Today’s topic is a thorny one and one which many students flag up as being an issue. Sometimes a little bit of thinking needs to go into these questions to weigh up the merits of each but generally if you have the right approach you can get them all correct.
YNNG and TFNG Made Easy
The first thing to know about these question types is that they require you to match two pieces of information very carefully. One is the actual question and the other is an exact place that you locate in the text. The place in the text is usually a single sentence or perhaps two but not much more than that. You will need to match almost word for word the question and the text location.
So here is a step-by-step guide to this question type.
First, read the question very carefully and take note of all the words. The question shouldn’t be too long so you should be able to do this easily. Underline the key (most important) words.
Next you will need to identify the words in the question that will help you to find the place in the text – numbers, names, unusual terms etc. are all easy to locate by scanning so if you have these you should be able to find the place easily. If not then select a word or words that are not going to be very common in the text.
Now look at the key words that will help you to find the answer – these will be question words what, where, how etc. or words that tell you exactly what the answer must be – this may be a question word does/is and the main verb or a comparison the most the lowest etc. It should be clear.
It is a good idea to turn the statement into a yes/no question in your head if you can as this makes answering yes/no easier. If you can’t answer yes/no to your question then it is likely to be not given.
Now go to the text and scan the text for you ‘location’ key words. Once you find the word/s then see if the other key words are there as well. Remember these may be synonyms, or it may be paraphrased. If some of your other key words are not in this place then you may need to look elsewhere in the text. If you don’t get a sense of the answer either then you may also need to look elsewhere.
If you are happy with your place in the text, then start to match up your key words to find the answer:
- Yes means the two are the same
- No means there is a contradiction and the text says the opposite
- NG means that you can’t really say – the information may be missing or the information may not be complete
Sometimes it’s useful to ask another question if you are stuck with a possible n/ng dilemma ‘is it possible but we just don’t have the information’. In this case it would be NG.
Make sure you don’t ignore words in the question like in the past, in the future, now or modifiers like most, many, little, a few etc. ALL the words in the question are usually relevant so don’t overlook them. Even if they are not in the text they help you select the correct answer.
Be very careful too of negatives in the question – you have to think a little more carefully about these as they will usually be the opposite of the text and can trip you up.
If you get a wrong answer in your study go back and check the answers and then look and see what you missed either in the question or in the text that caused you to get it wrong. By doing this you can be more vigilant next time.
Here is an example of each:
Text (excerpt source: ACTUALIDAD24HORAS.COM 15.12.05, Spanish news online)
The Spanish Environment Minister Señora Narbona’s announcement in November 2007 of plans to demolish frontline properties and ban coastline building on the Costa Blanca has apparently stirred up a whole hornets’ nest. Thousands of properties could be affected by plans outlined in the Coast Sustainability Strategy report delivered recently by the Environment Assessing Council (CAMA)1.
The Coast Sustainability Strategy Report outlines various plans for the regeneration of beaches, the purchase of coastline land, the demolition of buildings and the declassification of development sites along over 200 kilometres of coastline in the Valencia Region. This would put an end to ‘the mass occupation of coastline land’. The report states that 32 per cent of the Spanish Mediterranean coast requires urgent action against mass development, pinpointing the Valencia Region specifically as having 80 per cent of the coastline developed while the percentage for the rest of the Med is of 50 per cent.
- The announcement was made on the first of November 2007.
- People have welcomed Senora Narbona’s new plans.
- Valencia has more development along its coastline than other areas of the Mediterranean Sea.
Question 1 is Not Given – we know the announcement was made in November but we have no date. It is quite possible that it was made on November 1st but we are simply not told.
Question 2 is False – the passage tells us that it stirred up a whole hornets’ nest this means it caused opposition and argument so some people did not like the announcement.
Question 3 is True – we can see from the passage that 80% percent of the coastline in Valencia is developed compared with just 50% elsewhere in the Med (Med is short for Mediterranean)
Keep practising, checking and evaluating the information you are matching and you will soon solve this type of question.