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Writing Question

RAlec114RAlec114 Posts: 2,644- Senior Member
edited December 2009 in SAT Preparation
#12 Section 10 Test 1 BB

...Steve and Rick shared a determination to become a singing duo
...Steve and Rick shared a determination of becoming a singing duo

Why is the first one right? and the second one wrong? I'm looking for a rule I can use for the future. Is there an idiom involved?
Post edited by RAlec114 on

Replies to: Writing Question

  • HopefulEagle86HopefulEagle86 Posts: 1,380- Member
    I think that question could be reported to collegeboard. Steve and Rick are plural when there is more than 1 person, either way if one of them is the right answer, it should be singing duoS.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Posts: 12,494Registered User Senior Member
    HopefulEagle, "duo" means pair.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Posts: 12,494Registered User Senior Member
    From Gerunds and Infinitives: Their Noun Roles,

    "The infinitive is often a complement used to help define an abstract noun. Here is a very partial list of abstract nouns, enough to suggest their nature. Try following these adjectives with an infinitive phrase (their desire to play in the championship game, a motivation to pass all their courses, her permission to stay up late, a gentle reminder to do your work) to see how the phrase modifies and focuses the noun."

    "determination" is one of those abstract nouns requiring an infinitive complement. Of course, most native English speakers would just rely on their ears and be correct.
  • RAlec114RAlec114 Posts: 2,644- Senior Member
    Wow this is more complex than I expected. Thanks Silverturtle. Would say that when in doubt, go infinitive? is the infinitive ever wrong?
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Posts: 12,494Registered User Senior Member
    Would say that when in doubt, go infinitive? is the infinitive ever wrong?

    I'm not sure exactly what situation you're referring to; there are plenty of times when the infinitive is wrong.

    Are you a native English speaker? If so, these types of questions are best solved by ear.
  • RAlec114RAlec114 Posts: 2,644- Senior Member
    I started speaking english at age 4. While it does occur to me that the infinitive sounds better, it's not blatantly obvious in my mind.

    Whatever, I'll remember this rule. abstract noun + infinitive. Thanks.
  • sat4lyfesat4lyfe Posts: 361- Member
    determination to i checked the answer in a practice booklet exact same question


    those question keeping recurring in tests





    bob and joe shared attempts of becoming actors

    bob and joe shared attempts to become actors
  • bolandnmbolandnm Posts: 18Registered User New Member
    When in doubt, go with what seems more active. "Of becoming" is more passive in this situation.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Posts: 12,494Registered User Senior Member
    "Of becoming" is more passive in this situation.

    The distinction isn't a continuum.
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