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ever vs. always



 
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ever vs. always #1 (permalink) Fri Oct 10, 2008 15:53 pm   ever vs. always
 

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #708 "Ever vs. never", question 8

B: It's probably a good idea to enrol on one if you ......... have a free evening.

(a) always
(b) sometimes
(c) never
(d) ever

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #708 "Ever vs. never", answer 8

B: It's probably a good idea to enrol on one if you ever have a free evening.

Correct answer: (d) ever

Your answer was: incorrect
B: It's probably a good idea to enrol on one if you always have a free evening.
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Can you explain why "always" is incorrect in this sentence?

tuyet
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ever vs. always #2 (permalink) Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:59 am   ever vs. always
 

Good question...always can work also. I think this test is not well written.
Diverhank
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ever vs. always #3 (permalink) Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:33 am   ever vs. always
 

Hi Torsten

I see that this test is brand new. What is the current procedure for test editing/peer review prior to putting the tests online?
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ever vs. always #4 (permalink) Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:20 am   ever vs. always
 

Hi Tuyet,

This test is primarily about the use of ever/never as the title suggets. I had in mind the use of 'ever' in this particular sentence rather than 'always' since the comment really indicates: if there is (ever) a possibility of your having a free evening. I hope this explains the reason behind the choice.

Alan
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ever vs. always #5 (permalink) Sat Oct 11, 2008 16:44 pm   ever vs. always
 

To me, 'ever' sounds much better here and makes much more sense than 'always'.

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ever vs. always #6 (permalink) Sat Oct 11, 2008 17:49 pm   ever vs. always
 

Hi Torsten

The way the sentence is worded, the use of "ever" suggests attending a one-day "course" (which takes place on one single evening). However, more often than not, attending a language course involves multiple, regularly scheduled sessions over a period of weeks or months -- not just one single random session.

.
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ever vs. always #7 (permalink) Sat Oct 11, 2008 17:57 pm   ever vs. always
 

Hi Amy,

In many cases it's the just the very first evening of a course you need to make time for. Once you are enrolled and have paid for the course you will find the time to attend it because you don't want to lose your money. That's the reason why many of the German government funded English courses are rather ineffective.

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ever vs. always #8 (permalink) Sat Oct 11, 2008 18:00 pm   ever vs. always
 

Hi Torsten

Sorry, but that only sounds like a rather bad excuse not to change a poorly worded test sentence. ;)
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ever vs. always #9 (permalink) Sat Oct 11, 2008 18:00 pm   ever vs. always
 

diverhank wrote:
Good question...always can work also. I think this test is not well written.


Hi Hank,

Are you referring to just one question or the entire test?

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ever vs. always #10 (permalink) Sat Oct 11, 2008 20:27 pm   ever vs. always
 

You usually don't enroll in whatever it is (a class?) if you only have one free evening as the word "ever" suggests. I think depending on context, either ever or always can work. A good test sentence should only have one correct answer, imho. BTW, Sorry, I meant the question. I'm just talking about this question. I haven't viewed the whole test.
Diverhank
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ever vs. always #11 (permalink) Sat Oct 11, 2008 23:02 pm   ever vs. always
 

I would agree with Amy and Hank.

The test as it stands seems to suggest (bizarrely) that the free evening will consist of enrolling on an Italian course; whereas the intended meaning is that the Italian course will take place on a free evening.

Best wishes,

MrP
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ever vs. always #12 (permalink) Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:08 am   ever vs. always
 

Hi,

Here they come again out of the woodwork, our sad little band of malcontents, self appointed arbiters and would be tweakers, led by the Chief Tweaker and all apparently desperate for anonymity in fancy dress either of name or image. What did we do without them in the old days?

Alan
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ever vs. always #13 (permalink) Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:02 am   ever vs. always
 

Hi Alan

I think if you'll step back, take a deep breath, and try to look at the sentence more objectively, you'll better understand the points that have been made. I'm well aware that test-writing is no piece of cake, and it's wonderful that you have so many on the site. But editing and input are by no means unusual concepts.
.
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ever vs. always #14 (permalink) Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:42 am   ever vs. always
 

Hello Alan and Torsten,

It is only a minor point; and I can understand your position.

But if three native speakers have doubts about a question, it usually means that something is not quite right.

Best wishes,

MrP
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