In my mother tongue I have 'beneficial' word like in English and I would like to use in context of 'useful', but after writing a paragraph, I think I was misunderstood and the receiver thought I used it in the way of 'advantageous'.

My paragraph is:

It would be beneficial for me to know if I will have to do Unit Testing for the technical test.

I just wanted to mannerly ask for useful information and make a question like I was allowed to do, but his answer is what makes me think he misunderstood in a bad way (when mentioning 'fair' or the set phrase in bold)

... the paragraph of information ... is deliberately vague.

Having said that, we are not in the business of setting people up to fail. ... . As a result, our assessment of your completed test will be fair.

  1. What exactly does the sentence in bold mean?
  2. Has the 'beneficial' word a bad connotation in this context, like if I wanted to cheat?
  3. Is the word ambiguous or I had just to use 'useful' instead?
  • Should I open another post for his answer or just edit? It is like a set phrase, maybe it is me who misunderstood his answer. – another May 26 '16 at 20:23
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    I would recommend just editing. The answer he gave is part of the context, and will help us to understand how he misinterpreted your sentence. – ColleenV May 26 '16 at 20:41
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    You should include what the receiver said in reply if possible by editing this post. – Nathan Tuggy May 26 '16 at 20:42
  • In a very basic sense, this is like asking what questions will be on the test before it is taken. – user3169 May 26 '16 at 21:26

According to the definitions of beneficial:

  1. producing benefits; advantageous; favorable
  2. receiving benefit

using beneficial makes it seem like you are asking for information for your own advantage or to personally assist you.
In order for their evaluation to be fair, they would not be able to provide additional information to only one applicant.

Adding the phrase "Having said that, we are not in the business of setting people up to fail." indicates that the purpose of the vague information is not directed at you, and not meant to be unfair. Most likely it allows for a better judgment of someone's skills and creativity.

Using another word like useful would not help in this situation, as any personal request for additional information would get the same response.

  • Thank you @user3169, should I apologize for my message? and say I meant 'useful'? – another May 26 '16 at 21:28
  • Please check my last edit. – user3169 May 26 '16 at 21:29
  • How you handle any reply at this point is more of a business matter, not a language one. – user3169 May 26 '16 at 21:33
  • But he firstly told me to ask for questions if any. Literally > "Please let me know if you have any questions.". Then I thought it was fair, I didn't ask for the entire test. – another May 26 '16 at 21:34
  • Then I think their answer was appropriate. I don't think an apology is needed or helpful. – user3169 May 26 '16 at 21:35

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