Hello. If someone has read the novel "The Prisoner of Zenda", could you please help me choose the correct answer?

Choose: Who was namely declared King of Ruritania?
a- Rudolf Elphberg        b- Rudolf Rassendyll

Thank  you.

Original Post

Hi, Ahmed, 

Hello. If someone has read the novel "The Prisoner of Zenda", could you please help me choose the correct answer?

Choose: Who was namely declared King of Ruritania?
a- Rudolf Elphberg        b- Rudolf Rassendyll

Thank  you.

'Namely' means 'specifically'. The right choice should be: b. Rudolf Rassendyll.

 Who was namely declared King of Ruritania?

Hi, Ahmed and Ahmed—"Namely" is being incorrectly used in that question, and the question is ungrammatical. Despite being an adverb, "namely" cannot be used to modify a verb. It is used in the same way that the phrase "that is (to say)" is used, and is always set off by a comma; it is frequently followed by a comma, as well, though the second comma is optional. Here is an example of a grammatically correct use of "namely":

  • Ahmed asked the name of a certain king, namely, the king of Ruritania.

Here are links to seven dictionary definitions that you may find useful. Pay special attention to the examples. In none of them is "namely" used to modify a verb. Whoever wrote the question in the exercise evidently does not know how "namely" is used in English. It is never used that way.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/namely
https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/namely
https://dictionary.cambridge.o...onary/english/namely
https://www.collinsdictionary....onary/english/namely
https://www.macmillandictionar...nary/american/namely
https://www.thefreedictionary.com/namely
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/namely

Hi, David,

Hi, Ahmed and Ahmed—"Namely" is being incorrectly used in that question, and the question is ungrammatical. Despite being an adverb, "namely" cannot be used to modify a verb. It is used in the same way that the phrase "that is (to say)" is used, and is always set off by a comma; it is frequently followed by a comma, as well, though the second comma is optional. Here is an example of a grammatically correct use of "namely":

  • Ahmed asked the name of a certain king, namely, the king of Ruritania.

Here are links to seven dictionary definitions that you may find useful. Pay special attention to the examples. In none of them is "namely" used to modify a verb. Whoever wrote the question in the exercise evidently does not know how "namely" is used in English. It is never used that way.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/namely
https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/namely
https://dictionary.cambridge.o...onary/english/namely
https://www.collinsdictionary....onary/english/namely
https://www.macmillandictionar...nary/american/namely
https://www.thefreedictionary.com/namely
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/namely

I whole-heatedly agree with you. That's similar to what I told two of my friends last year, but they objected to me saying that that question is related to the novel we teach, not grammar, and that the most important thing was the answer to the question. In brief, all that they care about is the meaning of the question and its answer. However, it is great that you have referred to the fact that 'namely' is used wrongly this way. That will benefit so many people. 

But the text says: Rodulf The Fifth was declared the king of Ruritania. 

The answer I've mentioned above is the answer found in all outside books and nearly all the authors would justify their answer focusing on the word 'namely'.

Last edited by ahmed_btm

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