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W: why are you wearing sunglasses? Is that a black eye I see?

M:_____________________________________________________________

(a) will you please mind your own business?

(b) That's just the way you see things.

(c) I'm actually looking for a new pair.,

(d) You're asking too much of me.



Comments  
Hi Bn77,

Logically, it's a perfectly good answer, but as an idiom it has a different meaning. "You're asking me to do something which is beyond my capabilities, or my willingness to comply, or what would be reasonable for a prudent person to ask me to do."

Best wishes, - A.
Note the difference between asking a question and asking someone to do something.
Asking a question is asking for an answer.
Examples: Are you taller than six feet? What is your name? Is that a black eye?
Asking someone to do something is not just asking for an answer. It's expecting the other person to behave in a certain way, to accomplish some task.
Examples: Can you wash the dishes? Won't you please mow the lawn? I'd like you to prepare a report on the election results. Could you buy me a diamond ring?
"You're asking too much of me" is only possible as a response to the second kind of asking.
If I ask you, "What color is the sky?", for example, you would not answer, "You're asking too much of me" because I have not asked you to do anything (except answer the question).
CJ
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> (d) You're asking too much of me.
Wrong idiom. The right one is:
You're asking too many questions (which means, you're bothering/annoying me).
Marius HancuYou're asking too many questions (which means, you're bothering/annoying me).

CalifJim"You're asking too much of me" is only possible as a response to the second kind of asking.
Gentlemen, my instinct is to protest. Isn't your position too extreme? I offered the existence of the idiom as reason why the questioner's choice of example (d) was not the best (correct) answer. But just because an idiom exists, does that totally prohibit us from using the words in their normal logical way? Isn't this a danger linked to our requirement to consider short examples in isolation, without context? Why must we always choose the most likely, and exclude all others?

When I was young my favorite uncle wrote me a scolding letter for over-defending my position on a family matter. He said, "You really didn't need to explain so much." Anyone would take that to mean, "explain so many things." But because I knew him, I knew he was alluding to "methinks the lady doth protest too much." (We had never discussed the line.) He meant I shouldn't have done so much explaining. Noboby would take it that way. But was he wrong? Without saying so, he let me know that he knew I was lying through my teeth, as was the protesting lady.

- A.
Avangi Isn't your position too extreme?
I didn't think so! Apparently, we've hit a nerve! Emotion: smile

Speaking of "You're asking too much of me" as the response to "Is that a black eye I see?", you say
Logically, it's a perfectly good answer
I disagree. (The explanation is already in my post above.)
AvangiWhy must we always choose the most likely, and exclude all others?
Presumably because the test item has only one correct answer. So we don't need to exclude all others in a non-test situation, but the test situation demands it.
As for the last paragraph about explaining too much, I didn't quite understand the implication.
CJ
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Hi Jim, thanks much for replying.

I meant to say we agree on the importance of the idiom in the test example, but I think we should be more inclusive of unusual uses, and not prohibit them; as context (often absent) may justify them.

Yes, there's a nerve there.

Best wishes, - A.