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Question on English

  1. Apr 29, 2009 #1
    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?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2009 #2

    russ_watters

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    Chartreuce moose.
     
  4. Apr 29, 2009 #3

    berkeman

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    -1- (not sure how to word it...)

    -2- What is the rank of country x among all countries in terms of geographical area?
     
  5. Apr 29, 2009 #4
    Google wants to know if you meant "Chartreuse Moose".
     
  6. Apr 29, 2009 #5
    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.
     
  7. Apr 29, 2009 #6

    Danger

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    What is half of 22th?
     
  8. Apr 29, 2009 #7

    President Obama is America's -blank- President

    or,

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

    sorry if I misunderstood you
     
  9. Apr 30, 2009 #8
    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.
     
  10. Apr 30, 2009 #9

    berkeman

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    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?
     
  11. Apr 30, 2009 #10
    11th :tongue:
     
  12. Apr 30, 2009 #11

    Danger

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    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.
     
  13. Apr 30, 2009 #12

    MATLABdude

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    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: Apr 30, 2009
  14. Apr 30, 2009 #13

    Danger

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    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.
     
  15. Apr 30, 2009 #14

    Chi Meson

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    Thanks to Grover Cleveland, Obama is actually the 43rd person to be president of the US.

    I hope that confuses things even more! :)
     
  16. Apr 30, 2009 #15

    Chi Meson

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    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: May 4, 2017
  17. Apr 30, 2009 #16

    CompuChip

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    "The how many-eth president of the US is Obama?"
    is clear but probably also wrong, I suppose?
     
  18. Apr 30, 2009 #17
    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".
     
  19. Apr 30, 2009 #18

    Chi Meson

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    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?"
     
  20. Apr 30, 2009 #19

    DaveC426913

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    The word is nth - pronounced "enth".

    Obama is the nth president. What is n?
     
  21. Apr 30, 2009 #20
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