's no actual error of grammar or syntax. An error can only be created by imagining some background.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Regardless of the unlikely items in the basket I think there should at least be a commafter pastry.
    I think the question deviser should be sacked too.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    part B should read "a dark chocolate eclair and a pastry".
    Colour me amazed! I see the site linked in Edinburher's #10 is "luckyexam.com" - you would be really lucky to get that answer... The examinee is supposed to guess how many things are in the basket?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The obvious one to me is "dark chocolate". These look like shop purchases, and it would be unusual to buy a single countable chocolate. However buying uncountable chocolate, for example in the form of a bar, is common. I'll also happily distinguish between eclairs and pasties so Myridon's objection would not occur to me. Choux pastry isn't really pastry, is it?:)
    That would be my objection too.

    Dark and chocolate would have to be adjectives modifying "bar", "candy", etc.
     
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