that was blocked / blocking > out the light

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JJJenifer

Senior Member
Taiwan/Chinese
Hi, everyone,

I found a reading question without answers from a mock exams as below:

...According to this theory, the asteroid threw huge mounts of dust and water vapor into the atmosphere, ....... out the light of the sun, the vegetation died off, and the dinosaurs starved to death.

a. which blocks b. to block c. blocking d. that was blocked

I thought d was correct.

But later I found the same but more complete article on the internet, and it was "blocking" in the sentence.

With "blocking" at the blank, I know it means that "the asteroid blocked out of the light" of the sun.

But can I use "that was blocked" to say that "the atmosphere got blocked out the light of the sun"?

Thanks very much in advance.
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    They are probably looking for "which blocks out" but I would use "...which blocked out..."
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Option (d) doesn't fit there because "was blocked" is passive voice construction, and the sentence means "...the asteroid blocked out the light of the sun.

    For (d) to work, the sentence would have to somehow be rewritten as "The light of the sun, that was blocked by the asteroid, ...."
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The issue I see (and I think Donny did too) is you need parallelism between the verbs.

    ...According to this theory, the asteroid threw huge mounts of dust and water vapor into the atmosphere, ....... out the light of the sun, the vegetation died off, and the dinosaurs starved to death.


    "Threw" is in the past tense. So to be parallel verb for "block" in the past tense would be "blocked". So you can use "blocked" or you can change the "threw" to "throws" and then use "blocks".

    Of course, since this occurred in the past the past tense is required.
     
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