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George Floyd

George Floyd cried out for his mother twice while being murdered. His mother died 2 years ago. Let that sink in. I have 2 questions regarding that passage above: 1. What is the meaning of "Let that sink in"? 2. Can I write this sentence: "George Floyd cried out for his mother twice while being murdered" like this way: George Floyd cried out for his mother twice while he was murdered.?Read More...

Present Perfect Simple vs Continuous

I do understand that both tenses, the Present Perfect Simple and Continuous, are used for repeated actions. I started researching the topic a long time ago and found out a lot of differences between the two. The difference that I need to ask you about is the following: This is from Practical English Usage by Michael Swan. I've understood from it that we don't use the Present Perfect Continuous when we say how often we have done something. However, I came across the following sentence,...Read More...
Hi, Rasha, It is a matter of 'focus / emphasis'. In your example above " I've been getting this magazine every week for a year ", we use the progressive form to indicate / emphasize that an action is ongoing and repeated . The focus here isn't on 'how often', but on 'how long'. The present perfect isn't wrong here, by the way, but the present perfect progressive works much better depending on the speaker's perspective. The present perfect is particularly preferred when there is a specific...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Perfect tense for completion and duration

Hi, guys. Can we express both completion and duration with perfect tense? For example, "I have run for 30 minutes." Is this construction correct?Read More...
You should use "just," Lucas: "I have just run for 30 minutes." "I have just read/cooked/fished/swum/etc. for an hour." Note, however, that the "completed action" is merely an activity here, not an accomplishment (running a mile, reading 50 pages, etc.). The situation denoted by the verb phrase matters. If you'd like more clarification, let me know. I have composed this short post on my cell phone. I am away from my computer right now.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

She always lets me down . OR She always is letting me down

Please help. What is correct way ?Read More...
Hello, Nastassia, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. When you ask questions here concerning example sentences, please include the example sentences in the body of your post, so that readers do not have to refer to the title in order to understand your question. Thank you. Both sentences are correct, though you have "always" in an awkward place in "She always is letting me down." You should place "always" after "is" (the auxiliary verb): "She is always letting me down." There is a...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

have built, have been building

Hello. Which one is correct? Why? - They.........this school for two years now. a) have built b) have been building Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmedโ€”Only (b) is correct. "For two years now" tells you that the action of building this school is ongoing. The progressive is needed to show that the action has not been completed.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Deleted

DeletedRead More...
Yes. Unlike "wanted," which can point to the future within the past ( he wanted to have a meeting/meetings ), "liked" expresses a habitual past, and then "so he could not bear to listen" could only be used to express result. This is another possible sentence: - Jim didn't like long meetings so (as a result) he left in the middle of the boring presentation. Note 1: couldn't bear can also be followed by V-ing ( couldn't bear listening to... ) Note 2: Your comment further above should have been...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

accustomed to swearing

1) He is accustomed to swearing. Is that sentence ambiguous? a) He is in the habit of swearing. b) He is used to hearing people swear. How about: 2) He is accustomed to swearing at linguists. I think sense "a" is the one that more readily comes to mind, but he might be in a select company that swear furiously at linguists constantly and he is merrily accustomed to such swearing. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Naviโ€”Yes, (1) is ambiguous in that way. Nice observation. On reading (b), "swearing" is a gerund, i.e., a noun. (Compare: "He has grown accustomed to the swearing in that film, he has seen it so many times.") The sentence says that swearing is something to which he is accustomed. On reading (a), "swearing" is a verb. (Compare: "He is accustomed to swear .") "Swearing" is not a true gerund on this interpretation. It could even be modified by an adverb ("He is accustomed to swearing...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

What is the syntactical function of an interjection? (i.e., what are the names of the syntactical usages of the part of speech that is the interjection?)

Aloha, again, from Hawaii! I realize this is obscure and doesn't really hold much importance. This is mere curiosity. I'm just trying to wrap my head around some definitions to make sure I understand them. Simple definitions of a sentence suggest a sentence should have one or more independent clauses in addition to zero or more dependent clauses. There are two situations my question occurs in. First, consider: "No." This is an interjection, but 'interjection' is a part-of-speech label, not a...Read More...

