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There is a question in an English exam that asks the following...

Which is the odd sentence.

1. The plane was hi-jacked by a woman.

2. The tourists were attacked by a gang.

3. The soldier was hit by a bullet.

4. The trains collided by a river.

5. Three hundred people were killed by the earthquake.

I have been searching and searching, but cannot find an answer.

Thanks!
1 2
Comments  
(4) "collided by" is an odd usage. "Collided at", "Collided with", and etc are commonly used.

The trains collided with each other. (O)

The trains collided by a river (X)
In 1, 2, 3, and 5, "by" introduces the agent - the woman, the gang, the river, the earthquake - and the sentences are passive. In 4, "by" is simply part of the phrase that tells you where the trains collided. If it was "The small boat was swallowed by the raging river" it would be like the others.

You can rewrite 1, 2, 3, and 5: A woman hijacked the plan, a gang attacked the tourists, a bullet hit the soldier, the earthquake killed three hundred people. You cannot say a river collided the trains.
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Hi guys,

I agree with what's been said. I just want to add that I don't approve of the question, 'Which is the odd sentence?'

Would I be wrong if I answered 'Only #5 does not start with 'the'?' Or perhaps 'Only #5 contains no indefinite article'?

This kind of question expects you to get inside the examiner's head and to think the same way he thinks. He should have asked a more specific question.

Best wishes, Clive
Number 4 is the odd one.
Hi,

Which is the odd sentence?

I think it's time that someone corrected this question. As written, it seems to be asking which sentence is strange.

It should read 'Which sentence is the odd one out? ie which one is not like the others?

Best wishes, Clive
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CliveHi,

Which is the odd sentence?

I think it's time that someone corrected this question. As written, it seems to be asking which sentence is strange.

It should read 'Which sentence is the odd one out? ie which one is not like the others?

Best wishes, Clive

odd - adjective: beyond or deviating from the usual or expected (Example: "Had an odd name")
Hi,

odd - adjective: beyond or deviating from the usual or expected

You didn't state your point. Mine is that I don't find 'The trains collided by a river' to be an unusual sentence. Nor do I find it unexpected, since I had no expectations in mind when I read this set of sentences.

The examiner should be asking which sentence differs from the rest of the group.

the odd man/one out someone or something that is different from the other people or things in a group.

Clive
CliveHi,

odd - adjective: beyond or deviating from the usual or expected

You didn't state your point. Mine is that I don't find 'The trains collided by a river' to be an unusual sentence. Nor do I find it unexpected, since I had no expectations in mind when I read this set of sentences.


Clive

Clive, in a group of passive sentences, the "by a river" one is odd. It doesn't fit. Simple really. If you want to go on arguing petty semantics, do it alone. I'm outa here.
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