Nextepisode’s blog

院生(M1) 専門-開発経済/国際関係

In an attempt to answer the question.


Hello. This Golden week went by too quickly. I'm no way near rested enough to start another week.

Anyway, Today's topic is " ENGLISH'' specifically, '' how to deal with english questions that could make you uncomfortable''.

Last night, Sangmin san posted an english question" Fill in the blank. Choose a proper word''


National Rail Transportation -----passengers with a long-distance bus service to and from Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

The question was pretty intriguing to me as a person who used to live in Sunshine Coast Australia for years.

Because I was surprise at first that the text talked about a bus service when the subject was a railway operator, but looking this up( In fact, I did not know that ), it seems that in most of Australia train transportation is not much used for passenger trips, except in big city areas like Sydney or Melbourne. However, there are also "Rail Corridor" routes, more like high speed trains or domestic airline services, in which one company runs a long-distance route connecting major cities far apart (Sydney-Brisbane, Sydney-Melbourne, Sydney-Perth, Melbourne-Brisbane, etc.). I suppose these Rail Corridor links have taken profits away from the old National Rail service which in the past had a national monopoly. So perhaps the National Rail company is trying to win back its market share by offering a much cheaper bus service in compettition with the fast but expensive long-distance trains. I heard a personal story this year from my close friend who travelled from Brisbane to the Gold Coast by bus, which took two or three hours. Perhaps that bus route also went further south to Sydney??? I imagine the text must come from some report about this increasing bus vs. train competition...

Coming up to the point, when I found this english question, I thought, I'd say about a 90% likelihood , that the missing word is most probably" Provides" .There was, as far as I'm concerned, one lapsable word that I'd like to explain.

the word some tend to answer is '' serve''

Unfortunately, the word ''serve'' dose not sound right not only because Sangmin san mentioned theres '' a long distance bus service in the back, but also because a service is something that's provided by a company. So in this case, '' serve'' isn't the expected one-word. In addition, '' supply'' seemingly possible but in this case, you can like, supply a city with a bus service, but you provide the service for local people, or supply local people with the service. so the answer was '' provides''

However, I'd like to say something more extraordinary important things to all. that is, " It's possible to fill in other verbs that suggest giving people either positive pleasure or benefit or , much less likely, a negative shock or disservice. Also some verbs of surprise giving ( not necessarily specially good or bad) can be used. I picked some of them as example by categorising from my point of view.

The answer was " provides" of course it was.
Also quite likely '' attracts'' '' tries to win more'' ''appeals to'' ''impresses'' ''amazes'' those could be the answer as well. For example, if there were four options 1. serves 2. satisfied . 3 supplies . 4 attracts. then I'd say most likely expected one-word is 4 attracts. Am I make myself clear to you? I hope it helps.

there are also possible but less likely '' delights'' ''draws in'' ''lures'' ''fishes for'' ''wows'' ''woos'' ''satisfies'' ''tortures'' ''annoys'' ''disgusts'' '' pisses off'' '' bores'' ''exploits'' etc.

So to speak, all are more or less, correct although there has been relatively little positive opinions on it.

To say more, I know some of you won't believe me when I tell you this that since the subject is an organization, In American English all of these verbs would be used with a singular(s) at the end like ''provides'' ''attracts'' '' tries'' , on the other hand, In British or Australian English, the verb can either take an(s) or not. if there is an (s) the emphasis is more on the company organization, if there is no(s) the emphasis is more on the human relations between the service providers and the service receives.

For example, '' National Rail Transportation piss off passengers with'' suggests that the people in National Rail Transportation don't give much thought to their passengers. But by saying '' National Rail Transpiration pisses of passengers with'' suggests that the annoyance is not just accidental bad service, but the direct result of the company's official operations policies. The American English rule of '' singular only '' ( at least in taught-in-school english ) is simpler, but it makes it difficult to express this difference between good/bad company policy (singular verb) and personal good/bad service from company people( plural verb)

last but not least, the '' Long distance bus'' in British english is Couch! you can open google map and find Victoria couch station and you will see the station which most of the long-distance-buses stop and go.

This is where I base my opinion on. Thank you very much and I hope you can spend Golden week with someone you like.