Postby jiang on Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:20 am

Dear Prof.,

Please read the following:

The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.

My first confusion is:
Generally “it” should refer to self-reliance but if it is so then sentence goes like this:
“In most cases virtue is conformity. But self-reliance is just the opposite of conformity. Self-reliance does not love realities and creators. Self-reliance loves names and customs” which I don’t think makes sense because this sounds like those of “conformity”.
So “it" should refer to “conformity” though the sentence is not in a structure that I am familiar with due to the use of it. Is that right?

And if “it” refers to conformity then the key should be “c” based on the following question:
According to the passage, self-reliance is marked by _____.
a. conformity b. names c. creation d. customs

Is that right?

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thank you in advance.

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Re: comprehension

Postby prof on Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:04 pm

This is not a well-written text. However, with the sentence 'Self-reliance is its aversion' the 'it' does refer to 'conformity' since otherwise the sentence would need to be made reflexive for example by writing 'Self-reliance is its own aversion'. ('Aversion' is also the wrong word since this means 'dislike', 'repugnance' or 'hostility toward'.)

Again, to make sense, the second 'It' should refer to 'self-reliance' but appears to refer to 'conformity'. Since it is hard to understand the writer's meaning, it is also impossible to work out the correct answer. Even if self reliance or conformity 'loves' something, this does not mean it is 'marked' by it.

Overall, I suggest that the quality of English in this text is too poor to be able to extract enough meaning for a 'correct' answer, though your approach seems to be the most logical.
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