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Help Required: Is this a dependent clause?

The opposing army were masterful at spreading lies and hate throughout their region, people hated them and therefore feared them. Is this a dependent clause: "People hated them and therefore feared them".Read More...
The sentence above looks like a question lacking an interrogation mark. The sentence: - Who let the cat out of the bag? is a main clause. "who let the cat out of the bag" can only be a dependent clause if it is, for example, an embedded question, a nominal relative, or a relative clause: - I want to know who let the cat out of the bag. (This is an embedded question.) - I know who let the cat out of the bag. (Nominal relative clause: I know the person who let the cat out of the bag.) - That's...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Since or That

It was only ten days ago ...... she started her new job. a) that b) since c) both A & B are OKRead More...
Yes, you are right, Coco. Very good. The answer is (a): It was only ten days ago that she started her new job. ( comes from : She started her new job ten days ago.) Des3 has given an incorrect answer. The answer is NOT (c) or (b). In order for "since" to work, two things would need to be different. "Ago" would need to be deleted, and "was" would need to be changed to "is" or "has been": It is only ten days since she started her new job. It has only been ten days since she started her new job.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

apostrophes

We're having an argument in my office. I say: Library Speakers Series has no apostrophe on Speakers. Others say it does have one. I say there's no possession. It's actually the "series of speakers," not that the series belongs to the speakers. Who's right? Thanks. SharonRead More...
Hi, Sharon, Since you are clear that you you don't wish the phrase to indicate that the serious belongs to the speakers, I agree with you that it makes more sense without the apostrophe. Even the plural (speakers) is unnecessary, though it is not incorrect. Traditionally, attributive nouns were used in the singular even with there was plural meaning. Now it is common to see both types. Thus, you could say: the library speaker series compare : the fairy tale series the superhero novel seriesRead More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

which or where

Hello, I would like to know which sentence is correct. a) Think of a buffet table at a party, or perhaps at a hotel which you've visited. b) Think of a buffet table at at party, or perhaps at a hotel where you've visited. Can I use these two senteces grammatically and, if any, what is difference between two sentences? Please give me some useful tip. Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hello, C.Y.Chang, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Only (a) is correct. The reason you shouldn't say "a hotel where you've visited" is that we speak of visiting something, not of visiting somewhere. "Visit" is a strongly transitive verb that generally requires a direct object. That is, while we can say, "I visited it", it sounds bad to say, " I visited there ." If you changed the verb to "stayed," you could use "where" after "hotel," because we can say, "I stayed there." (b1) Think of a...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Is this sentence correct?

Hello, I have never seen such a beautiful beach like this. This is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen, No other beach is as beautiful as this (one). I have never seen anything like this beautiful beach. I think sentences 1,2,3, mean about the same, but what about 4? Is 4 correct in the first place? If not, what's wrong with it? If correct, does it mean the same as the other three sentences? AppleRead More...
Hi, Apple, The only incorrect sentence in your example set is (1). "Like this" doesn't work there; however, if you changed "like" to "as," or omitted the phrase altogether, the sentence would be fine. You could also use "so beautiful a beach" instead. (1a) I have never seen such a beautiful beach as this. (1b) I have never seen such a beautiful beach. (1c) I have never seen so beautiful a beach. As to (4), though correct, it does have a different meaning. It means what it says, that this is...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

break out

Hello, I am just wondering where to use „break out of“ and where „break out from“. Is it better to say „break out from a system“ or rather „break out of a system“?Read More...
In order to get it to flow better, Better Flow, I need to break out of the two-choice box you've given me (I don't like either choice) and choose a different verb: flee .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

not only but also

cocoricot
Dear teachers, I have two simple sentences. I want to connect them using ''not only'' and ''but also''. I don't know where to place them properly. He is interested in gardening. He is interested in raising fish, too. 1. He is interested in not only gardening but also raising fish. 2. He is interested in not only gardening but he is also interested in raising fish. 3. He is not only interested in gardening but also raising fish. Can you tell me if ''not only '' ''but also'' can be placed...Read More...
Thank you, David, for your help. I got it.Read More...
Last Reply By cocoricot · First Unread Post

onto and on to

Hello, What is the difference between "onto" and "on to"? I saw this sentence on Oxford online dictionary. PC noun A personal computer. ‘you can download the software on to your PC’ https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/pc AppleRead More...
Thank you, David. I also thought "onto" would have been better, but since it is in Oxford dictionary, I wasn't sure of myself. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

trust believe

Hello, 1.I don't believe your story. 2. I trust you. 3.I cannot trust this research result. 4.I cannot believe this research result. I think 1,2,3,4, are correct, but what about the following sentence. 5. I can trust none of his success stories in business. Doesn't "trust" have to be replaced with "believe"? Or does "trust" work in this sentence? AppleRead More...
Hi, Apple, Yes, all four of those sentences are correct. Sentence (5) is correct, too. "Trust" does not need to be replaced with "believe." "Trust" does work in the sentence. It is a more emphatic version of this sentence: (5a) I cannot trust any of his success stories in business. Please note that "I cannot believe this research result" will tend to indicate excitement and would naturally end with an exclamation point: (4a) I cannot believe this research result! Wow. That is, (4) will not...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Are exciting and excited the same

