I'm solving MCQ of some English book practice, but I don't understand one of the correct answers and I would like to know the explanation for that.

The question was:

Dr. Knowledgeable will be making a ... this evening.

a) lecture

b) sermon

c) speech

d) talk

and the right answer according to the book is c (speech). Then my question is why is could't be a lecture or a talk? (so what I can understand that sermon is most less relevant because normally it turns to pastors or sheikhs)

  • 4
    Idiomatically, you make a speech, you don't "make a lecture" or "make a talk". – stangdon Oct 4 '16 at 18:06
  • 1
    Generally, it is expressed commonly as 'deliver a lecture ', 'give a talk' and 'make a speech '. The point mentioned about sermon is correct. So it may not be Included. – Vanpram P Oct 4 '16 at 18:32
  • 2
    He could also deliver or give a speech. The answer to the question "Why couldn't it be a lecture or a talk?" is Because that is not how we express this in English. It's not bound by a "rule" of grammar, it's idiomatic. It's very important to understand the word idiom. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Oct 4 '16 at 19:51
  • Thank you all. I have learnt from your comments. I didn't know that idiomatically it goes together just with "make a speech". (deliver a lecture or give a talk.) It's absolutely interesting for me, because I used to deal with this words frequently. – Judicious Allure Oct 4 '16 at 21:16

The answer to this question is a case of idiomatic correctness; as one of the main idiomatic problems with learning English can be highlighted as other languages. As a natural English speaker, I see the other options as just wrong, and the answer would be: Dr. Knowledgeable is giving a __talk/lecture/sermon__. This is idiomatic however, and to an English speaker, either option would be understandable, only feeling incorrect for the person hearing the given phrase.

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