Can a sentence be "simple complex"?

I've run into multiple definitions of simple, complex, and compound. According to some online sources, a simple sentence has only one independent clause (but they don't say anything about dependent clauses.) These sites state that a sentence with one dependent and one independent clause is a 'simple complex sentence. Other online sources state that a simple sentence must have only one clause that is independent. According to these sources, a complex sentence is not ever a simple sentence,...Read More...
I agree this makes far more sense. I do not like the dichotomy of 'simple/compound'. A child should not be greatly faulted for confusing complex sentences with compound sentences when attempting to infer a relationship from the fact that 'simple' and 'complex' are antonyms. To a child, a 'simple complex sentence' is a lexical nightmare even though the concept is perfectly valid.Read More...
Last Reply By cwm9 · First Unread Post

Does a leading phrase that is not a clause count as part of the predicate?

Greetings, grammar experts! Consider: Under the deep blue sea, fish swam. 'Under the deep blue sea' is not a dependent clause because it has no verb and is therefore not a clause at all. It is an adverbial prepositional phrase modifying swim (I think.) Is this prepositional phrase considered part of the predicate of the sentence even though it has a comma after it? In other words, is the predicate.... "swam" or is the predicate... "Under the deep blue sea, ____ swam." Perhaps I am wrong to...Read More...
Thank you!Read More...
Last Reply By cwm9 · First Unread Post

Differences

Please, would you kindly explain the difference between related to and relating to?Read More...
Hi, Ahmed, Sometimes they are used interchangeably. 'Relating to' is a preposition meaning 'concerning' or 'about' . On LDOCE, you can see: - Documents relating to immigration laws. - Other particular provisions allow parents to be given special information relating to their child. 'Related to' is an adjective meaning 'connected to' or 'caused by'. - Poverty is often directly related to unemployment.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Sentence structure

Hello, Grammar Exchange members! I've run into the following sentence while reading a book titled "The Individual Subject and Scientific Psychology." What I don't understand about the sentence is the bolded part. 1. Successful application of the basic knowledge of psychology in particular concrete situations โ€” be those situations examples of individual or group psychotherapy, of consultation in a business firm, or of dealing with a troubled adolescent โ€” can be consistent only if the basic...Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo. Great help!Read More...
Last Reply By KDog · First Unread Post

under/in any circumstance(s)

Dear friends, I'd like to use the similar expression like in any case , at any point , on any account. So could I use under/in any circumstance? or circumstance is a special word, that under/in any circumstances is commonly used?Read More...
@ahmed_btm @Gustavo, Contributor Thank you very much! Thank you very much!Read More...
Last Reply By Ivana · First Unread Post

Use of an Apostrophe in a heading

Hello, I am wondering which of the following is correct with regard to the use of an apostrophe if you use Players list as a heading with the players names listed below the heading. 1. Players List 2. Player's List 3. Players' List thank youRead More...
Also, "the players' list" would likely be interpreted as "a list belonging to the players" rather than as "the list of players."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Indirect Question

Is it necessary to change the tense in the indirect question? For example: Was he alone? Did you notice...? - Did you notice if he was alone or had been alone? I have found that some teachers say there should be was and some say had been.Read More...
Hi, Gopalโ€”Both are OK; however, there is a difference in meaning. With "was," the thing noticed (his being alone or not) was simultaneous with the noticing; with "had been," the thing noticed was prior to the noticing.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

grammar

is this sentence correct ? It is the first time i have seen you since you left .Read More...
Yes, the sentence "It is the first time I have seen you since you left" is correct. I would find it a little more natural with "this" instead of "it": "This is the first time I have seen you since you left." Ahmed is right that you can also say, "I haven't seen you since you left ." You would use your sentence if you were seeing the addressee at the time of speech. You would use Ahmed's if the addressee's absence were continuing.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

reported

It is known that when time words refer to the same day, we don't need to change them. What about the verb itself? Is it better to change it or not? e.g "I'll travel tomorrow" he said he (will-would) travel tomorrow. it is still the same day.Read More...
Hi, mo7amed, Both are possible, however, in our exams, we go with 'will' because 'tomorrow' isn't changed. For more information, see: https://thegrammarexchange.inf...545359400#3712902217 https://thegrammarexchange.inf...ould-reported-speechRead More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Infinitive and gerund