I just wanted to knowRead More...
Hi, Favor, Please include your question in the opening post of a thread. Readers should not have to refer to the title of a thread to see the question that is being asked. As to the difference between "exciting" & "excited," please see the answer Gustavo gave you regarding the difference between "interesting" & "interested."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"A variety of" vs "varieties of"

Hello everyone, what's the difference between 'a variety of' and 'varieties of' in the following sentences? And are they both correct? There is a variety of flowers in the market. There are varieties of flowers in the market.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, Sentence (1) indicates that the flowers in the market are of one variety or type, and (2) that the flowers in the market are of many different varieties or types. If you mean simply to say that there are a bunch of diverse flowers in the market (where "variety of" functions as a mere quantifier), then you should say: (3) There are a variety of flowers in the market.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

delay to repair the bus

a. We'll have a twenty-minute delay to repair the bus. b. There will be a twenty-minute delay to repair the bus. c. We'll have a twenty-minute delay in order to repair the bus. d. There will be a twenty-minute delay in order to repair the bus. Are the above sentences grammatically correct? Are they natural? The idea is that repairing the bus will take twenty minutes and therefore we'll be delayed by twenty minutes. Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, While none of the sentences is a disaster, all of them cry out to be repaired. If you changed "(in order) to repair the bus" to "for bus repairs," all would be well: (a'/c') We'll have a twenty-minute delay for bus repairs. (b'/d') There will be a twenty-minute delay for bus repairs.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

too drunk to remember

Ask him what he said to Jane at the party last night. -He won't be able to answer. He was too drunk to remember. He is not drunk now. He was so drunk last night that he has surely forgotten all he did and said and won't be able to recall what he said to Jane. Does the sentence in blue work in this context? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- a. Her relationship with her husband was too bad for her to want to talk about him. Is sentence (a)...Read More...
Hi, Azz, No, the sentence in blue does not work in that context. It means that, while drunk at the party, he couldn't remember something that happened earlier. Thus, the meaning is contradicted by the context. The sentence wants a perfect infinitive in the context you've presented: Ask him what he said to Jane at the party last night. -He won't be able to answer. He was too drunk to have remembered . Yes, Azz, it is. However, I'd prefer the following, which is equivalent in meaning: (a1) Her...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

passive voice

Dears, Could you help me with one example of the first conditional? How to create the passive voice of it. If she is always late, you shouldn't wait for her. I will be grateful for your supportRead More...
Hello, Joanna, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! A conditional sentence is a sentence formed by a main clause (what we call the "result") and a conditional clause (what we call the "condition"). Each of those clauses can contain a transitive or an intransitive verb. Only if the verb is transitive in both clauses can the whole sentence be turned into the passive voice, for example: - If they find him, they 'll punish him -> If he 's found , he 'll be punished . In your sentence, only...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Which is correct? Is there a song... Is there any song... Are they any songs...

Hello, 1. Is there a song that you can sing in French? 2. Are there any songs that you can sing in French? 3. Is there any song that you can sing in French? I know sentences 1 and 2 are correct, but what about 3? I don't think it is correct, but is it acceptable? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Usage of apostrophe 's

Hi there, do I need to use apostrophe 's in the following sentence? I left my job in 2007 after a misunderstanding between me and the manager of the company. I joined the the company again in 2009 after my friend 's becoming the new manager of the company. I know we can say the following: I left my job in 2007 after a misunderstanding between me and the manager of the company. I joined the the company again in 2009 after my friend became the new manager of the company. But should I use...Read More...
Hi, Subhajit: Sentence (1) is extremely awkward. I can't imagine any native speaker anywhere using the sentence. It wouldn't work at all without the apostrophe. That said, you should really use the second sentence instead.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

there is or are a wide range of...

Hello, There is a wide range of products. This is correct. Not " there are a wide.... Right? At least I think so, but other native speakers seem to disagree. Are both "is" and "are" acceptable in today's grammar? https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/there-is-or-there-are-a-wide-range.3339283/ AppleRead More...
Ok. I see. Thank you, David. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Point of view and interpretation.

Hi Guys, The following are two snippets which I have written for a treatise. When I ask a person which they prefer, I get a clear 50-50 response rate. Some like option 1 and others seem to prefer option 2. Feedback from an editor suggests option one is accusatory and should be avoided, however, individuals who preferred option 1 inform after they have read it, view it as 'helpful advice' rather than instructional or didactic . The second professional feedback was in relation to point of view...Read More...

the economy is much larger and diverse than this sector.

