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This is a sentence from my JLPT prep book:

新しい首相に代わったが、景気は回復する (  )、悪化する一方であった。

The answer is: ものか, but I thought it was どころか.

I can't figure out why どころか isn't correct or is unnatural. They seem to both mean the same thing, and can both follow the dictionary form of a verb.

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as 137 said, the correct answer would be どころか, the meaning is not clear if you use ものか here. – oldergod Oct 11 '12 at 5:55
up vote 9 down vote accepted

I would like to propose that the answer book is wrong.

In the example sentence ものか could only be used to express complete disbelief or rejection of the idea that the economy will improve.
ものか is used to flat out deny an idea as false.
And trying to follow that with 悪化する一方であった would be strange grammatically and in terms of meaning.

どころか is used to negate a statement in order to emphasize that the alternative is true.

Thus, どころか is correct because of the way it contrasts 回復 with 悪化 where ものか does not have that function.

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Wow, many thanks to you and @oldergod above. I thought I was going crazy for a minute. – istrasci Oct 11 '12 at 14:38

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