How can I agree with this sentence?

3

I sometimes find hard to understand negation in Eng sentences especially when I do some tests. Could you help me to sort out this problem please.

  • The bad weather stopped us from finishing the game so we were unable to continue the match.
  • ……
    1. So did we.
    2. Neither were they.
    3. They were either
    4. So were we.

I chose answer 2 but the key shows 4. Why?

Oyster

Posted 2017-05-04T10:40:45.473

Reputation: 51

3The echo sentence 'So were we' matches '[W]e were unable to continue the match', but it doesn't sound idiomatic to my British ears. I'd expect a paraphrased echo such as 'We were rained off too.' The given sentence has more than a hint of redundancy; some tests are better avoided. – Edwin Ashworth – 2017-05-04T10:46:19.930

@EdwinAshworth It sounds perfectly fine to my Russian ear. It matches and it's the correct answer. – SovereignSun – 2017-05-05T06:58:42.347

@Sovereign Sun I suspect that I have more practice in judging idiomaticity in English. I wouldn't presume, of course, to suggest to you what sounds natural in your mother tongue. – Edwin Ashworth – 2017-05-05T09:28:04.533

@EdwinAshworth I wasn't speaking about idiomaticity. And I didn't want to offend you but why do you think so were we isn't a good answer. Why do you want an idiomatic answer in there? – SovereignSun – 2017-05-05T17:52:11.327

1@Sovereign The primary (and hence default, and the one I'm assuming will be understood on a site aimed at English linguists) sense of 'idiomatic' is 'sounding natural to and commonly used by proficient Anglophones'. I'd assume anyone echoing 'The bad weather stopped us from finishing the game so we were unable to continue the match.' (which is itself very clumsy; I'd expect 'The weather got so bad we were unable to continue the match.') with 'So were we' not to be a fluent native speaker. 'That's what happened in our match too', perhaps. – Edwin Ashworth – 2017-05-05T21:51:23.953

@EdwinAshworth You are confusing English with English used in tests. In Russia it's much worth with tests, they still teach us How do you do, Would you be so kind as to, Farewell and say it's okay to speak like that in English. Tests are even worth than can be. They give us a question that has three correct answers out of four. Or such which haven't a correct answer. – SovereignSun – 2017-05-06T05:59:29.620

They teach us royal English and think everyone in GB and US speaks like that. – SovereignSun – 2017-05-06T06:06:57.357

@SovereignSun ELU and ELL are intended for analysing real English, not the misconceptions of foreign examiners. – Edwin Ashworth – 2017-05-06T07:37:39.013

@EdwinAshworth No, ELL helps people analys all kinds of English and correct what is wrong. – SovereignSun – 2017-05-06T08:32:48.197

@SovereignSun 'It sounds perfectly fine to my Russian ear. It matches and it's the correct answer.' is hardly going to help people speak English in the way native speakers do; as even you admit, there is a real difference between 'English [and] 'English' used in [these] tests'. ELL is aimed at promoting the understanding and use of standard English, not that taught in many (especially older) textbooks (including some printed in the UK and US) and not the English used in these tests. – Edwin Ashworth – 2017-05-06T13:44:54.000

@SovereignSun "It sounds perfectly fine to my Russian ear. It matches and it's the correct answer." is hardly going to help people speak English in the way native speakers do; as even you admit, there is a real difference between "English [and] 'English' used in [these] tests". ELL is aimed at promoting the understanding and use of standard English, not that taught in many (especially older) textbooks (including some printed in the UK and US) and not the English used in these tests. – Edwin Ashworth – 2017-05-06T13:50:26.463

Answers

1

In your sentence The bad weather stopped us from finishing the game so we were unable to continue the match. the construction we were unable with neither would create a double negative - Neither were we unable meaning We were able that's why we use the positive So were we - We too were unable.

If it were The bad weather stopped us from finishing the game so we weren't able to continue the match. then Neither were we would be the correct answer; Neither were we able meaning We weren't able also. The So were we wouldn't be correct since it would mean We too were able.

As for the other 3 answers:

  1. So did we can't be the correct answer, in order for it to be one we need to rephrase the sentence The bad weather stopped us from finishing the game so we discontinued the match.

  2. Neither were they is also incorrect. Since The bad weather stopped us from finishing the game so we were unable to continue the match. is like the second example that I described.

  3. They were either is plain wrong.

SovereignSun

Posted 2017-05-04T10:40:45.473

Reputation: 23 612

Feel free to correct me. – SovereignSun – 2017-05-05T06:59:16.590

Thanks alot for your comment. I could't contact you personally though. I am new here. – Oyster – 2017-05-05T17:08:59.620