Bob did this/that/so

Discussion in 'English Only' started by avidsuper, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. avidsuper Senior Member

    Which of the following is an INCORRECT response to the question "Who reported the news to the teacher?"

    a. Bob did b. Bob did this C. Bob did that d. Bob did so

    I chose b, but I'm not sure and can't explain why. Can somebody help?
  2. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    a. is the only answer I would consider both grammatically correct and colloquial in the context you've provided.
  3. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    Sure, but this is a question avidsuper needs to be able to answer. Actually, all of them are grammatical.
    Bob did - normal everyday English.
    Bob did this - "this" refers to "reporting the news to the teacher".
    Bob did that - "that" refers to "reporting the news to the teacher". I can't see why this should not be accepted as normal English.
    Bob did so - correct, but much less common, English.

    The one that sticks out as not in any way idiomatic is Bob did this. The act of "reporting the news to the teacher" is remote, not near, so it is "that" not "this".
  4. avidsuper Senior Member


    Thank you! that answered my question.
  5. Parla Member Emeritus

    New York City
    English - US
    In AE, too, the un-idiomatic answer would be (b). The others all seem fine to me.

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