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Reply by David, Moderator

Hello, Emad, I agree with Ahmed_btm that "has ever happened" is a very natural choice, and it is probably the answer that the test...
David, Moderator

Reply by ahmed_btm

Hi, Emad, I see that the natural choice here is: 'has ever happened'. 'Ever' is used with negative adverbs like 'hardly' and in...
ahmed_btm

such as

1) Great novelists such as Joyce and Faulkner used the interior monologue. 2) Great novelists like Joyce and Faulkner used the interior monologue. 3) Great novelists, such as Joyce and Faulkner, used the interior monologue. 4) Great novelists, like Joyce and Faulkner, used the interior monologue. Do the first pair mean the same as the second pair? Gratefully, NaviRead More...

Present perfect

What is the right answer : Nothing like this (happened - has happened - has ever happened - has never happened) to her.Read More...
Hello, Emad, I agree with Ahmed_btm that "has ever happened" is a very natural choice, and it is probably the answer that the test makers would like you to choose. However, there is only one incorrect (ungrammatical) answer in the answer set, and that is "has never happened": Nothing like this happened to her. (correct in a suitable context) Nothing like this has happened to her. (correct in a suitable context) Nothing like this has ever happened to her. (correct and very natural) * Nothing...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Simplify past perfect to simple past in a type 3 conditional?

“The Daily News observed that there was no doubt as to the crime being a political one. The despotism and hatred of Liberalism which animated the Continental Governments had had the effect of driving to our shores a number of men who might have made excellent citizens were they not soured by the recollection of all that they had undergone.” A Study in Scarlet Hi. Does the bold part refer to the past, so the bold part is equivalent to “ had they not been soured...”? In other words, it is a...Read More...

Reply by Gustavo, Contributor

Hi, Azz, Please note you made a typo in (a), where you wrote "They made a n mistake... " After making that correction, I think (a) and...
Gustavo, Contributor

Reply by Gustavo, Contributor

Hello, JenH, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! The pattern agent + past participle is only used in English when the agent is a...
Gustavo, Contributor

I have made up [an/the] example below.

Suppose that you are giving a Powerpoint presentation on the relationship between addition and multiplication using your computer. You are now showing the next slide with an example. You are going to say this next. (1a) To show this relationship, I have made up an example below. 4 x 3 = 4 + 4 + 4 My non-native English speaking friends think the indefinite article is wrong because I am talking about the specific example below. So, they revised it to make (1b) below. (1b) To show this...Read More...
Nice analysis, Gustavo. I agree with everything you have said and would simply like to add that another natural way of saying "I have made up the example below " is to say "I have made up the following example ." Right here on the Grammar Exchange, I have written sentences like "Please consider the following example" probably thousands of times. Ansonman, if you really want to use "an," you could say: I have made up an example, namely, the example that appears below. But there is no need for...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Hyphen question

Which is correct? ”Fill out the department-requested form.” or ”Fill out the department requested form.”Read More...
Hello, JenH, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! The pattern agent + past participle is only used in English when the agent is a generic, plural noun, as in: - moth-eaten clothes (clothes eaten by moths ) or an institutional, singular noun (of which there is only one of the kind), as in: - state-owned company (company owned by the state ). The noun "department" does not belong to either of those categories. I'd express the sentence you propose as follows: - Fill out the form as requested by...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

placement of an adjective in "a piece of paper"

I have made up a few similar examples. I am going to write them out below. (1a) I am going to take some notes. May I borrow a scrap piece of paper from you? (1b) I am going to take some notes. May I borrow a piece of scrap paper from you? (2a) I am going to take a lot of notes. May I borrow a large piece of paper from you? (2b) I am going to take a lot of notes. May I borrow a piece of large paper from you? My non-native English speaking friends cannot help me because they are not sure.Read More...

Reply by navi

Thank you very much, David, With all due respect, I beg to differ! It might be a very friendly reply, for at the end of the day it...

Reply by David, Moderator

Yes, Navi, that's exactly right. Response (3) is thus potentially not a very friendly reply, for it implies the assertion "There must be...
David, Moderator

Reply by Hussein Hassan

Hello, Ceedhanna, If you let me say my opinion about the sentences above, I would say that: Sentence NO. (1) is definitely correct.
Hussein Hassan

Reply by David, Moderator

Hello, Ceedhanna, Please remember to try to title your threads with words or phrases that describe the grammatical topic explored in the...
David, Moderator

disagreement

Hi everyone, I want to ask how a native English-speaker agree/disagree on a idea both in formal or casual ? For example I have found that "Go along with something" is a way to support an idea. In addition, it would be great if you introduce me a reference in order to find collocation. Thanks in advance,Read More...
Hi, Leonard-Jones, Please see if this can be of help.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Reply by navi

Thank you very much, David, So is '3' saying that as a rule old people go to parks (a generalization)? Is it saying that is the kind of...

