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This question came in the Dhaka University admission exam 2016-17

Q) The government __________ that the projects __________ with great success

(a) is confirming, maintained

(b) confirms, have been maintained

(c) was confirmed, have been maintained

(d) confirms, are maintaining

(a) and (d) are both agrammatical. I think that both (b) and (c) are acceptable answers. Am I correct?

Edit:

I think that the meaning of (B) and (C) differ. (B) means that the government is telling the people that the projects have been maintained with great success. (D) means that the government was assured that the projects have been maintained with great sucess. Even though the meanings are different, both (b) and (c) should be acceptable answers.

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2 Answers 2

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a) and d) can be rejected as the verb "maintain" is normally transitive. So "The projects maintained." and "The projects are maintaining." are both non-idiomatic.

c) can be be rejected, as the passive voice "The government is confirmed" doesn't work. There are transitive uses of "confirm", but they don't seem to fit this context.

So the only possibility is (b). It is slightly odd to use the present tense. But it could be acceptable. The passive perfect "have been maintained" is good for the verb maintain.

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  • Sir, option (c) says "The government was confirmed" instead of "The government is confirmed". May 20, 2022 at 3:41
  • Also, what does "the government confirms" mean? Does it mean that the government is telling the people that the projects have been maintained with great success? May 20, 2022 at 12:27
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    Yes, exactly that. It is rather odd phrasing, but everything else is less idiomatic or actually ungrammatical
    – James K
    May 20, 2022 at 19:07
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Both (d) and (b) are correct. Although (d) might be slightly more common than (b). Otherwise both are acceptable and have no difference.

(c) is wrong, you cannot say "the government was confirmed", as you are saying that someone confirmed the government, which makes no sense. In this case using "was" actually diverts the focus to the government, and a government cannot be confirmed when the focus is on the project.

It cannot be "was confirmed", the appriopriate ones are as following:

  1. Has confirmed
  2. Confirmed
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  • In (c), isn't it possible that the government had an external agent confirm that the projects have been maintained with great success? May 19, 2022 at 7:36
  • No, in this case using "was" actually diverts the focus to the government, and a government cannot be confirmed when the focus is on the project @tryingtobeastoic
    – DialFrost
    May 19, 2022 at 7:40
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    @tryingtobeastoic I get your argument and I've encountered "I have been confirmed that..." as an alternative to "It has been confirmed to me that..." before. However, I would not consider that sentence structure to be idiomatic.
    – xyldke
    May 19, 2022 at 8:41
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    @DialFrost I would consider d) to be incorrect, because the second part has the projects doing the maintaining. If that were the case, the sentence lacks an object (the projects are maintaining WHAT? with great success).
    – xyldke
    May 19, 2022 at 8:44
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    I also disagree that D can be considered correct. "The projects are maintaining" doesn't sound natural to me.
    – stangdon
    May 19, 2022 at 11:47

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