Hi! I have some questions about this sentence: Thus, while those with skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) observe higher incomes than those with other backgrounds, the economy is much larger and diverse than this sector. https://edwp.educ.msu.edu/green-and-write/2016/21st-century-skills-and-the-stem-craze/ I suppose, prescriptively speaking, there should be "more" in front of "diverse" so that "and" can connect the two comparative degree adjectives, "larger" and "more...Read More...
Thank you so much, David! I understand. I'm so sorry for this delayed response.Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

Admit

Karim admitted ..................... the plate and said he was sorry. a) breaking b) to break c) to breaking d) break This sentence is taken from a mock exam in the workbook of 3rd year secondary, Egypt. (practice test 5 B) The answer in the book is "breaking" but I see no reason for not using both "breaking" and "to breaking". RegardsRead More...
Greetings, everybody, I agree with your answer, Ahmed_btm, though I can't say I find the "model answer" to be the most natural here. I would not naturally say, "He admitted breaking the plate." I would naturally say, "He admitted to breaking the plate." Thus, if I had to choose a "model answer" to the question among the listed choices, I'd choose (c). If I used V-ing immediately after "admitted," I would use the perfective: (e) Karim admitted having broken the plate and said he was sorry.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

grammar

Dear teachers, please help me find out the right answer. Which sentence is correct? 1- I am an English teacher. 2- I am a teacher of English.Read More...
Hi, Ramdan, welcome to the G.E. and Happy Ramadan, Both are correct. The first one is ambiguous as it could refer to either the nationality or the the job. It seems that, in speech, stress has its role here, but, in writing, the meaning depends on the context. The second sentence is more obvious and more precise as it just refers to the job. It has just one meaning: 'I am an English language teacher'. 'An English teacher' is more common, though. I still remember the words of one of this...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Please

Can " please " be used as a verb to mean " beg " or " ask " ? I mean, are these two sentences the same? 1) I begged him to help me. 2) I pleased him to help me. Thanks.Read More...
Hello, Yama, No, it can't. No. Only the first sentence works. The second is ungrammatical. But you can say: 1a) I begged/asked him to please help me. In (1a), we understand that the begging/asking involved the word "please."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Adjectival or adverbial?

James, hiding under the bed, was completely silent. Is "hiding under the bed" adjectival? Some say it is adverbial. (Source: Complete English Grammar Course by Peter Herring. Entry: participle)Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, Yes, "hiding under the bed" may be analyzed either way in that sentence. According to the adjectival interpretation, the sentence is short for this: James, who was hiding under the bed, was completely silent. According to the adverbial interpretation, "hiding under the bed" is a participial phrase that specifies why James was completely silent. Compare: James, hiding under the bed, felt claustrophobic. I personally find the adjectival interpretation more natural in your example.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

On or while

................he was student , he was writing short stories. On /While the answer was while in the book but i don't know why because the rule is while past continuous , past simple.Read More...
Hi, Poet20, "On" is a preposition. It is not a subordinating conjunction, like "while." Prepositions do not introduce subordinate clauses.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

-ing form with preparatory it

Hussein Hassan
Hi, there, There's a rule in Aim High 6 (the book I'm teaching) says: 'it ' can be used as a preparatory subject or object for an -ing form , especially in informal style. We often use it with adjectives . And It cites the following examples: It was amazing walking along the Great Wall. It was interesting hearing what he had to say. On the other hand, advisable as an adjective in Oxford Dictionary is followed by to + inf. It is advisable to practise each exercise individually at first. The...Read More...
Thanks a lot, Gustavo. You made it clear.Read More...
Last Reply By Hussein Hassan · First Unread Post

which vs. who

Can one say a. Which are happier: the Americans or the Greeks? b. Who is happier: the Americans or the Greeks? c. Who are happier: the Americans or the Greeks? ? Many thanks.Read More...

to last a week/infinitives!

1) He has food to last a week. 2) He has enough food to last a week. Is the food going to last a week or he? ================================= 3) They have money to buy a house. Is '3' correct? I'd either use 'enough money' or 'the money'. I don't like '3'. But '1' seems fine. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

reach you

May I know whether the sentence below is grammatical? " Please request for receipt if it doesn't reach you'?"Read More...
Hi, Joshua, No, the sentence is not grammatical. Since you haven't said what "it" refers to, I don't know what the sentence means. I'll pretend the sentence doesn't include the "if it doesn't reach you" part. One problem is that the sentence isn't a question, so your punctuation doesn't make sense. But the main problem is the use of " request for receipt ," which doesn't work. You can change the beginning part of the sentence like this: Please request a receipt. Please ask for a receipt.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

relative clause

a. Yi Sun-shin was one of the greatest admirals, who made the Turtle Ship. b. Yi Sun-shin, who made the Turtle Ship, was one of the greatest admirals. Are they both correct and natural? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Kis, Both are unnatural (outside of context, at least), and only (b) is correct. Is there a reason you are making "made the Turtle Ship" a subordinate piece of information? Why not use an appositive? There are two options for appositives, depending on what you want to make the main point of the sentence: c. Yi Sun-shin, one of the greatest admirals, made the Turtle Ship. d. Yi Sun-shin, designer of the Turtle Ship, was one of the greatest admirals.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

login to / into / on

Which are considered correct? 1 I must login to / into / on the website. 2 I must go into / onto / on the website. Thanks.Read More...
Hi, bear_bear, You can use (2) -- all three variations are OK -- but (1) is wrong. "Log in" is two words, though it is commonly spelled as (1) by people who don't know better. You can tell from the -ing form that "log in" should be spelled as two words. We speak of " logging in ," not of " logining ."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Make Interesting / Find Friends?

