heavily populated - highly populated

littledragon

Member
Turkish
Sudan is the Arab word for ''land of the blacks'', but only the southern part of the country is ______ populated by black Africans.

A)gradually
B)heavily
C)highly
D)greatly
E)fluently

The answer is given as heavily. But also highly sounds correct to me. Are there two correct answers?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Sudan is the Arab word for ''land of the blacks'', but only the southern part of the country is ______ populated by black Africans.

    A)gradually
    B)heavily
    C)highly
    D)greatly
    E)fluently

    The answer is given as heavily. But highly sounds correct to me. Are there two correct answers?

    Thanks in advance.
    No, "highly" doesn't work. In terms of population, we say "heavily" and "lightly". If the statistics were reversed, would you use "lowly-populated" (the obvious antonym to "highly")?
     

    littledragon

    Member
    Turkish
    No, "highly" doesn't work. In terms of population, we say "heavily" and "lightly". If the statistics were reversed, would you use "lowly-populated" (the obvious antonym to "highly")?
    OXFORD COLLOCATIONS| dictionary for students of English
    populated adj.
    VERBS be
    ADV. densely, heavily, highly, thickly the most densely populated part of the island | sparsely, thinly
    PREP. with The prison was populated with people of every trade and profession.

    Oxford Collocations says that highly is used with populated. Could you please clarify this?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    You shouldn't use densely-populated in this sentence.
    It would be OK to say that the southern part of the country is densely-populated. But not to say more.

    I don't like any of the suggested answers as good natural English.
     

    littledragon

    Member
    Turkish
    You shouldn't use densely-populated in this sentence.
    It would be OK to say that the southern part of the country is densely-populated. But not to say more.

    I don't like any of the suggested answers as good natural English.

    1. but only the southern part of the country is ______ populated.
    2. but only the southern part of the country is ______ populated by black Africans.

    In 1.sentence, populated is adjective used after linking verb "to be". But in 2. sentence populate is verb, and there is a passive structure. Is this the important point clarifying the question?
     

    littledragon

    Member
    Turkish
    1. but only the southern part of the country is ______ populated.
    2. but only the southern part of the country is ______ populated by black Africans.

    In 1.sentence, populated is adjective used after linking verb "to be". But in 2. sentence populate is verb, and there is a passive structure. Is this the important point clarifying the question?
    Could anyone explain this please? Thanks in advance.

     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    1. but only the southern part of the country is ______ populated.
    2. but only the southern part of the country is ______ populated by black Africans.

    In 1.sentence, populated is adjective used after linking verb "to be". But in 2. sentence populate is verb, and there is a passive structure. Is this the important point clarifying the question?
    Yes, I think it is an important point, littledragon.

    The Oxford Collocations dictionary entry you quote is for the adjective populated, which does collocate with all of densely, heavily, highly, thickly (though most frequently, I suspect, with densely).

    In the multiple-choice question you have, is populated is, as you say, a passive verb. Heavily is the only posssible choice, but even that produces an awkward sentence, as panj suggests. It's the equivalent of the active

    but black Africans heavily populate only the southern part of the country

    which sounds distinctly odd.
     
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