Friday, June 4, 2010

Red marker blogathon: You are giving an exam, is it?

Following the posts at MFT's, Starry's, TPL's and Sue's blogs...

Red mark 1: Wrongly formed question tag.

"You are a good boy, isn't it?"

"You don't want to go, is it?"

Argghh! OK, now that I'm done with the screaming, here's my explanation on question tags.

Question tags are sentence structures where a statement is ended or tagged with a question. The verb used in the question tag should be the negation of the verb used in the statement.

So the correct usage of the above two would be:

"You are a good boy, aren't you?"

"You don't want to go, do you?"

Go here to learn more:


Red mark 2: Do you give or take an exam?

"I'm giving my board exams in March"

No, you are not giving any exam. In fact you are taking the exam and if anything it is your professor giving you the exam! Duh.


Bonus red mark 3: out-of-out

With all this exam talk, how can one forget the "I scored out-of-out" statement. Gah! Out-of-out seems to be a direct but totally nonsensical derivative of "100 out of 100". If you did get an *out-of-out* in English, please have your paper reevaluated.


  1. Red mark 2 - probably a direct translation from other Indian languages (Exam Dena => To give an Exam)

    Red mark 3 - would the correct usage be "X marks in Y subject" ? Do tell, if only out of pity

  2. PV: Ah! I didn't think of this "exam dena" usage.

    I think "100 out of 100" is correct because that is one of the ways to read a fraction like 100/100.

  3. As I am reading your wonderful blog, I am nodding my head, you are right only! :)

  4. Starry I'm following u, nodding my head to every thing u say Ma'm, Average Jane:)

    as PV pointed out a lot of our expressions are direct translations from our native language... part of the second language experience... mmm...


  5. Thank you for the question tag post! I hate is it with a passion!
    And what's out of out?! I've never heard it.

  6. never heard of out of out ma'am. pliss to explain.

    another red-marker: non-usage of capitals. aargh.


  7. Good post AJ. Loved the "giving-taking" exams part.

    The way you've explained things, I think you'll make a great teacher :)

  8. Spot on, on the explanation of question tags. Another tip on that is, if the statement has a negative, the tag has a positive and vice versa.

    Never heard out-of-out!

  9. Starry: Rightaa? Rightuu. :)
    Pins N Ashes: Yeah, one more funny direct translation -- "Remove a photo". I think it comes from "photo nikalo". :)
    TRM / Chox / shilpadesh:
    Seems like the "out-of-out" is a very Bangalorean usage then? It is generally used to convey that one scored maximum marks in an exam. Instead of saying something like "I scored 100 upon 100 in Math" or "100 out of 100", this rather ridiculous "out of out" is used.
    TPL: Really? You give me hope.. :)

  10. Another direct translation I've noticed is 'put the switch' instead of switch on...effect of switch lagao or switch podu, I think...:)

  11. This out-of-out business is completely new to me. Thanks for adding to my vocabulary!

    I'm adding you to the blogathon update tonight, hope that's OK.

  12. i am loving Sue's blogathon!

    and dont you love it when you are taking a group photos someone will shout and ask "am i coming?!"


    awesome post!


  13. Awesome post. I have also 'given' many exams before reading this (digs a hole and wants to bury myself now :(), but won't do that any more. Thanks to you.