When is adapt to followed by infintive or gerund? He can't adapt himself to be free or being freeRead More...
Hi, Ahmedโ€”As to the general patterns, Gustavo has given you an excellent explanation of the difference between "adapt himself to be free" and "adapt himself to being free." I assume that, in light of those differences, you want the version with "being free." If so, the following would be more natural: He can't get used to being free.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

union rings or French fries

Which are correct: 1) I have heard that in this city only rich people go to restaurant A or restaurant B. I don't know which it is they go to though. It is either one or the other. 2) I have heard that in this city only rich people will go to France or Argentina this Christmas. 3) I have heard that in this city only poor people order onion rings or French fries. Rich people order both. 4) I have heard that in this city only poor people order either onion rings or French fries. Rich people...Read More...

I would make sure you had a good flight

I found the following sentence in a movie. The context is: there is a boy who do not like to fly and the girl tell him the following sentence. In fact, I cannot understand the grammar associated with the following sentence. I mean, could someone please let me know why they have used "had" instead of "have" in the second half of the sentence. I would make sure you had a good flight.Read More...
Hi, Toaha, There must be a missing part here. Maybe there is an implied conditional. This needs more context.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Usage of "in your face" and "on your face"

When do we say "in your face" and "on your face". When we literally refer to an object on someone's face; it's "on your face". Apart from this are there rules for the usage "in your face" and "on your face"?Read More...
Hi, Angelica and Gustavoโ€”I agree with your explanation, Gustavo, and would like to add a footnote about "in your face." As a native AmE speaker, I cannot hear "in your face" in isolation without thinking of its idiomatic, slang uses: https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/in+your+face https://dictionary.cambridge.o...english/in-your-face As the Free Dictionary points out, "In your face!" can be used, rather rudely, as a stand-alone interjection, an "aggressive exclamation of triumph." This...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"some of them, most of them"

โ How are you, everyone? I have following two questions; 1. As far as I understand, we don't use THE with possessives or demonstratives; * Is this Mary's car? (NOT ... the Mary's car ?) * This is my uncle. (NOT ... the my uncle .) Then, how do they use THE in the following sentence in BBC news, "Addressing Parliament for the second time in less than three months, the Queen said the priority for her government was to deliver Brexit on 31 January, but ministers also had an 'ambitious programme...Read More...
Thanks for your another reply.Read More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

What will be the active voice of these sentences? Please explain:

1. I don't think you can do that without being seen. 2. I don't like being told what to do. 3. He hates being kept waiting. 4. We managed to climb the tree without being seen. 5. Sometimes the children were abused by being ignored. 6. Out professor has no tolerance for being treated disrespectfully. 7. It may not be directly related to the subject being discussed. 8. The minister underwent the experience of eggs being thrown at him. 9. You have undergone the experience of its being...Read More...
I suspect someone has helped you with most of the answers, but that's ok if you understand them. I've noticed that you have used "them" instead of the more formal "their," but both options are fine. These are the only sentences that should be corrected: 12. Umbrage is a feeling of someone offending you by what someone has said or done. (If we assume that it's the same "someone," we should say: Umbrage is a feeling of someone offending you by what they have said or done. ) 14. They need to...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

ordered

Which are correct: 1) He ordered the machines to be sold. 2) He ordered for the machines to be sold. 3) He ordered a table to be placed in the room. 4) He ordered for a table to be placed in the room. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hi, Navi, To the ambiguity I pointed out here as regards the two possible interpretations of the verb "order," we now have to add a third meaning as "put in order." My understanding is that "order" can mean "place an order for the purchase of" and "put in order" in (1) and (3), and "instruct" in (2) and (4).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

