8. Dialogs Involving Contradictions, Assumptions, and Questions

A) Contradictions

Contradictions involve the second speaker correcting what the first speaker says, as in the samples below:

Sample Items

You will hear:

F1: Amy didn’t work overtime last week.
M1: As a matter of fact, she did.
M2: What does the man say about Amy?

You will read:

(A) She is always late for work.
(B) She never works overtime.
(C) She worked extra hours last week.
(D) She hasn’t had her job for very long.

The answer is (C). The man’s emphatic use of the auxiliary verb did shows that he is contradicting what the woman said.

You will hear:

M1: Martin always talks about how he loves to dance.
F1: Yes, but you don’t see him out on the dance floor very often, do you?
M2: What does the woman say about Martin?

You will read:

(A) He is an excellent dancer.
(B) He doesn’t like dancing very much.
(C) He doesn’t talk about dancing very often.
(D) He goes dancing four times a week.

The answer is (B). The woman’s use of the word but and the tag question (“. . . do you?”) suggests that she doesn’t believe that Martin really loves to dance.

You will hear:

F1: All of the students voted for the proposal to expand the Student Council.
M1: Well, most of them did, anyway.
M2: What does the man mean?

You will read:

(A) All of the students voted.
(B) Some of the students opposed the proposal.
(C) The proposal was defeated.
(D) The Student Council voted.

The answer is (B). The man says that most of the students voted for the proposal, contradicting the idea that all of them did. Therefore, some of the students must have opposed the proposal.
In some dialogs, such as the third Sample Item, the second speaker does not completely contradict what the first speaker says but rather limits the first speaker’s idea.

B) Assumptions

Assumptions are the beliefs that one speaker has until he or she receives information from a second speaker. You will generally hear dialogs involving assumptions near the end of Part A. These questions are considered difficult, but once you understand how they work and practice answering them, you should find them no more difficult than any other type of question. In this type of dialog, the first speaker makes a statement. The second speaker is surprised because the first statement contradicts what he or she believes to be true. The second speaker’s response often begins with the word “Oh” and ends with the phrase “. . . after all.” The answer to assumption questions is the reverse of what the second speaker thinks, and so what is “true” according to the first speaker is not the correct choice.

Sample Items

You will hear:

F1: No, Judy’s not here right now. She’s at her economics class.
M1: Oh, so she decided to take that course after all.
M2: What had the man assumed about Judy?

You will read:

(A) She wouldn’t take the course.
(B) She had already completed that course.
(C) She was busy studying economics.
(D) She wouldn’t find economics difficult.

The answer is (A). The man is surprised that Judy is in economics class because he thought that she had decided not to take the course. Therefore, he had obviously assumed that Judy was not going to take the course before he spoke to the woman.

C) Questions

The second speaker in a dialog sometimes asks about what the first speaker says. The third speaker then asks what the second speaker wants to know.

Sample Items

You will hear:

F1: Professor Petrakis said that Mark Twain was his favorite writer.
M1: When did he say that?
M2: What does the man want to know?

You will read:

(A) When Mark Twain lived.
(B) What the professor said about Mark Twain.
(C) When the professor made his remark.
(D) What books Mark Twain wrote.

The answer is (C). The man asks when Professor Petrakis called Mark Twain his favorite author.

Two question phrases that may give you trouble are What . . . for? and How come . . . ? Both mean Why . . .?


No votes yet.
Please wait...
error: Content is protected !!
Skip to toolbar