two questions by my students, help me

China
April 11, 2007 7:01pm CST
1._____ is a good chance _____ he has already arrived. a. there, that b. it, that I think b may be better, but the key is a 2. The prices of water, electricity and gas have_____ for years in the new district. a. remained unchanged b. kept unchanged I think both are right, but the key is a, why?
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6 responses
• Canada
12 Apr 07
"A" is definitely the better answer for both questions; I can tell that by hearing them. I am so sorry though...I have been away from teaching the rules of grammar for too long to be able to tell you the reasons why.
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• Canada
12 Apr 07
Sorry, freshrainer, I can see that all we are doing here is once again just reaffirming the correct answers...which you already know. I wish I could help you. It has been so long since I have taught grammar that I cannot remember the rules any longer. I know what to do, I just don't know why I do it.
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• China
12 Apr 07
thank you all the same. I will consult some better dictionaries.
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• Canada
12 Apr 07
I am in the process of slowly going through all my books...I have thousands of them. If I find some really good grammar books, I will get your address and mail them to you. Some may be old, but they will have the rules. This may take a few months though so be patient. Hopefully, I haven't given them away.
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@cardizon (223)
• Philippines
12 Apr 07
for 1, a is correct. the use of 'it' connotes 'being definite' or 'being sure', which is the contrary to what the statement wants to say ('good chance' -- meaning not sure. the use of 'there' saves the sentence because 'there' connotes some action or event that might or could happen. 'there' some sort of uncertainty which matches 'good chance'. for 2, a is also the answer. we argue because of the words "kept" and "remained". to my understanding, to use "kept unchanged" we need a doer of the action "kept". let's ask ourselves, who kept it unchanged?. "remained unchanged" seems to fit in the sentence because it is not necessarily associated with the question of the doer. these are just ideas of course.
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• China
12 Apr 07
thank you. I am not sure about the first explaining. as to 2, maybe it can be changed into " have been kept". just my idea.
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• Philippines
17 Apr 07
because the word combination in a. does make a lot of sense when added compared to b.
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@easyzheng (666)
• China
12 Apr 07
For the first one, a is the correct answer because "there is a good chance" here means "it is probable". As for the second one, I'm not quite sure of the reason. Maybe it is a kind of habit. We can say " Keep +(n) adj, or Keep + (sb)doing" , but not "sth keeps +past participal". It sounds strange.
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@winterose (39931)
• Canada
12 Apr 07
I think the key is wrong a sounds like a foreign person translating from his language to english, I have never heard any english person say, it is a chance, there is a good chance is the right way, the second key is right, remained unchanged, meaning stayed the same, kept unchanged is just not proper english. the second would apply on if it was not the subject, he kept is room on changed. He room (subject) remained unchanged
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@royal52gens (5380)
• United States
12 Apr 07
"A" is the correct answer to both sentences. It has to do with the rules of grammar and the proper usage of words. Try saying each sentence out loud using the answers from "a" and "b". If it does not sound right or feel right, then most likely that is the wrong answer.
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