Are these sentences considered correct? 1 I want make interesting friends around the world. 2 I can find more friends from another country. 3 I can meet interesting friends from korea, England and many more (countries) through the website. ThanksRead More...
Hi, bear_bear, Sentences (2) and (3) are OK, except for the fact that you didn't capitalize the "K" in "Korea." But (1) is incorrect. You can't say, " I want make interesting friends around the world ." You can't ever say " I want make ." You can say, "I want to make . . ."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

connector - which / that

IS there considered correct? 1 Susan helped the elderly woman which was not for her money. 2 The laptop has a powerful processor that is energy saving. ThanksRead More...
Hi, bear_bear, Sentence (1) is incorrect. What are you trying to say? Are you trying to say this? (1a) Susan helped the elderly woman, but not because she wanted her money. In (2), you need a hyphen between "energy" and "saving." I recommend: (2a) The laptop has a powerful, energy-saving processor .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

seemed / looked / was very pitiful

Do we accept the following sentences? 1 The beggar seemed / looked / was very pitiful. 2 They felt pitiful to the beggar. Thanks.Read More...
Hi, bear_bear, Sentence (1) is OK, but (2) is not -- assuming you are trying to say what I think you are trying to say in (2). You can say: (2a) They pitied the beggar. (2b) They felt bad for the beggar.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Passive voice

Hello there, I am new to the forum...so...nice to meet you all. I have a difficulty in trying to convert two sentences from active voice to passive. The sentences are as follows: 1: Everyone believes the actor has had plastic surgery. Is it correct if i say: The actors is believed to have plastic surgery? and 2: They know he sustained third-degree burns in the fire. Is it correct: He is known to have been sustained third-degree burns in the fire? Thanks in advance guys!Read More...
Hello Gustavo and thank you very much; I really appreciate your help!!! Thanks!Read More...
Last Reply By Ioannis Giakalis · First Unread Post

ten more dollars

a, I had to pay ten more dollars to get what I wanted. b. I had to pay another ten dollars to get what I wanted. c. I had to pay ten dollars in addition to what I had paid to get what I wanted. d. I had to pay ten dollars more than I had paid to get what I wanted. e. I had to pay ten dollars more than what I had paid to get what I wanted. I think the sentences are all grammatical, but do the last two mean the same as the others? I am not sure about that. Let's say I had paid 40 dollars to...Read More...
Hi, Azz, I see your point and agree with you that (d) and (e) can mean that. However, they can also be used to mean what (a), (b), and (c) mean. Imagine that you just paid John the $40. He might say, "You need to pay $10 more." The obvious meaning is that he needs to give John $10; the cost is $50. But suppose you don't understand John. "Ten dollars more than what?" you ask. "You need to pay ten dollars more than (what) you just paid me," he would reply. John would understand himself to be...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Causative " have "

I came across this question while I was looking at some questions related to the causative form. * They had their lawyer ................. their will. a) changed b) to change c) changing d) changes According to what I know, " have " in the causative form is followed by an "infinitive". Can you give me the answer to this question ? Thanks.Read More...
Thank you all.Read More...
Last Reply By Yama · First Unread Post

First Conditional

I want to appreciate Moderator David and other contributors on this resourceful site. God bless you real good. I was planning a lesson on conditional sentences and I got this from page 748 of 'Cambridge Grammar of English' by Ronald Carter and Michael McCarthy: "The structure of the first conditional is: if + present simple tense + modal verb with future reference (e.g. will/shall/may). In the first conditional, a speaker or writer predicts a likely result in the future if the condition is...Read More...
Wonderful! I am so grateful to you, Mr David. Your responses are always excellent.Read More...
Last Reply By Yale Wale · First Unread Post

there's only three people

Hello, Here is a part of an article in TIME magazine. The article was written by the famous parents who raised super kids. My question: Is it acceptable in speaking to use singular “there is” for plural nouns such as “there’s only three people”? ************** “We’d eat at Sizzler and my mom would be like ‘there’s only three people here, there’s not five,’” recalls Anne, noting that the other two sisters would be hiding in the bathroom, ready to take their turn at the all-you-can-eat buffet.Read More...
Hi, Apple, Native speakers rarely use "there is " with plural nouns, but it is very common in informal conversation for native speakers to use "there 's " with plural nouns. Even though "there 's " is short for "there is ," the reduction is important here. It doesn't sound nearly as bad to have lack of plural concord with "there's." Please note that Time has not itself committed the "error." The "error" occurs in quoted speech. Time would also not use "be like" instead of "say."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

have someone to teach...

