'although' the messenger

Aiko Senoo

New Member
Italian
Given the following multiple-choice question:

"The documents are photocopied, ______ the messenger waited to take them back"

A. for; B. while; C. when; D. although

I would say although, but honestly I don't really understand what the sentence states. It is not clear to me what is the connection between the fact that the documents are photocopied and the fact that the messenger waited to take them back. Moreover, the two sentences have different tenses: the former has a present tense while the latter has a past tense, so the reason why the messenger waited is not that he had to wait for the documents to be photocopied. I thought maybe the real meaning is that the messenger took back the documents later than expected even if those weren't the original ones, that's why I chose although.
 
  • JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    I agree that it's an odd sentence. As written none of the options work, in my opinion. I guess although works better than the others, though none sound idiomatic to me. I'm not sure what the sentence is trying to say either, but whatever it is, the sentence isn't doing a very good job of it.

    If it had been written in present tense, while would work OK: "The documents are photocopied while the messenger waits to take them back" (it wouldn't need a comma in this case, though).
     

    Aiko Senoo

    New Member
    Italian
    Yes, while would have been correct if the two sentences had had the same tense.
    However, since the two tenses differ, the real meaning is not clear. Although is the only word that sounds correct to me.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    As written none of the options work, in my opinion.
    In mine too. There quite simply isn't a correct answer to this question.

    I suspect that "while" was supposed to be the correct answer but "are" was written instead of "were." The question is supposed to be testing your understanding of the various conjunctions of time (when, while, for).
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Yes, I think the answer should be "while." However, if you put "while" into this sentence, it's still incorrect, because the tenses are wrong. ("When" and "for" also create incorrect sentences; "although" makes a sentence that doesn't make any sense.)

    I think the test-writer made a mistake.
     
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