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Just a comment.... English is my birth language and I am an educated and articulate speaker. In my opinion these test questions are badly posed!|
The book costs much time and labor.
None of the answers presented is really good. The least bad is A.
(C) is not possible because "book" is a singular subject and "take" is a plural verb.
(A), (B), (D) all are possible gramatically.
However, (B) and (D) do not make sense - a book cannot pay or spend anything. The only answer left is (A). However, it does not sound natural and the meaning is not clear.
A good answer would be "The book cost much time and labor." "Cost" is an irregular verb, and "cost" here is the past tense, not the plural.
Well, mother should be back by then, I think.
Well, mother can be back by then, I think.
This question has two good answers.
(A) is not possible because the verb is a modal - one would have to say, "Mother ought to be back by then..."
(C) is a good answer. "I think" expresses that the speaker is unsure and is making a guess. Therefore use "should." It means the same as "ought to be."
(B) actually is a good answer too. It means that, in the speaker's opinion, it is possible for mother to return by 12. Often the speaker would complete the thought like this: "Well, mother can be back by then, I think, if she hurries." -or- "Well, mother can easily be back by then, I think." Because the most natural expression would include this extra thought, probably the person who set the test intended (C) as the correct answer.
(D) is not as good because it does not make clear sense; why would the speaker be certain ("must") and then not certain ("I think")? Also, it is a little odd for the speaker to be imposing an obligation on mother. However, it is possible grammatically, and it might be used, especially in everyday speech where one may have a second thought.