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Dear teachers,

The following multiple choice question has puzzled me for a while. Please help.

Speaker A: What are you doing here?

Speaker B:
a) I live here. Are you just visiting?
b) Get out of my way!
c) Everyone thinks I am so busy, but I like it that way.
d) I've been waiting for you for 20 minutes. What took you so long?


The answer d) is the right answer according to the answer key.

But I don't even understand the whole story in this dialogue. Why can't a) be the answer?

Please advise.

Lcchang
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Comments  
I don't follow this either. I think a is a much better answer too.

D doesn't make sense because the question shows that speaker A is surprised to see Speaker b, whereas answer D shows that they had arranged to meet.
Haha, yeah, that's one of the dumbest multiple choice questions I've seen.

D is a very stupid answer because it should be, "I've been waiting for you HERE for 20 minutes. What took you so long?". That would have been much clearer.

However, A seems unlikely as an answer though, because of the visiting thing.
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Hi,

This is my interpretation:

Speaker B:
a) I live here. Are you just visiting? Wrong. The second sentence has no relevance to the first sentence.



b) Get out of my way! Wrong. There is nothing mentioned in the context that Speaker A is on the way of Speaker B.


c) Everyone thinks I am so busy, but I like it that way. Wrong. Speaker A didn't ask if Speaker B was busy or not.

d) I've been waiting for you for 20 minutes. What took you so long? Correct. The second sentence has relevance to the first sentence.


To say(d) is correct implies that Speaker A has forgotten his/her appointment with Speaker B/

To choose (a) for a reply implies verbal irony on Speaker B’s part. Therefore, “Are you just visiting” means “What are YOU doing here. I am supposed to ask you, since you are trespassing?”

Regardless of the answer key, I would say that (a) is "more" correct.
I take (a) as a dialogue between a traveler and a gentleman of the road.

paco
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I think (d) is a conversation between two people who were supposed to meet, but one of them misunderstood the time or place. (What are you doing here? I thought we were supposed to meet at the other Starbucks, across the street!)
1. "What are you doing here?" "I live here. Are you just visiting?"

— If B lives there, and knows that A is visiting, there's no justification for A's assumption that B has no right to be there. Possibility: a case of mistaken identity on A's part; or amnesia on B's.

2. "What are you doing here?" "Get out of my way!"

— B's reply suggests he doesn't know A. There's no justification for A's recognition. Possibility: B does know A, but isn't going to let A stand in the way of Whatever He Has To Do.

3. "What are you doing here?" "Everyone thinks I'm so busy, but I like it that way."

— A has asked for an explanation of B's activity, not a description of how people see B. Possibility: B is playing for time. He has just emptied the safe. Dollar bills are fluttering from his pockets. Cunningly, he distracts A with a non sequitur.

4. "What are you doing here?" "I've been waiting for you for 20 minutes! What took you so long."

— A has asked for an explanation of B's presence. B has provided one. But clearly, one or other party has got something wrong, somewhere.

MrP
Oh dear Mr. Pedantic

You sure are so pedantic. I really appreaciate your explanation. In any case, after seeing all the good teachers' explixit answers, I tend to choose D. The reason is quite simple: Since speaker A was asking B what he/she was doing, B needed to tell A what he/ she was doing at the time. Being an ESL learner, I see this answer from the aspect of grammar.

Many thanks.

Lcchang
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