This lesson is about the questions on the test that ask you to make some decisions about what the proper tone of a phrase should be, or the proper level of style. And what I mean by this is that, on the test, the passages that you read. They usually will sound like something you would turn in as an, as a paper to your high school teacher in your English class or history class. So you want to avoid slang, or you want to avoid very colloquial or too informal expressions on the test. Read full transcript
Always think about the language that you, you would use if you were writing something for an assignment, not the language you would use if you were just talking to a friend. So let me show you an example of what I mean by that. And I've seen a ques, a question similar to this a few times before on the test. So we have, Instead of presenting a rebuttal to my argument, she simply nodded and went, That sounds fine.
Now, this may not sound all that bad to you because it's slang that we use all the time. Such as, I was talking to my brother last night and he went, you can't play with my video games. Or, he was all like, you can't play with my video games. But that's slang, it's not technically correct.
So we need to fix that, we need to make sure that the level of style here is appropriate, that it has an academic tone, basically. So, Instead of presenting a rebuttal to my argument, she simply nodded and muttered, That sounds fine. Well, that's much better. That's a real word.
That can properly used to introduce a quote. Let's try C. Instead of presenting a rebuttal to my argument, she simply nodded and was like, That sounds fine. That's that slang again that I was talking about, that's in A. And the D, instead of presenting a rebuttal to my argument, she simply nodded and says, That sounds fine.
Now, you may think that that sounds okay, and how do we decide between muttered and says? But, if that's the case and you've got distracted by that slang, you show you're really proud of yourself, that you didn't fall into that trap, and you forgot about verb tense. So, this is in past tense, she nodded and muttered, so if this said, said, then that could be an okay option, she said that sounds fine, or she muttered that sounds fine, but it doesn't.
It says it's present tense, so that makes this one wrong, and our answer is B. Let's take a look at one more question. The weather forecast prepared us for a deluge of rain. Instead we emerged from our vacation tired of sunshine. Which choice most effectively uses ironic imagery to emphasize that the weather was the opposite of what was expected?
So this is a little bit of a different question. It's not just asking us to maintain an academic style. It's asking us to pick the right tone. We want it to be a little bit ironic. So, tired of sunshine, hm, I don't know, maybe. Let's take a look at B, basking in sunshine, instead we emerged from our vacation basking in sunshine.
I don't see the irony there, necessarily. C, having received our fill of sunshine, or D, this is an interesting phrase, soaking wet with sunshine. Now, most of the time, you probably don't describe yourself as being soaking wet with sunshine, because sunshine doesn't actually get you wet, it's rain that gets you wet.
But irony means the opposite of what was expected. So if you're being ironic, you are going to use words, or phrases, or descriptions, or say something that would be the opposite of what is expected. So, let's go ahead and take a look at the sentence again. The weather forecast prepared us for a deluge of rain. Instead, we emerge from our vacation soaking wet with sunshine, that's the only one of these three choices that is a little cheeky, it's a little ironic.
It's using some humor there to describe how they were covered in sunshine, so this is a bit of a trickier tone question. But, you want to be prepared to see examples like this on the test. So hopefully, these examples have prepared you to watch out for them when you are actually taking the test.