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horrendous vs. viable



 
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Expressions: 'at night' vs. 'for night' | Surely vs. certainly
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horrendous vs. viable #1 (permalink) Sat Feb 12, 2011 19:38 pm   horrendous vs. viable
 

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #297 "Bedbugs!", question 3

The history of the ......... bedbug dates back to some of the earliest civilizations.

(a) incontinent
(b) infestations
(c) horrendous
(d) viable

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #297 "Bedbugs!", answer 3

The history of the horrendous bedbug dates back to some of the earliest civilizations.

Correct answer: (c) horrendous

Your answer was: incorrect
The history of the viable bedbug dates back to some of the earliest civilizations.
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The history of the horrendous/ viable bedbug dates back to some of the earliest civilizations.

-I chose "viable" in the test and it turned to be incorrect. Why?
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Eugene2114
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horrendous vs. viable #2 (permalink) Sat Feb 12, 2011 20:03 pm   horrendous vs. viable
 

Hello Eugene,

This is a particularly tough question.
As 'viable' can mean 'capable of living or surviving successfully' (a description which can be applied to the bedbugs), it would not usually be used in the manner required in this sentence.
However, it does seem unfair, so perhaps the original test writer will reconsider its inclusion as an option.
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horrendous vs. viable #3 (permalink) Sat Feb 12, 2011 20:30 pm   horrendous vs. viable
 

Hi,

I feel that 'viable' would not work with 'bedbugs' because it has no reference to the circumstances in which it would survive, which would be its particular use for plants and animals and with reference to bed bugs in relation to other creatures. My only concern is with the level. I think 'elementary' isn't suitable given the vocabulary.

Alan
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horrendous vs. viable #4 (permalink) Sat Feb 12, 2011 21:45 pm   horrendous vs. viable
 

Thanks both Beees and Alan. I agree with Alan as to the suitability of the test question.
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Eugene2114
I'm a Communicator ;-)


Joined: 22 Dec 2010
Posts: 2998

horrendous vs. viable #5 (permalink) Sat Feb 12, 2011 22:07 pm   horrendous vs. viable
 

This same test can also be found in the 'intermediate' section, so there is obviously an error of some kind.
http://www.english-test.net/esl/learn/english/grammar/ii885/esl-test.php

Compared to the other tests in the 'elementary' category, this one also seems to involve a lot of reading (though the vocabulary is simpler than the bedbugs test).
http://www.english-test.net/esl/learn/english/grammar/ei298/esl-test.php
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