Mother tongue

 

 

 

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Education

  

 

 

In this experiment, you are asked to read a few short paragraphs, each describing a situation. After each paragraph there is a last sentence preceded by an arrow (→). You must judge the naturalness of this last sentence by selecting a number on a 1-5 scale. A "natural" sentence is one that you can imagine using yourself or a sentence you can imagine being used by other native speakers. Please only judge the naturalness of the sentence following the arrow (and not the whole paragraph).

 


 

1



Maria and Alex go on holiday together. They both sleep in single rooms. As they meet in the lobby, Alex says:

 

→ I am room 222. And you?

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

2



As Tom and Peter talk about what books they had to read at school, Peter asks Tom:

 

→ Did you have to read the books written by Shakespeare at school?

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

3



Alex and Maria love to read books. During the lunch break, they go out to eat together. During the meal, they come to speak about linguistics. Alex asks Maria:

 

→ Do you like to read Croft?

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

4



Alex and Maria talk about politics. Recently, a new president was elected in the country. Alex says about the new president:

 

→ He is our only hope.

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

5



Alex and Maria love to read books. During the lunch break, they go out to eat together. During the meal, they come to speak about literature. Alex asks Maria:

 

→ Do you like to read the books written by Plato?

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

6



Alex and Maria talk about the situation in the company. The company has been showing bad results lately, so the CEO was dismissed and replaced by a new person. Maria notes to Alex:

 

→ The new boss is good news.

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

7



Alex and Maria blaspheme about the new employee in the office. Alex notices that the new employee is very beautiful and comes to the office with makeup every day. Maria obviously doesn't like the new colleague and says to Alex:

 

→ The woman is not more than a beautiful body.

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

8



Alex and Maria slander about the new employee at the office. Alex mentions that the new employee is very beautiful and comes to the office with makeup every day. Maria obviously doesn't like the new colleague and says to Alex:

 

→ The woman is not more than a pretty face.

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

9



Maria and Alex go on holiday together. They both sleep in single rooms. As they meet in the lobby, Alex says:

 

→ And? Which room are you?

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

10



All parents from a primary school are invited to the performance of a play performed by the students of the local school. In the play, the students have different roles and costumes. After the play, all the students return to the stage in their costumes and the audience gives a standing ovation. One of the fathers points at the stage and says proudly to another father:

 

→ I am "the cowboy"

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

11



Susanne and Anna both live in a suburb. The two have agreed to go shopping in the city center on Saturday. But since Susanne does not have a car, Anna has agreed to pick Susanne up at her house. On Saturday, Anna arrives at Susanne's home and Susanne opens the door. Since Susanne can't see Anna's car outside the house, she thinks that Anna may have forgotten that they wanted to go by car. When asked where the car is, Anna answers:

 

→ The Opel is mine

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

12



Alex and Maria chat together. Maria has heard that Alex broke up with his ex-girlfriend. Of course Maria wants to know how that could happen. Alex answers.

 

→ I had to constantly pay for that woman. She was my ruin.

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

13



Maria and Alex are both admirers of classical music and play piano in their spare time. Maria asks Alex:

 

→ Do you prefer to play the songs composed by Bach or Beethoven?

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

14



Alex and Maria are both passionate readers. During lunch, they sit together at a table and talk about literature. Alex mentions that he is a big fan of Plato's works. Mary reacts and says:

 

→ The books written by Plato are difficult to read

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

15



Alex meets Maria at the village meeting. Alex realizes that this time a lot of people have appeared and says to Maria:

 

→ The whole village came.

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

16



Alex and Maria talk about how they get to work in the morning. Alex says:

 

→ I come with my Ford

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

17



Alex is invited to a press conference and he has to represent the New York Times there. The event was supposed to start a long time ago and Alex asks his colleague why it takes so long this time. He answers:

 

→ The Washington Post has not yet arrived.

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

18



Alex and Maria love to read books. During the lunch break, they go out to eat together. During the meal, they come to speak about literature. Alex asks Maria:

 

→ Do you like to read the books written by Dostoevsky?

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

19



Alex and Maria talk about what kind of car they drive. Alex says:

 

→ I drive a Ford

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.

 


 

20



Susanne wants to surprise her husband, who loves sports cars. So she goes to a store and rents a Lamborghini. Her husband unexpectedly waits for Susanne at home. When Susanne arrives home and enters the front door, she goes to her husband, shows him the keys to the Lamborghini and says:

 

→ This is parked outside

 

 

 

If you think that the sentence following (→) sounds very unnatural, please correct it in a way that it sounds more natural.