1) She has someone to teach to dance. 2) She has someone to teach dancing. 3) She has someone to teach dancing to. In which cases: a) The 'someone' in question is taught dancing by her and in which cases: b) The 'someone' in question teaches dancing. I think '3' is clear. It seems to me that '2' means the 'someone' is doing the teaching. I am not sure about '1' at all. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Right you are, Navi. I did mean 'meaning (a).' Sorry about that. I've just edited that comment, notating that I edited it. Sometimes I accidentally jumble the letters and numbers when we're playing syntactico-semantic Connect the Dots.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Zero conditional

I was planning a lesson on conditional sentences and I came across a site that talked about types of conditional statement one of which is 'zero conditional.' It says this kind of conditional statement is used to express general truths or scientific facts in which one thing causes another. It also says that the verbs in both the conditional clause and the main clause in the statement should be simple present tense, e.g. 1. If people smoke cigarettes, their health suffers. Then, it says it is...Read More...
Wow! Thank you so much, Mr David. You cleared my doubt. Thanks so much. I'm so sorry for not providing the link to the site. I'd wanted to, but I thought it might not be considered proper. Here's the link to the site where I got the information from: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/conditional-sentences/ I must commend and appreciate your effort here on GrammarExchange. You don't have least idea how this site is really helping those of us who are ESL learners and teachers.Read More...
Last Reply By Yale Wale · First Unread Post

tea hot / hot tea

Which is correct? 1 I would like my tea hot / hot tea. 2 (a) Do you want your tea hot or cold? (b) Do you want your hot tea or cold tea? ThanksRead More...
Hello, Bear_Bear, (1) can be correct either way, but with a different meaning: 1a. I would like my tea hot : this means that the speaker would like to have the tea he/she usually drinks to be hot on this particular occasion . 1b. I would like my hot tea : this means that the speaker always has his/her tea hot , so he/she is simply asking for his/her hot tea to be served as usual. The presence of "or" in (2) makes (a) the only possible choice. Somebody (possibly the waiter) is asking the...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Must or have to?

From the book "Gem" Choose 1-You ....phone him before 3 pm .He won't be available after that (Must-have to-don't have to-hadn't to) 2-You ....phone him now.It's very urgent (Must-have to-dont have to-hadn't to) I think the first is "have to" because there is an outer conditions The second I think it's "must" as it's an individual opinion so it's an adviceRead More...
Thanks 😀Read More...
Last Reply By Ahmed55 · First Unread Post

restrictive or nonrestrictive clause?

Restrictive clauses are not set off by commas, and yet we often see commas deployed this way, even in the work of mainstream journalists. This is the lead paragraph in a piece by Ronda Kaysen in today's NY Times: "In the suburbs, homeowners take their lawns seriously. A neighbor, who maintains an impeccable bed of grass in his backyard, once spent a full hour explaining to me how he’d had a sample of his soil analyzed to help him attain optimal growing conditions. He glanced at my backyard...Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, In context you've provided, it makes sense that the relative clause is nonrestrictive. The purpose of the sentence is to illustrate the point made in the previous sentence, that homeowners in the suburbs take their lawns seriously. What shows that this neighbor of the author's takes his lawn seriously? Is it the fact that he maintains an impeccable bed of grass in his backyard, or the fact that he had his soil analyzed to help him attain optimal growing conditions? Both facts...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Past or future

1-Book"my new friend" She wants to know if he ( planned - had planned - was planning - is planning) to go to Turkey the following year. The answer of the book is "was planning " 2-Book "bit by bit" He asks where his uncle(Will travel -travels -was travelling -were travelling) the following week The answer of the book is "will travel " Are these answers ok?of so,why we chose future in the second sentence instead of was travelling?Read More...

have been able to do/could do

Hi there, should I use "have been able to do" or "could do" in the following context? Liverpool have just beaten Chelsea by 10-0, which is quite unbelievable. They have done something that no other team have been able to do/could do .Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, In your variation, I recommend using "has done" rather than "did." They have done something that no other team has done . You could even elide "done" and end the sentence with "has." They have done something that no other team has .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Let alone

Hello everybody Translating a book, I faced below sentence: "Our society is unrecognizable from fifty years ago, let alone one hundred." What does it want to say simply? Thanks.Read More...
Thank you again, Gustavo, for your kindly and useful helps.Read More...
Last Reply By M.hob · First Unread Post

was kind to...

Which are correct: 1) He is a kind man to have helped you yesterday. 2) He is a kind man to help you yesterday. 3) He is kind to help you yesterday. 4) He was kind to help you yesterday. 5) He was kind to have helped you yesterday. 6) It was kind of him to help you yesterday. 7) It was kind of him to have helped you yesterday. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

Advantage

I've read these two sentences: 1. One of the many advantages of living in New York is that you can eat out at almost any time of day. 2. What are the advantages to having a holiday in the winter? I wonder when to use "of" and when to use "to". So, Could anyone please help me figure it out? THANKS for your kind help. The first sentence is an example on Longman online dictionary site. The second is from my school text book "New Hello" published by Longman too.Read More...
Good point, Rasha Assem. My understanding is that there is not much difference between "advantages of V-ing" and "advantages to V-ing." In this older thread I had already suggested the possibility of using "advantages to V-ing," but the truth is that "advantages of V-ing" is equally correct. "of" indicates possession, and that is clear in "advantages of V-ing." I can only imagine the use of "to" (which sounds more idiomatic, less transparent to me) as a shortened version of "attached to":...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Must /need to

I(need to /must) buy souvenirs for my family while I’m in London next week. What is the right answer in this sentence?Read More...
Hi, Emad Ragheb, I find both alternatives correct. "must" may be more usual, suggesting obligation rather than necessity: it's not that "I" has the necessity of buying souvenirs, but feels under the obligation to do so.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Tenses