Which sentence is correct?

ceedhanna
(1) His Military Service is done in the Army Forces on 1 st March 2008. (2) His Military Service was done in the Army Forces on 1 st March 2008 and is it possible to say: (3) His Military Service has been done in the Army Forces on 1 st March 2008. ThanksRead More...
No, Hussein, you may leave your reply, but please note that your judgement that "Sentence NO. (1) is definitely correct" is right only if we suppose that the time at which the sentence is uttered or written is not now but before March of 2008 . That is an unusual context. On an grammar test, a student could not be expected to make such an assumption on his or her own. Thus, if this is a testing item, and there is no such contextual stipulation built into the question, (1) is incorrect.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Reply by David, Moderator

Hello, Navi, Yes, they are all acceptable in that context; yes, they have different meanings; and yes, (2) and (4) imply that all of...
David, Moderator

Reply by David, Moderator

Hi, Fujibei, "Meta" is being used in a rather informal, somewhat regional sense there. The OED does, however, have an entry for "meta"...
David, Moderator

very meta

The following is part of the conversation between a detective and Nick in the movei Gone Girl: Detective: “What do you do now for work?” Nick: “My sister and I own The Bar downtown.” Detective: “Oh, The Bar? Love the name. Very meta.” Nick: “Thanks.” What does "very meta" mean?Read More...
Hi, Fujibei, "Meta" is being used in a rather informal, somewhat regional sense there. The OED does, however, have an entry for "meta" (adjective) in the applicable sense. Have you ever heard of a "meta-analysis"? In the academic world, it is an analysis of analyses, or a study of studies. In TESOL, we often talk about the need to minimize the use of "meta-language" -- i.e., grammatical terminology, language about language -- in our explanations. In your quote, something similar is...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Reply by David, Moderator

Re: last
Hello, Abo Hamza, No, that sentence is not correct. Are you trying to express one of these ideas? It was the last time I would go to...
David, Moderator

Reply by David, Moderator

I'd be happy to connect the two of you. Do you check the Yahoo account associated with your Grammar Exchange membership, Hussein? I can...
David, Moderator

Reply by ahmed_btm

Of course, you can. In fact, that would be my pleasure, but I want to find a way to send you my G-mail.
ahmed_btm

Reply by Hussein Hassan

Thank you so much, Ahmed and David for your replies. David, I'd like to say that your effort to help us understand or clarify something...
Hussein Hassan

last

Please, Could you tell me if it is correct or not? It was the last time for me to go to work by bus.Read More...
Hello, Abo Hamza, No, that sentence is not correct. Are you trying to express one of these ideas? It was the last time I would go to work by bus. It was the last time I could go to work by bus. It was the last time I went to work by bus. If so, you should revise the sentence accordingly.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Surprised vs taken aback

This question has bothered me for years, and every so often I look around online for the/an answer but I always come up empty handed. In the Coen brothers movie The Ladykillers with Tom Hanks, there is the following exchange of dialogue: Marva Munson: [walking in after the explosion in the basement] Professor, I'm surprised! Professor G.H. Dorr: Well... uh... properly speaking, madam, we are surprised. You are taken aback. Though I do acknowledge that the sense that you intend is gaining...Read More...

Reply by David, Moderator

Hello, Joho, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! The general rule is to use "between" when there are two things or people involved and...
David, Moderator

Reply by David, Moderator

Hi, Hussein and Ahmed, Normally, a garage and a house are either attached to each other or separated from each other by something, such...
David, Moderator

Reply by ahmed_btm

Hi, Hussein and happy Eid Ul-Adha, It is great to see you and your enlightening threads here. If you allow me, this is just my take on...
ahmed_btm

