My current car, ---- expensive, is very economical.

peptidoglycan

Senior Member
Turkish
My current car, ---- expensive, is very economical.

A) if
B) as
C) despite
D) for all
E) much as

I saw the question in a website of Turkish origin. According to the key, A is correct. To me, it sounds stilted. What do you think? Thanks.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Sounds odd to me, although it's grammatical. Before I looked through the answers, I expected to see an "although."
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    This use of 'if' always seems to me to be very misleading. I expect it to read: My current car, if expensive, is very economical; however, if cheap it is very wasteful. So far I haven't worked out which.

    My advice: prefer a) to all the others, and then use none of them.

    (This is the 7,000th example on this website of badly-devised multiple-choice questions. I think the United Nations Commission against Cruel and Unnatural Punishment should investigate.)

     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Cruel and unusual? A lot depends on what the students have previously been taught. Usually, a test only has to embody the content of the earlier teaching. If they have been specifically taught this use of 'if', then the question is well suited to test it. It is not the function of the test to explain the applicability of the usage.
     
    Last edited:

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    No doubt you're right. So how come all the ones we're asked to comment on here are so bad?

    I repeat: "This use of 'if' always seems to me to be very misleading" ...and that's true whether in a test or in the earlier teaching.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Then again, many idioms are potentially misleading, but one has to learn them in their conventional sense (for example, 'Don't mention it!').
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Either "while" or "though" would be a better choice than "if," but "if" is more acceptable than the other multiple choice options.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    My current car, ---- expensive, is very economical.

    A) if
    B) as
    C) despite
    D) for all
    E) much as

    I saw the question in a website of Turkish origin. According to the key, A is correct. To me, it sounds stilted. What do you think? Thanks.
    They can all be finessed into used with a bit of tweaking. But I agree that the first is the only one that is correct as written

    • My current car, if expensive, is very economical.
    • My current car, as expensive as it is, is very economical to operate.
    • My current car, despite being expensive, is very economical to operate.
    • My current car, for all its expensive purchase price, is very economical to operate.
    • My current car, as much as it is expensive to purchase, it is very economical to use.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The original sentence sounds better (less stilted) if you embellish it a little - as wandle said, it's laconic.

    My current car, if a trifle expensive, is very economical.
    My current car is very economical, if a trifle expensive.

    The only thing that bothers me is that I would say that my car was expensive (to buy) but it is economical. With this construction, we have to understand
    it as "my car is expensive to buy new, but it's very economical".

    My dog, if fierce and savage in appearance, is in fact very friendly when you get to know him.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    [...]

    The only thing that bothers me is that I would say that my car was expensive (to buy) but it is economical. With this construction, we have to understand
    it as "my car is expensive to buy new, but it's very economical".[...

    .
    The was/is could be literal. Unlikely, but possible.

    My 1949 VW Beetle, fully restored, was very expensive to buy, but is very economical to use.

     
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