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on the alert



 
ESL Forums | English Teacher Explanations (ESL Tests)
How long have you worked here (at this place) as a city planner (in this job). | Idiom: 'grasp it at the first time'
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on the alert #1 (permalink) Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:31 am   on the alert
 

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #555 "English Slang Idioms (297)", question 4

"The police have asked us all to be on the ......... for an older man in a green pickup truck. Apparently, he is parking his van in the lots of local businesses and is abducting women as they walk to their cars. If anyone sees someone that fits that description, either let me know or call the police immediately, " the manager told her staff.

(a) alert
(b) eye
(c) seeing
(d) observe

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #555 "English Slang Idioms (297)", answer 4

"The police have asked us all to be on the alert for an older man in a green pickup truck. Apparently, he is parking his van in the lots of local businesses and is abducting women as they walk to their cars. If anyone sees someone that fits that description, either let me know or call the police immediately, " the manager told her staff.

Correct answer: (a) alert
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where do we use 'the", i always confuse usasge of "the' article, for example, in this story, " if anyone sees someone that fits "the description" or "that description"?
Vara
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on the alert #2 (permalink) Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:15 am   on the alert
 

Here, 'that' is used to indicate the description which was just given. 'The' could have been used too.
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on the alert #3 (permalink) Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:31 am   on the alert
 

Hi Vera,

The distinction between 'that' and 'the' in your sentence is - 'that' is demonstrative and 'the' is definite. 'That' is precise in that it refers to 'description' as indicated in the previous sentence and not to any other description. 'The' simply refers back to a description of 'older man'.

Alan
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