By the way vs After all

Can I use "By the way" instead of "After all" in these sentences? 1. I don't know why you're so concerned - it isn't your problem after all. = I don't know why you're so concerned - it isn't your problem by the way. 2. I don't know why you're so concerned ; after all, it isn't your problem. = I don't know why you're so concerned ; by the way, it isn't your problem. 3. You don't need to call him. After all, he never calls you. = You don't need to call him. By the way, he never calls you.Read More...
Hi, I completely agree with Gustavo that there is a very big difference between 'by the way' and 'after all' when 'after all' is used for contrast. However, in your examples above, 'after all' is used to add further information which supports something you have just said. This information should be totally connected to the subject you are talking about and must be highly valid. Here's an example: I do like her - after all, she is my sister. (Cambridge dictionary) Your first example is found...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Get started on something

Are these following sentences correct? I have used the phrase "get started on something" to make these following sentences: 1. I am just getting started on reading the book. 2. I am going to get started on doing my homework. 3. I have to go home and get started on preparing dinner. 4. You should get started on cleaning the kitchen. 5. What should we get started on making for you today?Read More...
Thanks David ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

Using that after a person and a thing

Dear Sir / Ma'am I would like to know if we can drop " that" as a relative pronoun in the below sentence. She talked about the people and things that she had visited. can it be, She talked about the people and things that she had visited. Thanks in advance AtefRead More...
Hi, Atefโ€”When a relative pronoun functions as the direct object or the object of a preposition in a restrictive relative clause (one that is not set off by a comma), the relative pronoun does not need to be voiced or written, regardless of whether it refers to a person or a thing.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

paraphrase for past progressive modal

Hi. I am wondering how I can paraphrase the sentence (1)? Does it mean (2) or (3)? I can't interpret (1) properly. Please help me. (1) Dad must have been watching TV a short while before I came into the room. (from Azar and Hagen, 5th edition) (2) I am 95% sure dad was watching TV for a short time before I came into the room. (3) I am 95% sure dad had been watching TV for a short time before I came into the room.Read More...
Hi, schmom, The correct paraphrase of (1) is (3) because the use of an adverbial of duration ( a short while ) and the sequence of events require the use of a perfect form of the verb. Notice this other sentence: (4) Dad must have been watching TV when I came into the room. (This expresses simultaneity and can be paraphrased as: I am 95% sure Dad was watching TV when I came into the room = He was probably watching TV when I cam in.) Sentence (1) thus means that, in all likelihood, the...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Difference IN Meaning

What is the difference in meaning between these following sentences: 1. My eighteenth birthday was the worst day I had ever had. 2. My eighteenth birthday was the worst day I ever had. 3. My eighteenth birthday was the worst day I have ever had.Read More...
Thanks Gustavo ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

CONDITIONAL

I have come across sentences using past tense in if-clause and present tense in the main clause, such as: 1) A hamster is pregnant for only about three weeks and up to 20 babies can seemingly appear overnight in a hamster's nest if you didn't know your hamster was pregnant. 2) Hamsters will eat more when they are pregnant and nursing, but otherwise their diet will remain the same as if they weren't. Are they grammatically correct and do you classify them as "mixed conditionals"?Read More...
Thanks Gustavo ๐Ÿ’–Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

Could anyone kindly explain this sentence for me yet ?

Dear friends, I am a student who study English as my second language, what a surprised i found out this website, i'm so glad to join in this community ,if any rules i should obey your kindly advice will be appreciated! Here comes my question, how to understand the grammar of this sentence? what is the tense when someone said this sentence? i can't understand why use "was coming " here. "We knew spring was coming as we had seen a robin." Best regards Erica ChanRead More...
Thank you ,David. Your explanation helps me a lot to understand this sentence, after read your letter , I've searched more related information in the internet and i guess i has already understand the past continuous tense. About the wrong description of my question that you've mentioned at last letter , is that this sentence yet ? "what is the tense when someone said this sentence?"In that time ,i was trying to describe " i don't understand the grammar of this sentence." But anyway, thank...Read More...
Last Reply By Erica Chan · First Unread Post

must, need to, have to wear a seat belt

Hello. Which one is correct. Really I'm confused. - When people drive somewhere, they (have to - need to - must) wear the seat belt. It's a rule. Thank you.Read More...
I agree with Ahmed_btm that all three choices are correct. For what it's worth, it is a bit more common and natural, at least in American English, to speak of fastening or buckling a seat belt in contexts where one is beginning to wear it. When people drive somewhere, they should/have to/need to/must : buckle their seat belt buckle their seat belts fasten their seat belt fasten their seat belts More colloquially, we can say: When you drive somewhere, you've got to buckle up.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

must, have to, need to

Hello David. Could you please help me? Which one is correct? - You (must - have to) get a licence if you want to drive a car. Thank you.Read More...