In front of VS opposite

Hussein Hassan
Hello, there, Michael Swan in his book "Practical English Usage" says that we can't use "in front of" in the following context: There's a garage in front of my house. And he suggested using "opposite," "facing" or "across from" instead. I just imagined that I was living in a gated community or in a senior gated community, or suppose that I was living alone in an isolated area, owning a private garage in front of my house. See! It seems natural.😁 Why does Swan say we can't use "in front of"...Read More...
Thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

the old people

One person says: "In our city, a lot of people go to parks." Another replies: 1 ) It's old people who do. 2) It's the old people who do. 3 ) Old people go to parks. 4 ) The old people go to parks. Are these sentences all acceptable in this context? Do they have different meanings in this context? Do '2' and '4' imply that all of them go to parks? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, David, With all due respect, I beg to differ! It might be a very friendly reply, for at the end of the day it implies that the people of your city have a high average life expectancy!!!! Thanks again for all the clear and precise replies. I really appreciate it. Respectfully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Reply by ahmed_btm

Hi, Kimlux, and welcome to the G.E, I think the correct form that you seek is: If he visits L.A again, he will have been there three...
ahmed_btm

If John F. Kennedy <was>/<had been> alive, he would have turned 100 today.

Context 1: Suppose today is May 29, 2017 1. If John F. Kennedy was alive, he would have turned 100 today. 2. If John F. Kennedy had been alive, he would have turned 100 today. Context 2: Today is Aug 14,2019 3. If John F. Kennedy was alive, he would have turned 103 next year. 4. If John F. Kennedy had been alive, he would have turned 103 next year. Hi. Are all the above four sentences correct in the context? I make them up. Thank you.Read More...
When we transitioned to this new platform, a little over a year ago, I requested that the programmers disable the "like" function, so that there wouldn't be the sense of a popularity contest, comparable to Facebook and some other grammar sites. We prefer that members express their appreciation in words. Thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Discerning between??

I've just read 'Discerning among clinical symptoms'. I know there are rules for the use of among and between (between - distinct entities; among - not individually specified), but between seems correct in this case? Would it always be 'discerning between'? Thanks for your help!!!Read More...
Hello, Joho, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! The general rule is to use "between" when there are two things or people involved and "among" when there are more than two. However, if there are more than two things or people involved, "between" may still be used if the many countable things are thought of as being related in pairs. That applies here. In distinguishing between symptoms, we compare one type of symptom with another. That is why "distinguish between symptoms" works well.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

I couldn't believe

a. They made an mistake I couldn't believe. b. They made an error I couldn't believe they had made. c. They made an error I couldn't believe they had made it. Which of the above sentences are grammatically correct? Many thanksRead More...
Hi, Azz, Please note you made a typo in (a), where you wrote "They made a n mistake... " After making that correction, I think (a) and (b) are fine: in (a), you couldn't believe the mistake they made, while in (b) you couldn't believe their having made that mistake, i.e. the fact that they made it. (c) is wrong because there is a duplication of the object: c. They made an error (that) I couldn't believe they had made it .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Reply by David, Moderator

Hi, Apple, The usage of the progressive with "want" ("is wanting to") is indeed abnormal. However, it does sometimes occur in...
David, Moderator

Reply by David, Moderator

Hello again, Jiho, That is not a possible reading. You cannot add "that" or "which" there. If "they like best" were a relative clause,...
David, Moderator

Briefly discuss vs Discuss briefly

May I know which of the sentence below is appropriate? (1) Briefly describe the characteristics of a perfectly competitive firm. (2) Describe briefly the characteristics of a perfectly competitive firmRead More...
Hi, Joshua: In (1) and (2), the direct object of "describe" is the noun phrase "the characteristics of a perfectly competitive firm." Normally, we do not place an adverb, such as "briefly," between a verb and its direct object. Therefore (1) is better than (2); it is more advisable to use (1), because "briefly" does not come between "describe" and its direct object in that sentence.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Reply by Gustavo, Contributor

Yes, both whatever and what are correct. In (1), the speaker doesn't know what it was that John did (but knows he did something wrong).
Gustavo, Contributor

'What' vs 'whatever'

Are both the following sentence using what and whatever correct? If yes, what different do they mean? John, whatever you did in the party last night was very wrong. John, what you did in the party last night was very wrong.Read More...
I agree with Gustavo. Please note the change from " in the party" to " at the party."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Reply by Gustavo, Contributor

Hi, Kis, Yes, only "whichever" is possible there. "which(ever)" is required whenever the range of selection is restricted, and this is...
Gustavo, Contributor

Reply by Muhammad

Many thanks for your help. في الاثنين، ١٢ أغسطس، ٢٠١٩ ٢:١٤ م The Grammar Exchange < alerts@hoop.la > كتب:
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