My friends who lives in China just sent me this snapshot of a test which she used to practice her English language skill-set. I took a look at it, and something bothers me. I might be completely wrong here, by no means am I saying that it really IS wrong. Could you guys and gals help me out here?

I'm referring to blank space 2, we have two options..

Option A = with.

Option B = up.

Post-graduate test 2010

We're going to take a look at " Instead, the studies ended ..... giving their names to the "Hawthorne effect", ...

This alone confuses me. Apparently, B is the correct answer for blank space 2.

So the complete sentence ( comma excluded ) would be ;

Instead, the studies ended up giving their names to the ...

How is a "study", which is a thing, not a person, supposed to give up his/her/its name? I thought that "their" reefers to a group of people.

Could somebody clear this up for me? Kindly appreciated!

  • 2
    Give is used figuratively; most words have figurative meanings. Their is the possessive form of they, not the plural possessive of he or she. Vienna gave its name to a sausage (the wiener), and Hamburg gave its name to a sandwich (the hamburger), and Buffalo gave its name to a dish of chicken wings. These cities give their names to foods. – StoneyB on hiatus Jul 19 '15 at 20:29
  • Ohhhh, I see! That sums it up, kinda. I never knew that " they " could point towards things like tests etc. – user3697142 Jul 19 '15 at 20:34
  • Off topic, but thank you for submitting this question. I have been trying, off an on, to dredge this name out of my memory for several months. – ab2 Jul 19 '15 at 22:27

This is anyway not an issue of 'studies' giving a name to something. The sentence just suggests that the studies of the Hawthorne plant gave rise to the name "Hawthorne effect". In my opinion, the sentence could have been phrased far more lucidly, like:

"Instead, the studies gave rise to the term "Hawthorne effect", the extremely influential..."

But since this is a test, let's ignore the grammar. As for the correct option, B is right, because 'ended up' means 'resulted in', like:

"I fooled around the entire day and ended up cramming for the test the next morning."

Or, "I took an action which had a result: that I had to do something as a consequence."

Versus 'ended with', which means 'concluded with another, possibly unrelated, action', like:

"I fooled around the entire day and ended with cramming for the test the next morning."

Or, "I took and action, and concluded it by taking another action."


A good question. I see it as a very concise idiom. "ended up ..." = "the matter came to an end, with the consequence of ..." as in "He was sad, and ended up killing himself."

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