didn't use to/used not to

Are these sentences all correct: 1) I didn't use to see John at the office. 2) I used not to see John at the office. 3) I used to not see John at the office. Could any of the above sentences be used if I saw John very rarely at the office? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, The first two sentences are correct, and the third is not incorrect; (3) is simply a bit awkward. It is generally not a good practice to place "not" between infinitival "to" and the verb it introduces. I can see why you might think that a negated "used to"-clause could be used if the event it described happened but only rarely, since the meaning is presumably just that the subject of the clause was not in the habit of verb-ing. However, the implication (perhaps "implicature"...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

as was ordered

1) I cleaned the room as ordered. 2) I cleaned the room as was ordered. Do these mean: a) I cleaned the room in the way I was ordered to. or: b) I was ordered to clean the room and I did. ================================ 3) He didn't receive a blue kettle as ordered. 4) He didn't receive a blue kettle as was ordered. Do these mean: c) He didn't receive a blue kettle in the way it had been ordered that he should receive it. or: d) He did not receive a blue kettle of the kind that had been...Read More...
Hi, Navi, I find your sentences to be correct and ambiguous. It might be interesting to analyze the source of their ambiguity: Here, the source of the ambiguity lies in the polysemy of "as" (a sentence relative or a conjunction of manner). The same grounds for ambiguity stated above apply here. Also, (c) and (d) are possible interpretations because the verb "order" can be used as a verb of speaking (similar to "instruct") or as a verb meaning "place an order (for the purchase of some...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Could be vs Can be

Which one sounds natural? Is there any difference in meaning between them? Do I need to change those for sounding natural? 1. You can't even imagine how beautiful Hindi songs can be unless you listen to it. 2. You can't even imagine how beautiful Hindi songs could be unless you listen to it.Read More...
Thanks for this informative explanation David ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

subjunctive?

1) She called to see if I was fine. 2) She called to see if I were fine. Are both sentences correct? Is there a difference in the meanings? I see no reason to use the subjunctive here. '2' sounds very fancy, but to me it is not really correct. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hi, Navi, "if" does not introduce a conditional in this case but a noun clause (actually, an indirect yes-no question): ' Are you fine?,' she asked me on the phone -> She called me to see if I was fine.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Future perfect with time clauses/adverbs

I'd like to know which action came first in those sentences. Even though I know the future perfect references the first action, because of the time adverbs/clauses,I don't know which action came first. Does that mean: Does that mean: Does that meanRead More...

at midnight

Are these sentences correct: 1) John on Monday talked about Darwin. 2) Tim at midnight called me up to see if I was OK. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Naviโ€”At the very least, those sentences need the adverbial prepositional phrase (PP) following their respective subjects to be set off with commas, to render the PPs parenthetical and give them the quality of afterthoughts: 1a) John, on Monday, talked about Darwin. 2a) Tim, at midnight, called me up to see if I was OK. In (1a) and (2a), the PP set off with commas is not integrated with its clause but stands apart from the sentence as a disjointed appendage clumsily attached. Maybe the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Let's get started

Is " Let's get started " a passive sentence? We know that "get+v3" means passive, so according to this rule that sentence is in passive. I am super confused about it. Could anyone please explain it?Read More...
Hi, Toaha, This is a completely wrong explanation. See our dear moderator's explanation here: https://thegrammarexchange.inf...ic/let-s-get-startedRead More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Difference IN Meaning

