cast doubts on social media was a reliable source of news.

grammar-in-use

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello everyone,

This is from a reading comprehension test.

According to the Paragraphs 1 and 2, many young Americans cast doubts on

  A. the justification of the news-filtering practice.

  B. people’s preference for social media platforms.

  C. the administration's ability to handle information.

  D. social media was a reliable source of news.


The given answer is D. That is to say,

A. Many young Americans cast doubts on social media was a reliable source of news.

Question 1: Is Sentence “A” grammatically correct? I doubt it. Also, I don’t think Choice D is a good or valid one because it is a clause, whereas the other three choices are noun phrases. In general, all choices are expected to be parallel in structure, aren't they? With this in mind, I'd like to rephrase "A" into "B":

B. Many young Americans cast doubt on the reliability of social media as a source of news.

Question 2: Is the rewording grammatically correct?

Question 3: By the way, do you normally say “cast doubts on…” or “cast doubt on…”?

Thank you very much in advance!

(Sorry about that, Moderator, but why is the rest of the text always shown in bold?)

<Edited for format. Don't put B between square brackets in the text as this is interpreted as a command to employ bold face. Nat, Moderator>

Thank you very much for telling me that, Nat! No wonder it would show in bold, no matter how many times I tried to edit.
 
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  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Are you sure you haven’t added a “w” that shouldn’t be there?

    social media as a reliable source of news.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "Was a reliable source of news" is odd in "A".

    2. Your rewording seems fine to me.

    3. I ordinarily say "cast doubt on".
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Moderator's note: Duplicate threads have been merged. Copyright hadn't seen the above posts (posted in a different thread) when he posted this one. Cagey, moderator

    This seems to be messed up in a couple of ways – first, I don't think that we have the reading portion of the test, so it's not possible to determine what the right answer is, and second, both the introduction and the D answer are not correct grammatically.

    Many young Americans cast doubt on social media as a source of reliable news.

    Your B rewording is not correct because it doesn't mean the same thing:

    B. Many young Americans cast doubt on the reliability of social media as a source of news. – social media is very reliable as a source of news; it is not as reliable as a source of reliable news.

    Note the problem in the D answer: it speaks of a "reliable source," when the concern is about "reliable news."
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thanks for the link. I will say, upon reflection, that "a reliable source of news" may be understood to mean "a source of reliable news" in the way we talk today. :)
     

    grammar-in-use

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thanks for the link. I will say, upon reflection, that "a reliable source of news" may be understood to mean "a source of reliable news" in the way we talk today. :)
    Thank you so much, Copyright! I think so, considering that you native speakers normally tend to say "a hot cup of coffee", where "coffee" is hot (well, "a cup" is also arguably hot), or " a valuable parcel of diamonds", where "diamonds" are valuable, not a parcel, or "a blank sheet of paper", where "paper" is blank, not "sheet":D You know what, in Chinese we would have to say "a cup of hot coffee", "a parcel of valuable diamonds", or "a sheet of blank paper". "A hot cup of coffee" etc would sound very odd to our Chinese ears. ;)
     
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