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This question came in the Dhaka University admission exam 2014-15

Q) We have to _____________ our political differences and come together to ___________ a joint fight against poverty and corruption

(a) cover, venture

(b) rise over, pull off

(c) mend, prevail

(d) transcend, lead

Question bank says the answer is (b); I disagree. Pulling off a fight makes no sense; pulling off a win in a fight does. I think that the answer is (d). Am I correct?

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    Idiomatically, none of them are particularly likely. It's almost always we have to / must put / set aside our political differences. May 20 at 14:26

2 Answers 2

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Yes, (d) is the correct answer here.

"Rising over" our political differences is not idiomatic, we usually "rise above" our differences. And "pulling off" usually refers to succeeding at some difficult feat. While you might be able to "pull off" a victory in a battle, starting a fight is not a difficult feat that one might "pull off," as you said.

However, "transcending" political differences does make sense, since here "transcend" means "rise above" and is definitely idiomatic in context, and leading a fight is definitely idiomatic as well.

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I agree. I suppose (b) is acceptable but (d) is the choice that makes the most sense.

(a) I suppose you could "cover our political differences" in the sense of hiding them from outsiders. Like if our nation is at war and we don't want our enemy to know that we have internal differences. But it doesn't really make sense in context. "Venture a joint fight" is possible, I guess, but just not something that people normally say.

(b) We certainly could "rise over our political differences", but how do we "pull off a joint fight"? To "pull off" means to remove, like "Please pull off the sheets from the bed", clearly not applicable here. It can also mean to accomplish something, like "We pulled off a 10% increase in sales". But to "pull off a joint fight" ... well, I suppose you might mean "succeed in fighting jointly", but it's just not idiomatic.

(c) "Mend" is fine, but "prevail" does not take an object. You can not "prevail a fight". You cannot "prevail" anything. You just "prevail". You could say "prevail IN a join fight".

(d) Makes sense. "Transcend our differences", that is, rise above them so that we can work together. "Lead a join fight", we can take command of a joint fight.

If I was writing the sentence I would have said "rise above" or "overcome" our differences and "engage in" or "conduct" a joint fight. Or more likely, I would have said "fight together to ..."

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