What is the difference in meaning between the following two sentences. โ–ช I will be surprised if he confesses. โ–ช I would be surprised if he confesses.Read More...
Hi, Toaha, The first conditional is perfectly fine and is widely recognized. The second mixed conditional has its grounds among some native speakers, but some others don't prefer to use it. Marilyn Martin says this kind of "mixed conditionals" is not in terms of time reference, but in terms of real/hypothetical. The if-clause has a present "real" condition and the result clause is hypothetical. See here: https://thegrammarexchange.inf...ould-in-conditionalsRead More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

distributives

the government would destroy our civil liberties,given ... a chance (all/half/every/both)Read More...
Yes, "half" is the answer. (Remember that a sentence in English begins with a capital letter and that a space should come between a comma and the word that follows the comma. A space should not be used before a comma. We also use a period at the end of a declarative sentence.) "Given a chance" would mean "given an opportunity." "Given half a chance" is thus like saying "given half an opportunity." The sentence is saying that if the government were even remotely given an opportunity to...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

In over

This is the first time in over 30 years that our team has made it to the champion finals. โ–ชIf I omit the preposition "in", will there be any change in meaning of that sentence? Because, I think "over" in this sentence neans "during", so there is no need to use extra "in" before "over". โ–ชIf I omit "over" then does it mean during? Like: this is the first time during 30 years?Read More...
Hi Toaha, Itโ€™s true that in/during/over are sometimes interchangeable as prepositions of time, but not in this case where in your sentence โ€œoverโ€ means โ€œmore thanโ€, so it cannot be omitted. It means: In 30+ years this is the first time... So yes, there will be a change to the meaning if you drop it. I think โ€œinโ€ can be understood as โ€œduringโ€ here although it canโ€™t really be replaced that way. For a duration of how long without an indicator of when, we use โ€œ in 30 days โ€. With an indicator of...Read More...
Last Reply By Kinto · First Unread Post

Dangling participle?

So, an acquaintance states the following newspaper correction: As stated in the paper - โ€œ10 years ago: The girls track and field team placed fifth at the Class 1A Western Regional Championships in Cherokee, one of the highest finishes the team ever had.โ€œ Grammar violation alleged - โ€œHad" is the past participle of the transitive verb "to have." It is improper in English grammar to conclude a sentence with a participle. It is, in fact, called a "dangling participle." Help: how is this a...Read More...
Thank you, David.Read More...
Last Reply By Craig · First Unread Post

Formatting question for my manuscript

Hello! I have a manuscript I am working on, and I've written it using courier font. I'm trying to break the habit of double spacing after periods, though from what I've read it seems like you're supposed to double space after a period when using courier. Is it okay to single space, or do I need to go back and double space after every period in my book? Thank you!Read More...
Again, it is not a grammatical matter. It's hard for me to believe that anybody would frown upon that; however, it is none of my concern.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Comma placement

Hello Does anyone know where a comma should go in the following sentence? Sentence: I walked to school and when I got there I saw a big cat. Examples: 1. I walked to school, and when I got there, I saw a big cat. 2. I walked to school, and, when I got there, I saw a big cat. 3. I walked to school, and when I got there I saw a big cat. Which are correct and why?Read More...
Hi, SadPersonโ€”The placement of commas does not affect how the sentence should be analyzed in terms of its clausal constituents. If you are worried about whether its status as a compound-complex sentence is affected by the placement of commas, it isn't. It would be a compound-complex sentence even if it were punctuated without any commas: I walked to school and when I got there I saw a big cat. How to punctuate that sentence depends on how you think such sentences should be punctuated. If you...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Mixed conditional

In our English courses I found these two mixed conditionals, I would be grateful if you could explain why? I think this is found in spoken English. 1- If you need to know information about a new film, how would you get it? 2- What would you do if you get lost in a big city? ( I think " get" in no 2 may be a misprint)Read More...
Thank you ahmed_btm, Iโ€™m amazed they are exactly the same questions.Read More...
Last Reply By Kinto · First Unread Post

