Question on English

  • Thread starter jobyts
  • Start date
  • #1
201
44

Main Question or Discussion Point

Obama is the 44th President of USA. or,
The country x is the 44th largest in the world.

To get an answer 44th, what's the question to ask?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
russ_watters
Mentor
19,336
5,372
Chartreuce moose.
 
  • #3
berkeman
Mentor
56,665
6,561
Obama is the 44th President of USA. or,
The country x is the 44th largest in the world.

To get an answer 44th, what's the question to ask?
-1- (not sure how to word it...)

-2- What is the rank of country x among all countries in terms of geographical area?
 
  • #4
6,265
1,275
Chartreuce moose.
Google wants to know if you meant "Chartreuse Moose".
 
  • #5
378
2
I think you would use some sort of simile here. Come to think of that, I discovered you are comparing two different things wrt two separate criteria. Similie looks like only work if you are describing two different things using one same quality or something like that.

ranked as largest as all the US presidents to now.. and this doesn't make any sense to me.
 
  • #6
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
244
To get an answer 44th, what's the question to ask?
What is half of 22th?
 
  • #7
Obama is the 44th President of USA. or,
The country x is the 44th largest in the world.

To get an answer 44th, what's the question to ask?

President Obama is America's -blank- President

or,

This country is the -blank- largest in the world.

sorry if I misunderstood you
 
  • #8
201
44
I think you would use some sort of simile here. Come to think of that, I discovered you are comparing two different things wrt two separate criteria. Similie looks like only work if you are describing two different things using one same quality or something like that.

ranked as largest as all the US presidents to now.. and this doesn't make any sense to me.
May be, I did not explain my question properly in my original post. I'm not trying to combine both the statements with a single question and single answer.

Let's say, the statement is "Obama is the 44th President of USA". How would you ask a question on this, so that the answer is 44th.
 
  • #9
berkeman
Mentor
56,665
6,561
Let's say, the statement is "Obama is the 44th President of USA". How would you ask a question on this, so that the answer is 44th.
One way, albeit open to alternate interpretations, would be:

"Which president is Obama?"

The "which" question can be answered with "44th", but is also a bit ambiguous.

Where did this question come from? Is it a class assignment, or something you thought of as you are learning English, or both?
 
  • #10
354
0
  • #11
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
244
11th :tongue:
I think that we have contextual disagreement here. By your approach, half of 1/4 would be 1/2.
Oh, wait... I see the problem. I was assuming that there was a 1/ in front of the numbers, since the 'th' indicated a fraction to me.
 
  • #12
MATLABdude
Science Advisor
1,655
4
May be, I did not explain my question properly in my original post. I'm not trying to combine both the statements with a single question and single answer.

Let's say, the statement is "Obama is the 44th President of USA". How would you ask a question on this, so that the answer is 44th.
You could ask:
What number president is Obama?

Or, phrased a little differently:
What president number is Obama?

Or, to be more mathematical:
Including Obama, how many presidents of the United States have there been?

EDIT: The answer to the last one might be just a plain 44, but some might say, "He's the 44th President"

EDIT2: Then you'll get the people that ask if that includes acting presidents, or presidents that replaced presidents who died in office, or interrupted consecutive terms, etc. :rofl:
 
Last edited:
  • #13
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
244
The answer to the last one might be just a plain 44
No way... Obama is a .44 magnum.
I don't know whether or not Yanks truly understand that the US was pretty much the most hated nation on the planet during the past few decades, even by those who they claimed to be allied with (such as we Canucks). That turned around almost instantly (at least here in Canada) with Obama's election. It gives us all hope that society as a whole might become a bit better, now that you no longer have arrogance and idiocy at the helm.
 
  • #14
Chi Meson
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
1,789
10
Thanks to Grover Cleveland, Obama is actually the 43rd person to be president of the US.

I hope that confuses things even more! :)
 
  • #15
Chi Meson
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
1,789
10
No way... Obama is a .44 magnum.
I don't know whether or not Yanks truly understand that the US was pretty much the most hated nation on the planet during the past few decades, even by those who they claimed to be allied with (such as we Canucks). That turned around almost instantly (at least here in Canada) with Obama's election. It gives us all hope that society as a whole might become a bit better, now that you no longer have arrogance and idiocy at the helm.
What 'choo talking 'bout?
http://blog.pennlive.com/pennsyltucky/2008/01/AP080123017792.jpg [Broken]

(yes, I'm sorry, it MUST be this big!)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #16
CompuChip
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
4,302
47
"The how many-eth president of the US is Obama?"
is clear but probably also wrong, I suppose?
 
  • #17
201
44
Where did this question come from? Is it a class assignment, or something you thought of as you are learning English, or both?
I just remembered someone telling me many years ago there's no word for "how many-eth" in English. I just wanted to confirm that. I think most languages have a word for it.

Apparently, in English, there's no direct way to ask a question, if the answer is an adjective. (there could be exceptions)

In my mother tongue (Malayalam: the only language alive which is a palindrom if written in English :)), there's no direct way to ask if the answer is an adjective. But if the adjective is a number or rank, like 44th, there exists a word equivalent to "how many-eth".
 
  • #18
Chi Meson
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
1,789
10
Sorry for the Cheney thing...

The way I'd ask would be:
"Numerically, which president is Obama?"

and

"Regarding population, where does Malaysia rank?" or
"What is Malaysia's rank in terms of population?"
 
  • #19
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,605
2,065
I just remembered someone telling me many years ago there's no word for "how many-eth" in English. I just wanted to confirm that. I think most languages have a word for it.

Apparently, in English, there's no direct way to ask a question, if the answer is an adjective. (there could be exceptions)

In my mother tongue (Malayalam: the only language alive which is a palindrom if written in English :)), there's no direct way to ask if the answer is an adjective. But if the adjective is a number or rank, like 44th, there exists a word equivalent to "how many-eth".
The word is nth - pronounced "enth".

Obama is the nth president. What is n?
 
  • #21
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
244
Chi, is that Dickless Cheney? I'm not great at remembering faces. :confused:

edit: I just realized after posting that there was a second page. :redface:
 
  • #22
1,760
57
What about, "What is the ordinal number of Obama's presidency?"

(I realize nobody will know what you mean and you'll have to explain it anyway.)
 
  • #23
CompuChip
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
4,302
47
You can evade asking the direct question by putting it like: "Isn't Obama the 20th president?"
Of course, with the risk that you only get "no, he's not" for an answer.
 
  • #24
f95toli
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,948
444
I just remembered someone telling me many years ago there's no word for "how many-eth" in English. I just wanted to confirm that. I think most languages have a word for it.
I don't think it is only English, I can't think a way of asking it in Swedish either (or German, although my German is a bit rusty), at least not in a way that sounds "natural".
Maybe it is a "problem" with all Germanic languages?
What about other indo-european languages?
 

Related Threads for: Question on English

  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
2K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
28
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
17
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
21
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
910
Top