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How to tell ‘right’ from ‘wrong’

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 March 2004

BRIAN POOLE
Affiliation:
Currently Senior Co-ordinator, Quality Assurance, at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. He has taught applied linguistics and EFL in universities in the UK, Oman, Turkey and South Korea

Abstract

In British English texts, the frequency profiles of the collocation of right and wrong with preceding adverbs show patterns which are almost symmetrically opposed. This general truth obtains despite the fact that there are adverbs – such as completely or absolutely – which logic, or the intuitions of a learner of English as a second or foreign language, might suggest should combine equally happily or frequently with either.

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Original Article
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© 2004 Cambridge University Press

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