Have you forgotten {to lock/locking} the back door frequently?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by loverofenglish, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. loverofenglish Senior Member

    Vietnam
    Vietnamese
    Hi! I have a question.
    Have (A) you forgotten (B) to lock (C) the back door frequently(D)?
    The key is C ("locking" instead of "to lock"), but I am wondering whether it is right, please.
     
  2. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    Have you forgotten locking the door - have you forgotten that you did lock the door; Have you forgotten to lock the door - is the door locked now or not?
     
  3. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    But don't you find "Have you forgotten locking the back door frequently?" strange?
     
  4. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    Oh, the 'frequently' thing adds a definite touch of weirdness. :D
     
  5. Franco-filly Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - Southern England
    I agree that the "frequently" makes it strange. You would think you would remember a regular activity / a habit on at least one occasion.

    Unless "frequently" relates to the forgetting and the question is supposed to mean "Have you frequently forgotten that you have locked the back door?" :confused:
     
  6. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Yes, I think the original would make more sense, wouldn't it?:
    Have you forgotten to lock the back door frequently?
     
  7. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    But that sounds as if frequently modifies to lock, whereas it modifies have forgotten.

    My preference: Have you frequently forgotten to lock the back door?
     
  8. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    Now that I think of it, Lover, what is the purpose of this exercise??? And what is the task?
     
  9. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Thank you for the answers.

    Boozer, the task is that you should define which of the underlined words in the sentence is wrong.
     
  10. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    I am getting confused. Vik, you are thanking as though this was your question. And you seem to know with certainty (while I only suspected) that this is an error correction exercise. :) But if we know that this is the case, then the correct answer should be D (frequently), which should simply be removed.
     
  11. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    I thanked just because I got some replies to my questions (or maybe I'm just too polite:D).
    In my English class we had similar sentences with wrong underlined words, so I'm familiar with things like that.
     
  12. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    Moving "frequently" would make it clearer, but it is not wrong.
     
  13. loverofenglish Senior Member

    Vietnam
    Vietnamese
    Thank you all very much.
    I am wondering whether it is right if "frequently" is replaced with "recently".
    - Have you forgotten to lock the back door recently?
     
  14. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    It is also correct, but it means something different.
    Frequently = Have you forgotten on many occasions to lock the back door?
    Recently = Have you forgotten once in the near past to lock the back door
     
  15. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    And the past should be near enough for the door to still be not locked? (e.g. when I left home today)
     
  16. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    Yes, and I find it extraordinary that the key suggested that "to lock" is wrong and "locking" is correct. The position of "frequently" is a bit odd, but nowhere near as odd as saying "locking".
     
  17. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Thank you.
     
  18. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    No. That would just be "Have you forgotten to lock the back door?"
     
  19. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    With "locking," it means Have you forgotten (that you performed the action of locking the back door) frequently? In other words, you lock the back door and frequently don't remember having done it. You get a few miles away and think "I wonder if the back door is locked. I don't remember locking it."
     
  20. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    I mean the fact of not locking should still be important. If it happened, e.g., yesterday, and I'm at home now, why to use the present perfect instead of the simple past?
     
  21. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    Yes, I know what it means, and I still think it a strange sentence, but even stranger that "to lock" is considered an error that a student is expected to correct.
     
  22. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    There's nothing wrong with "strange." The exercise is not to make the least strange sentence possible, but to correct any outright errors. As we frequently find here, the question is tragically flawed. There's nothing actually wrong with the original sentence other than that the test maker's mind was firmly locked on one intended meaning and didn't notice that the sentence was correct as-is (or the test maker just has no idea what they're doing ;)).
     

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