What is the right answer in this sentence :" The fire grew quickly because it...... for many months." (had not rained / was not raining).Read More...
The past continuous is used for actions or states simultaneous with, not previous to, the main verb in the past simple. Also, the "for"-adverbial ( for many months ) requires a perfect tense. Let's see an example with the past continuous: - It was raining when the fire broke out . (There is simultaneity between the rain and the fire outbreak.) - It had been raining for some time when the fire broke out. (Here we can infer that the rain stopped when the fire broke out and thus preceded the...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

that was in their interest

1) He said they were withdrawing from the deal although that was in their interest. 2) He said they were withdrawing from the deal because that wasn't in their interest. Do these sentences make sense? In them 'that' is supposed to refer to 'the deal'. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, No, the sentences don't make sense. Although I wouldn't want to say that it is grammatically impossible for "that" to refer to "the deal" in those sentences, the natural interpretation of "that" is that it refers to their withdrawing from the deal. The issue with the sentences, then, lies in the semantics. Regarding (1), if withdrawing from the deal was in their interest, and that is what they did, then it doesn't make sense to use "although." Regarding (2), the sentence...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Comma used to separate a relative clause

In "Fowler's Concise Modern English Usage", 3rd Edition, p128.5, on commas, it states: "They are also used to separate a relative clause from what it refers back to when the clause is not a restrictive or identifying one. " Two examples are provided: i) "The book, which was on the table, was a gift. " ii) "The book which was on the table was a gift." "Without the comma, the relative clause would identify the book in question rather than give extra information about it." My question: could...Read More...
Thank you very much, David. I understand it now.Read More...
Last Reply By Philip · First Unread Post

adverb clauses

Q.I wonder which one is grammatically incorrect or awkward in the following sentences. 1. I felt much better while eating breakfast. 2. I felt much better after eating breakfast. 3. I felt much better because eating breakfast. 4. I felt much better until eating breakfast. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Jiho, It's nice to see you again. Only (1) and (2) are correct, and they have totally different meanings. (3) and (4) are incorrect. "Because" and "until" don't take gerund objects. (There may be exceptions with "until," but none is coming to mind right now.)Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Question

He asks where his uncle ....the following week (Will travel ..travels ..was travelling ...were travelling)Read More...
Hello, Ahmed55, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Please check the test question again. Did you mean to use the present simple ("asks"), or should it have been "asked"? In the future, please use a title descriptive of the grammatical topic. Also, when you ask a question, please ask the question. Don't make us infer it. Thank you. Again, welcome to the forum.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

it/that

1) She will refuse to sign the agreement because that is what her husband wants her to do. 2) She will refuse to sign the agreement because it is what her husband wants her to do. 3) She won't sign the agreement, because that is what her husband wants her to do. 4) She won't sign the agreement, because it is what her husband wants her to do. Can we tell what her husband wants her to do? Does he want her to sign the agreement or to avoid signing it? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, In (1) and (2), "that"/"it" could refer to "refuse to sign the agreement" or to "sign the agreement." However, unless she and her husband are at odds, it is highly unlikely that she would refuse to do something because her husband wants her to do it. Thus, it's natural to assume that her husband wants her to refuse. In (3) and (4), I find it unclear whether her husband wants her to sign or not to sign the agreement. Again, from a pragmatic standpoint, it is more natural to...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Must have

In the sentences " you must have held the money continuously for 28 days" and " You must have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks" "must have +verb-ed" appears to mean something completely different from "he must have been ill/must have seen many countries etc, however, I know of no grammar textbook which deals with this difference in meaning. My guess is that 'you must have held the money and you must have worked ' mean that we expect/require that you have held the money/worked...Read More...
Hi, Katze, Yes, your interpretation is correct. Here's another way you can paraphrase it: It must be the case that you have held the money continuously for (at least) 28 days. "Must" has deontic meaning here; it is not the epistemic use of "must," which you were already familiar with. The good news is that you understood the sentence even though you hadn't read about that use of must in a grammar book.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Usage of the past perfect subjunctive

The following is an excerpt from the CNN News on line of April 15 about the burned-down Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. My question is why the past perfect subjunctive is used in “ workers would have disassembled the frame ” and “ it would have been reassembled ” despite the fact that the preceding and following parts are the simple past forms: the carpenters first built the frame … and the beams extended toward the heavens … The prevailing Gothic style called for high vaulted ceilings. To...Read More...
Hi, Fujibei, I'm not sure why you're describing "would have [past participle]" as the "past perfect subjunctive." It doesn't even contain the past perfect, let alone the subjunctive. I suspect you're confusing "would have [past participle]" here with the use of that structure in type 3 (past counterfactual) conditionals, in which the past perfect is used in the "if"-clause. The meaning here is not counterfactual. "Would have [past participle]" is used to indicate that an inference is being...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

conditionals

Which is correct: 1) Even if her husband wasn't at the scene of the crime, you should interrogate him as soon as possible. 2) Even if her husband hadn't been at the scene of the crime, you should interrogate him as soon as possible. The idea is that we don't know whether he was at the scene of the crime or not, but you should interrogate him anyway. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, In that context, only (1) is correct. I don't think I'd use (2) in any context. If reworded slightly, however, (2) could work in a context in which we knew that her husband was at the scene of the crime and wanted to say that he would need to be interrogated ASAP even if he hadn't been at the scene of the crime: 2a) Even if her husband hadn't been at the scene of the crime, you would still need to interrogate him as soon as possible.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Unusual Past perfect/past simple relations?

