Extracted from an English cloze test:

.....these virtual selves exist in the same online spaces that many people use every day. And this is a new and unfamiliar phenomenon that some people might find___________ -- previously dead people were not present in this way.

  1. trouble
  2. troubled
  3. troubling
  4. be troubled
  5. to trouble

The answer is 3 because the key said find troubling stands for find it to be troubling, but I don't understand why it stands for that. I want to know what grammatical topic is related to this sentence.

  • 3
    Find troubling is equivalent to find to be troubling here – not find it to be troubling, which would not be a grammatical substitution. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 5 '19 at 14:04
  • Are you familiar with the idiom:to find something (funny, amusing, interesting, unusual, etc. etc.)? – Lambie Aug 5 '19 at 17:56
  • Hello, อริศรา จรูญธรรม. Can you recheck the punctuation used in the cloze test question that you ask about and see whether there is a comma after "previously" in the original? As it happens, "previously, dead people" has a very different meaning from "previously dead people." – Sven Yargs Aug 5 '19 at 23:04

Well, there's a lot happening here.

Here is a shorter version of the sentence in question:

This is a phenomenon that some people might find troubling.

The bold part is a relative clause. We can re-write this sentence without the relative clause, like this:

Some people might find this phenomenon troubling.

In this new sentence, the word "troubling" is an adjective, and the bold part ("this phenomenon troubling") is a small clause. The phrase "to find this phenomenon troubling" means "to feel that this phenomenon is troubling." So we can re-write this sentence again, like this:

Some people might feel that this phenomenon is troubling.


I am not sure what you mean by "grammatical topic". The test question as I see it is simply to choose the grammatically correct way of filling in the blank. Choice 3 is the only one that does so in context. Another possibility that could fit is "to be troubling", but that was not a provided choice.

  • Thanks for the edit, RichF. I think what OP is asking is, where can one read more about the shortening technique mentioned in the answer key's explanation? – aparente001 Aug 5 '19 at 13:38

If you are talking about the break after the answer word, this is probably meant to be a dash.

See: Usages of a dash vs Hyphen

Not to be mistaken for a hypen, this question finishes with a pause and afterthought. The test print probably didn't accept dash characters, instead only hyphens using basic Ascii.

see: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10357622/whats-the-ascii-character-code-for Explains this very well

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