They couldn't climb up...

fire fly

Senior Member
vietnamese
Can someone help me with this question?
They couldn't climb up the mountain because of the storm.
A. The storm discouraged them from climbing up the mountain.
B. The storm made them impossible to climb up the mountain.
C. The storm made it not capable of climbing up the mountain.
D. Their climbing up the mountain was unable due to the storm.
I chose "B" because I think "could" has the meaning of "be possible" but the answer is "A". I don't know why. Thanks in advance.
 
  • envie de voyager

    Senior Member
    english-canadian
    The answer is A. This is the only answer that indicates that they could have climbed the mountain, but decided not to. All the other answers indicate that it would be impossible to climb the mountain. A storm might make it very difficult to climb a mountain, but it would still be possible. Plus, the grammar in answers B, C and D is not correct.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Gosh! :( Who wrote this exercise with these 3 dreadfully ungrammatical options? Maybe that is the point! I would never give students ungrammatical options, unless correcting them was the aim of the exercise.

    Even the original isn't perfect because 'up' is unnecessary.

    'They couldn't' means 'something was not possible (for them)', or "they were unable to"

    Both B and D are possible for meaning, but they are unacceptable grammatically.

    B The storm made them impossible to climb up the mountain.

    The storm made it imposssible for them to climb the mountain

    D. Their climbing up the mountain was unable due to the storm.

    They were unable to climb the mountain due to the storm

    Climbing the mountain was impossible ( for them) due to the storm

    To my mind, A doesn't mean exactly the same thing, although it implies it. However A is the only option that is grammatically correct.

    Hermione
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Having read through the options, I just felt extremely nitpicky. Whether they're climbing up or down doesn't come into it. There is no given context.

    :)
    Hermione
     
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