Any questions not answered in #2 pencil will receive a score of zero
August 13, 2009 10:24 AM Subscribe
Grammarfilter! Oh my. Is it "X and Y are two side of the same coin" or "X and Y two sides of the same coin"? This was an SAT sample question, and I, a poor girl's tutor, swore that "sides" must be plural in this context. Then the sample test website told me I was wrong, that it's "two side".
posted by saysthis to writing & language (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Bonus: The website also told me that my understanding of the perfect aspect was suspect, via:
"If only I had read the instruction manual before taking apart the engine." WRONG (this was apparently simple past?)
"If only I read the manual before taking apart the engine." CORRECT (this is perfect?)
I'd appreciate some resolution here. Now, granted, my use of grammar isn't perfect in this particular question, but that's because, hello, people don't speak in "perfect" College Board grammar, nor is my particular specialty SAT English requirements. I'm a language coach, as dopey as that sounds. I work with fairly advanced ESL students to kind of drag the language out of them, with significant explanation of BASIC grammar in their NATIVE language. Which is to say that I'm an expert in English as it's used, not as prescriptivists think it ought to be.
Disclaimer: I took our apparently unwitting client because my boss told me to. I'm kind of stuck with this girl, and I want to do right by her, so I'm asking.
I'm 99.99% sure I'm right in both these questions, but I need some freakin' professional help here. Do I really suck at perfect tense? Am I one of a majority who's out butchering an idiom that ought to be a torchlight for proper plural development? Any and all criticism and links are welcome.