The following sentence was taken from the Cambridge "Quiz your English" app (a screenshot is attached): Is that another example of past perfect for an event that finished after another event in the past simple? if so, how can I explain that unusual sentence? Thanks, YanivRead More...
Hi, Yaniv, I think it is easier to analyze the use of the past perfect there as being analogous to the use of the present perfect in a future-oriented sentence like: By the time it has stopped raining, it will be too late to go to the beach. In each case, at the imagined time , both the statement "It has stopped raining" and the statement "It is too late to go to the beach" were or will be true. Thanks for providing the screenshot. The simple past is also an option in your example ("By the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

so warm-hearted

cocoricot
Dear teachers, Please tell me if I write the sentence correctly? "Never before have I met so warm-hearted a woman as my mother." Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Coco, I agree with David, and like his versions a lot better. I have to admit that I made an attempt to answer your question some time ago and, having reached some conclusions that seemed absurd, decided to let it rest. The point is that "before" made it sound as if "I" had met his/her own mother just now! Let's compare with a similar sentence (changing "so" to "such" as suggested by David for the sentence not to sound awkward): - Never before have I met such a beautiful girl as Mary...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Exhausted

I was exhausted at the end of the exam. I ........ about 12 pages . ( had been writing - had written ) .Read More...
Very good, Hussein. I agree with you completely. The (normal) past perfect is needed in that sentence . If, instead of a quantity of pages, a length of time were given, the past-perfect progressive would work: I was exhausted at the end of the exam. I had been writing for over an hour. The past-perfect progressive in Egyptian2017's example would suggest that speaker had NOT written 12 pages. The sentence may be compared to this: " I was exhausted. I had been running a marathon, but only made...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

like carefree dancing

Can one say a. I like carefree dancing. instead of b. I like to dance in a carefree manner. ? Can one say c. I hate careless driving. instead of d. I hate to drive carelessly. ? Doesn't (c) mean I hate 'careless driving' in general, no matter who's doing it? Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, To me, the infinitive forms a unit with the verb of liking, so in (b) and (d) it is clear that the speaker likes or hates to do those things him/herself. The gerund preceded by an adjective in (a) and (c) functions as a noun and creates a sense of detachment: the speaker likes or hates those activities, regardless of who carries them out. However, with other gerunds the speaker's involvement in the action may become more evident, as in: e. I like open water swimming. f. I hate open...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

generic you in the object of a verb in the past tense

Hi! I was wondering whether generic you (used for people in general) can appear as the object of a verb in the past tense. I got this question when I was reading this article: What's your favorite place that you've played so far? "It wasn't in the United States, it was actually over in Japan when I played there in 2016. I loved playing in the city of Sapporo. The people there — the culture was pretty unique, and they embraced you."...Read More...
I understand, thank you so much Gustavo!Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

Phrase Heads & Licence Complements - Reference Book

In the book "Oxford Modern English Grammar", 5.1.2 - Complements in Phrases it states: "He wasn't particularly fond of Bax" "The Head of this AdjP is the adjective fond which licences the PP..." Essentially I'm trying to determine what complements are licensed by a phrase head for other words. Many thanks, PhilipRead More...
The simplest one, thus far, is the "Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary", pg 545, listing Fond as: "fond adj. 1 (foll. by of)...Read More...
Last Reply By Philip · First Unread Post

seems like (as if)?

Hello! 1. He seems to be happy. 2. It seems that he is happy. (formal style) 3. It seems like ( as if ) he is happy. (informal style) In sentence 2 and 3, I assume that; 1) the conjunctions - ' that ' and ' like ', ' as if' in informal style - lead not a subject complement but a real subject clause (that is, impersonal subject + complete intransitive verb + real subject clause). 2) ' seems ' is justified to function as an complete intransitive verb , which leads a real subject clause.Read More...

Whose

Hi everyone First of all happy easter to everyone Are those sentences correct? I have a friend whose car we need. Or I have a friend whose car we are in need of. Thanks.Read More...
Hello, Hs12. Welcome to the Grammar Exchange and Happy Easter! Generally, "those" refers to things that come before. It would have been better to say, "Are these sentences correct?," because you are talking about sentences that you are about to mention. The example sentences you have written are very strange, but they are grammatically correct. What context do you have in mind for them? Here are more natural sentences: I have a friend whose car needs gas. I have a friend whose car is in need...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

... (he) suffered from many ....

I have made up a sentence below. (1a) He was weak and throughout his adult life suffered from many illnesses. My friends think I need "he" after "life". (1b) He was weak and throughout his adult life he suffered from many illnesses. Do I need "he" there? Thanks a lot.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, Both (1a) and (1b) are correct. You can add "he" after "life" or not. It's your choice. The sentence is correct either way. Sentence (1a) has one independent clause, and (1b) has two. Sentence (1a) is the following sentence with the "throughout"-phrase re-positioned: (1a') He was weak and suffered from many illnesses throughout his adult life. As you can see, "throughout his adult life" is adverbial modifying the verb phrase "suffered from many illnesses." It modifies that verb...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Is it wrong to omit the conjunction "and"?

