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I encountered the Key transformation test and I have a problem with the question below.

The Stall didn´t sell much jewellery because of its high prices.

Highly (3)

The jewellery on the stall was so ____________not much sold.

My – probably wrong – answer: The jewellery was so highly expensive that not much sold.

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    Try "so highly priced". The "so highly expensive" is not English. You could get away with "so very expensive", but typically you'd just say "so expensive" and leave it at that.
    – ЯegDwight
    May 18, 2014 at 13:33
  • Would you perhaps explain the meaning of Highly (3) in some papers, it means that the sentence must be completed using that given phrase only.
    – Invoker
    May 18, 2014 at 13:38

2 Answers 2

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I would say:

The jewelry on the stall was so highly priced, therefore not much sold.

Or

The jewelry on the stall was so highly priced that not much was sold.

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In a key transformation test question, one is given (1) a protypical sentence, (2) a given word that must be used verbatim in the answer, and (3) a target sentence containing a blank that is to be filled in with a phrase that includes the given word so that the result has about the same meaning as the prototype.

As an American English speaker, I regard as defective the key transformation test item that appears in the question. I would never say “The jewelry on the stall was so highly priced that not much was sold” (which appears to be the expected answer) but would instead say “The jewelry on the stall was so high-priced that not much was sold.” If actually forced to use the word highly in the answer, I'd write (eg) “The jewelry on the stall was so highly over-priced that not much was sold”.

English speakers of all varieties should regard “The jewelry on the stall was so highly priced, therefore not much sold” as ungrammatical. It violates the idiomatic form “so x that y”. It also fails to preface therefore with a properly formed reason.

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