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"What a terrible football game!" "I thought it was ________."

A. delightful

B. delighting

C. delight

D. delighted

I think B is correct but the answer key says A is right. Could you explain why A is the correct one?

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Only delightful can be used adjectivally with an inanimate object such as a football game. It means having the quality of causing delight.


Delighting only occurs as a "present continuous" transitive verb form (it needs an object, someone who is being delighted). For example:

1: The home team scored in the first five minutes, delighting the fans.
2: The home team are delighting the fans with their nimble footwork.


Delighted is the past tense verb form, either transitively...

3: The home team's early goal delighted the fans.

...or intransitively, with a human (or "anthropomorphised") subject...

4: When they scored I was delighted (with be-support)
5: A delighted fan bought me a drink at half-time (past participial adjective)


Delight can be a noun or a verb. As a verb, it's normally used as above, or with "in" (the home fans delight in seeing their team get off to a good start). Other prepositions (to, at) are now dated/archaic.

  • Will there be any differences if I change your last example into passive voice: the home fans were delighted in seeing their team get off to a good start? And, what does 'get off' mean ? Does it mean to 'leave a place'? Thanks – doquan0 Mar 10 '13 at 4:16
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    @doquan0: My example #4 is "passive voice", with when they scored effectively acting as an "indirect object". I could have said "I was delighted by their skilful play". Or "I delighted in their skilful play", using "active voice", but in in your version isn't valid (it must be by seeing, or more likely to see). To get off to/with X has an idiomatic meaning to begin/start [some process] by doing/using X – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 10 '13 at 14:29

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