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Thread: Banana Rule (SCN Rule): Exceptions

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    Ankylosaurus Forum Admin Erin's Avatar
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    You should be familiar with the Banana Rule before reading this information.

    One of the most important rules on the TOEFL is this:

    A singular count noun cannot stand alone.

    What I say quite frequently in my explanations is this:

    If you see a Singular Count Noun with no determiner, it is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

    Both of these sentences mean essentially the same thing.

    There are, however, many "idiomatic" usages that do not follow this rule, and TOEFL will expect you to know them. I've been collecting these usages for a while now. Here's what I have:
    • according to legend
    • arm in arm, hand in hand
    • at home, at work, at school, at church, at camp
    • at lunch, out to lunch, for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, etc.
    • at night
    • at sea
    • at sea level
    • at sea, to sea
    • attend school, college, university
    • by car, by bus, by train, by airplane, by boat, etc.
    • by day, by night
    • by means of, by use of
    • day after day, week after week, month after month, etc.
    • from top to bottom
    • go to sleep, go to bed
    • in class, out of class, after class, before class, to class, etc.
    • in court, in prison, in bed
    • in hand, on bended knee, on hand, at hand
    • in office, of office
    • in orbit
    • in school, at school, to school, from school, after school, etc.
    • inch by inch, mile by mile
    • job titles: poet, manager, head, author, sculptor, secretary, owner, founder, president, photographer, choreographer, painter, etc.
    • kind of guy, sort of thing, type of car
    • measurements: in area, in height, in distance, in length, etc.
    • on foot
    • on land
    • part of, as in x is part of y. For example, oxygen is part of water, memory is part of learning, etc.
    • per: We do NOT use a determiner after per. For example, we say miles per hour, times per day, etc.
    • subject to arrest, to fine, to deportation, etc.
    • tools: with hammer and saw, with knife and fork, with knife in hand
    ☼ Waiting for Godot

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    Here are some more:

    I think you should add one more word, that is:
    • half in "over half of". Is it correct?
    • from door to door
    But i am not sure that "half" in that exam is singular count noun. am I right? I think that exceptions are enough

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    Ankylosaurus Forum Admin Erin's Avatar
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    Originally posted by uhcl

    Hi Errin,

    I think you should add one more word, that is, half in "over half of". Is it correct?
    This is a good one to remember, since other fraction words (third, quarter, etc.) require a determiner.

    Thanks, uhcl. BTW, the name's Erin, with one r.
    ☼ Waiting for Godot

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    Another exception: The trip to Bahamas was the only vacation I had all year.

    "all the year" and "all year" are both correct.

    Regards,
    Daniel

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    has any body taken new gmat test?ls explain how difficult it is from old pattern of exam?

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    Within my grasp! supurna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin
    You should be familiar with the Banana Rule before reading this information.

    One of the most important rules on the TOEFL is this:

    A singular count noun cannot stand alone.

    What I say quite frequently in my explanations is this:

    If you see a Singular Count Noun with no determiner, it is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

    Both of these sentences mean essentially the same thing.

    There are, however, many "idiomatic" usages that do not follow this rule, and TOEFL will expect you to know them. I've been collecting these usages for a while now. Here's what I have:
    • according to legend
    • arm in arm, hand in hand
    • at home, at work, at school, at church, at camp
    • at lunch, out to lunch, for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, etc.
    • at night
    • at sea
    • at sea level
    • at sea, to sea
    • attend school, college, university
    • by car, by bus, by train, by airplane, by boat, etc.
    • by day, by night
    • by means of, by use of
    • day after day, week after week, month after month, etc.
    • from top to bottom
    • go to sleep, go to bed
    • in class, out of class, after class, before class, to class, etc.
    • in court, in prison, in bed
    • in hand, on bended knee, on hand, at hand
    • in office, of office
    • in orbit
    • in school, at school, to school, from school, after school, etc.
    • inch by inch, mile by mile
    • job titles: poet, manager, head, author, sculptor, secretary, owner, founder, president, photographer, choreographer, painter, etc.
    • kind of guy, sort of thing, type of car
    • measurements: in area, in height, in distance, in length, etc.
    • on foot
    • on land
    • part of, as in x is part of y. For example, oxygen is part of water, memory is part of learning, etc.
    • per: We do NOT use a determiner after per. For example, we say miles per hour, times per day, etc.
    • subject to arrest, to fine, to deportation, etc.
    • tools: with hammer and saw, with knife and fork, with knife in hand
    Can you please revive the post with the Banana Rule?

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    Hi Erin,

    In Banana Rule Exceptions you have mentioned this also:
    job titles: poet, manager, head, author, sculptor, secretary, owner, founder, president, photographer, choreographer, painter, etc.

    Does that mean that if i say He is a Poet or He is a manager, that would be wrong.
    Should they be used just as He is Poet or He is Manager???

    Or it is both ways right??

    Please explain...

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    Within my grasp! fafy's Avatar
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    Hi Erin,
    Could you explain the banana rule because the link doesn't work. Is it the rule that tells singular count nouns need a determiner?
    Thank you
    Life is so good ... sometimes...
    and sometimes not !!!

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    Which grammar includes these rules?prescriptive or descriptive?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fafy View Post
    Hi Erin,
    Could you explain the banana rule because the link doesn't work. Is it the rule that tells singular count nouns need a determiner?
    Thank you

    http://www.urch.com/forums/reference...-scn-rule.html

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