Last week, I made up three sentences for my non-native English speaking friends to comment on. I have written them below. (1a) This is an interesting, exciting story. (2a) He is a reliable, dedicated employee. (3a) The couple has a happy, healthy relationship. My friends said the sentences sound wrong without the conjunction. So, they revised them to make the sentences below. (1b) This is an interesting and exciting story. (2b) He is a reliable and dedicated employee. (3b) The couple has a...Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, Yes, all six sentences are perfectly correct. Moreover, the sentences your friends said sound wrong sound perfectly fine.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Than whom

Hi guys. Is it correct to say : I have a friend than whom my father speaks English better as in : I have a friend who speaks English My father speaks English better than my friendRead More...
Hello, HS12, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Your sentence: is totally ungrammatical. "than" needs to appear after the adjective in comparative degree. If you want to use a relative, you can choose one of these: - I have a friend whose English is not as good as my father's. - I have a friend who doesn't speak English as well as my father (does).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

comma usages

(a) You, as a non-native English speaker, should learn English words , as many as you can if you want to be fluent in this language. Are you OK with the above text? I am not. The following version works for me: (b) You, as a non-native English speaker , should learn English words , as many as you can , if you want to be fluent in this language. Here's my take: 1. Is it "as many as you can if you want to be fluent in this language"? This seems unlikely, because it is not true that this entire...Read More...
Grammatically speaking, it is true that "if you want to be fluent in this language" refers to "should learn English words." However, from a semantic point of view, if you take out the parenthetical "as many as you can" (which is correctly set off by commas and, being parenthetical, should allow for its elimination without a significant change of meaning), the sentence is too obvious to be good: - You, as a non-native English speaker, should learn English words if you want to be fluent in...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Relative pronouns

What is the right choice in this sentence : I'll tell you some of (which /what) he has said, but I wish you wouldn't get angry.Read More...
Hi, Emad Ragheb, "some of" is a partitive and needs to be followed by a noun phrase: some of his comments, some of his ideas, etc. "what" is a nominal relative pronoun, meaning "the things that," so that is what you need: - I'll tell you some of what (= the things that) he has said.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

phrasal verbs with fall

Hello all. Can you give me some examples to illustrate the difference between fall down and fall through? Can "a plan falls down" as in the sentence below: All his plans to start his own business fell down (1) Is it better if I replace "fell down" with "fell through"? I am quite puzzled because they have almost the same meaning in some dictionaries. Among its three meanings given, fall down has a meaning as "to fail" as in - Where do you think the plan falls down? (2) As for fall through, it...Read More...
Hello, Quangco123, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Phrasal verbs don't need to be mutually exclusive. In fact, some of them are similar in meaning and can be used in the same sentences. Let's compare some examples with "fall down" and "fall through" from the Corpus: - Technically he is excellent but you have noticed that he is falling down on the supervisory aspects of his job. - The attorney general is supposed to act only when the law enforcement is falling down or broken down in a...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

of the same size or the same size

Hello there I'd like to know if it's correct to say : 1. The two products are of the same size. 2. The two products are the same size. 3. The two products have the same size. 4. The two products are of different sizes. 5. The two products are in different sizes. 6. The two products have different sizes. Thanks a lot. Happy Easter :DRead More...
Thanks a lot David and GustavoRead More...
Last Reply By taiman · First Unread Post

what has happened vs happened

A: Oh, You have some bruises on your face. _____? B: Richard hit me. 1) What has happened 2) What happened Which one is better?Read More...
I agree that Swan's advice there provides no justification for using the present perfect in the answer to the quiz question you have presented. The speaker comments on the bruises. That something has happened which caused the bruises is part of the context. The speaker is wondering what happened .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Oblivious clearly

Is the following sentence grammatically correct: "I'm oblivious clearly."Read More...
Hello, Hailey, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! That isn't a very kind thing to say about oneself. From a grammatical standpoint, the sentence wants a comma (or, in speech, an intonation break or slight pause) before "clearly." Alternatively, you could place "clearly" at the beginning or in the middle. It is a sentence-level adverbial modifying the proposition "I'm oblivious." It is clear that I'm oblivious. Clearly, I'm oblivious. I'm clearly oblivious. I'm oblivious, clearly.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Past Cont vs Past Perfect Cont,

Someone next door ................... heavy metal music all night long. I didn’t get a wink of sleep. a) was playing b) has played c)had been playing d) has been playing I think that 'c' is the answer but 'a' is also possible. From one of the mock exams in Egypt.Read More...
Ahmed_btm (and to this day I still have no idea what "btm" means) wrote: My dear friend Ahmed, I believe you meant to write " whom we miss on this forum", and for what it's worth, the name is DocV, not DOCV. There still appear to be formatting issues that are beyond David's control, or mine. I apologize to you, sir, and to my dear friend David, and to Gustavo, and to certain other members. Tara certainly comes to mind. There are others. I say to you all, I beg your pardon. Some of you might...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post
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