5

I am now practicing a TOEFL listening section with a textbook.

Now, given such a kind of information like below,

Well, I'm a member of the drama club and we are going to on tour two weeks from now. We are performing Arthur Miller's "The Death Of a Salesman" at hour other colleges. I'll be gone the entire week and I'm afraid I'll miss three classes.

Now the test question is

How long will the student be gone?

Choices are

(A) One week
(B) Two weeks
(c) Three weeks
(d) Four weeks

The answer is (A). I heard the question saying "We are going to on tour two weeks from now." so, I chose (B). But the text says, (A) is correct because (or only because) there was saying I'll be gone the entire week.

Couldn't this question be too difficult or how do you interpret? Personally thinking there 2 contradicting information in the passage, at least it seems to me.

  • 18
    It's a straightforward question. No conflicting information. No tricks. But you might say it has a red herring. – J.R. Jun 15 '18 at 19:53
  • 20
    I'm pretty sure there are two errors in your transcription. I think "at hour other colleges" should probably be "at our other colleges." I also think "we are going to on tour two weeks from now" is either "we are going to be on tour two weeks from now," or "we are going on tour two weeks from now," or perhaps "we are going to tour two weeks from now." Whichever it is, they all refer to when the tour starts, so that length of time is not included in the tour. – J.R. Jun 15 '18 at 20:45
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    I agree with @J.R. about the errors in transcription. One other possibility: "we are going to go on tour two weeks from now" – Hellion Jun 16 '18 at 3:47
  • @J.R Thank you for your remarks. As I mentioned at Havey's answer, I bought another new book..this book has only 3+some reputation according to amazon ( by 24 people ). I'll be gone the entire week Yes, I can understand this phrase without any problem, but a phrase for the world wide test? I started to doubt the quality..but again thank you for all of your comments and answers. – Kentaro Tomono Jun 16 '18 at 5:59
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    @J.R. I suspect "hour other colleges" is a typo for "four other colleges" – Barmar Jun 16 '18 at 15:42
25

"We are going on tour two weeks from now" means "it is arranged that our tour starts two weeks from now". This provides information about how far in the future the departure is. "I'll be gone the entire week" provides information about the duration of the speaker's absence. There is no conflict. A person who correctly understands (comprehends) the information given will see only one correct answer.

  • Actually according to Amazon's comments the reputation is not so good about this book and even one says it is full of typo and so I bought a new book. go to on tour , it this grammatical? – Kentaro Tomono Jun 16 '18 at 5:19
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    @KentaroTomono "going to on tour" is not grammatical, it should be "going to go on tour", "going on tour" or possibly "going to tour". With "go" instead of "going" you would have to say "go on tour". – rlms Jun 16 '18 at 10:45
18

It is a clear question, and there is enough information to answer it.

I'm going on tour two weeks from now

This tell you when she is leaving. The tour will start after two weeks.

I'll be gone the whole week.

This tells you how long someone will be gone. It tells you explicitly that she will be gone for one whole week.

Comprehension questions often have this kind of "red herring".

4

Consider the following and their interpretations:

I'm going on tour two weeks from now. I'll be gone the whole week.

and

I'm going on tour two years from now. I'll be gone one week.

In both cases the first sentence says how long it will be until the tour starts, and the second sentence states how long it will last (once it starts). A native speaker would never assume the second phrasing implied that someone was going to be gone for two years.

If anything, the phrasing that might cause confusion is "... gone the whole week" rather than "... gone a whole week." Using the phrasing "the whole week" implies that there is a "correct" way to divide time up into weeks. Most typically this means a week starting on Sunday and ending on Saturday, but sometimes it refers to Monday through Friday (excludes weekends). In this context, both meanings yield the same effect: they will miss a week's worth of classes.

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