being occupied=who was being occupied?

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longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi
Here is a question. The so-called correct answer is A. But I think D is better, for "being occupied"=who was being occupied. Am I right?
Thanks in advance
The mother,____in the kitchen, forgot the medicine on the table within the child's reach
A.occupied B:to be occupied C.occupying D:being occupied
 
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  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I think you have a couple of typos in the answers, Longxianchen: A. occupied and C. occupying, yes?

    Either A or D is correct; I prefer A.
     
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    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi
    Here is a question. The so-called correct answer is A. But I think D is better, for "being occupied"=who was being occupied. Am I right?
    Not in my view. Adding unnecessary words never makes a sentence better.

    Moreover, "being occupied" seems to make it sound as though something alien were taking up residence in her body.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Moreover, "being occupied" seems to make it sound as though something alien were taking up residence in her body.
    :thumbsup: :D
    True, Mr. Graham, but that would be more obvious if the sentence read 'who was being occupied'.

    The alien theory aside, I think that, indeed, both A and D are correct.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Please remember that you are generally NOT asked for "the correct answer" on such tests. You are asked for the best answer.
    Benny, I have taken trillions of such tests and you are usually asked to choose the ONLY correct answer. Choosing the BEST answer is, in my experience, the exception rather than the rule. :) Simply because this is highly subjective.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Friend, it's odd to see you making that argument in a thread about exactly the kind of question I refer to .... :)
    If your impression is based on Long's words 'But I think D is better', I think this is just loose wording on his part. I may be wrong, of course, but let's see what he tells us. :)

    Long, have you been asked to choose 'the best answer' or 'the correct answer'?
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Please tell us, Long - do they want you to choose 'the best answer' or 'the correct answer'? If they want 'the correct answer' this is a bad question because it has two correct answers.
     

    PinkParis

    Member
    Thai
    If the test wants you to choose the correct answer, how do they know which is better between A and D which are both correct. There are no obvious rules, aren't they.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I have the impression, from the multiple-choice questions I've seen here, that the student is normally asked to choose the correct answer. These questions test the student's knowledge of grammar; they're not about style preference.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    If the test wants you to choose the correct answer, how do they know which is better between A and D which are both correct. There are no obvious rules, aren't they.
    As we continually tell learners here, there is much to the English language that cannot be expressed as a "rule." People spoke English for many centuries before somebody came up with rules.

    The OP has asked whether his version is "better," not which one is correct. It is not.

    Why?

    Shorter is usually better.

    The biggest reason is that we don't generally expand a simple expression of somebody being busy in the kitchen into a more bloated present progressive/continuous,

    This goes back to the confusion many learners have with the present participle used as a modifier vs the present participle used to form the present progressive/continuous.

    As we continually tell learners here, grammatically correct sentences can be "wrong" for a number of reasons, e.g. logic, common usage, style, etc.

    One problem here, is that we have no idea who wrote this test question and the OP hasn't shared that information with us. This is important because learners often have to deal with non-native English speakers who compose poor questions. (Native speakers can write bad questions, but usually have editors and others on hand to validate the exercises)

    In this case, the source is suspect because the rest of the sentence is not well written since the implied important part seems to be that the medicine was within reach of the child, yet the sentence says that the table was within the reach of the child and the medicine was on the table.

    Remember: The "correct" answer is the one that the person composing a test is looking for.

    Without getting bogged down further in "correctness," the OP asked wither his version was "better." -- It is not.
     
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