So-inversion

Hello, Grammar Exchange members! The following sentence is found in a PDF file from the Internet. (The address of the web page is https://jimwood8.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/wood-2008-wecol-so-inversion-nov-22.pdf ) 1. Just as some children ignore their parents, so too do some parents ignore their children. The first question I'd like to ask is whether or not the inversion in the main clause in (1) is optional. I have one more sentence that makes me wonder. (source: Adaptive Education: An...Read More...
Hello KDog, I see that your suspicion is justified, esp when each of all the three example sentences I provided from the Free Dictionary contains two different bits of content, of different objects or complements, unlike the case in this sentence #2 in question. So like you, Iโ€™m looking forward to some native speaker member or moderator telling us whether the above quoted sentence is grammatical or natural, to reassure both you and me.Read More...
Last Reply By Kinto · First Unread Post

change

If I need to get off and take a different bus, then which should I use: 1. I need to change buses. 2. I need to change to a different bus. Does the same go with TV channels, plans? Thanks.๐Ÿ˜ŠRead More...
Yes, Ruifeng, both work. We use the plural to indicate that two buses, or two channels, are involved in the process, and the singular to indicate the one we finally take or choose ( change ( from one bus/channel) to another one ).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Past simple or perfect

My father retired last week.He.... for the same company all his life(had worked/worked)Read More...
The past perfect is technically justifiable, of course, but it is rather forced, unnatural, and academic here. In a case where someone has worked somewhere all his life until a week ago, he may as well have just stopped working there. He has worked there all his life. Last week he retired.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Which one is grammaticaly correct and why?

Which one is grammatically correct and why? Please explain: โ—†If someone attempts to insult you by implying you aren't intelligent, and you respond with poor language/writing skills, or insults and illogical reasoning, you just may prove that what they say is true. โ—†If someone attempts to insult you by implying you aren't intelligent, and you respond with poor language/writing skills, or insults and illogical reasoning, you just may prove that what they said is true. โ—†If someone attempts to...Read More...
All three are OK, Toaha, but I recommend using ". . . have said is . . ." instead.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

watering , being watered

Hello. Choose: Why? - These plants require (watering - being watered) every day. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam Attia, Verbs like need, want, require take V-ing with a passive meaning. Although being watered and to be watered can also be found, the simple gerund ( watering , in this case) is the most idiomatic form.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Compound Complex or Compound

Hello, I am studying English right now and my teacher said the following sentence is a compound sentence but I don't see how. Maryam and Yasmin arrived at the bus station before noon, and they left before Grace got there. I think it should be a compound-complex because of " before Grace got there" is a dependant clause. My teacher wrote as follows: "Do you see that these are two separate sentences?: Maryam and Yasmin arrived at the bus station before noon. They left before Grace got there.Read More...
Hello, Withnail73, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Actually, I would classify that sentence just like you did: it is compound because it consists of more than one main clause ( Maryam and Yasmin arrived at the bus station before noon / they left ), and complex because there is at least one subordinate clause ( before Grace got there ). However, your teacher might want to reserve the term "compound complex" for those sentences where the subordinate clause modifies the sentence as a...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

SOME CONFUSING PHRASES

Could anyone please explain the phrases in bold to me? I am super confused about them. When defending oneself from those insulting oneโ€™s alleged intelligence, it helps to use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling so as to not appear to prove their point. Otherwise you leave the appearance of being benightedly supercilious .Read More...
Hi, Toaha, To put it simply, if someone says you are not intelligent and you respond in writing, you should do so in good language. Otherwise, you will confirm you are not intelligent and will sound like you claim to be something you are not.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Direct (something) to be/being?

Which of the following sentences is correct? 1. I directed every moment of my life to being productive. 2. I directed every moment of my life to be productive. 3. I directed every moment of my life in being productive. Thank you!Read More...
Hello, AlterReal, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange, The correct sentence is (1), because, being a preposition, that "to" needs a noun after it, and the gerund works as a noun.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Being

I'm going to try to turn a long story short but I know it's going to end up being long. Is the word "being" was used as "as" in that sentence? Like: I'm going to try to turn a long story short but I know it's going to end up as long.Read More...
Thanks a bunch, David for this informative explanation ๐Ÿ’–Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

Adding two sentences

I would love to be like her. I would love to be having my son singing at my birthday party. If I add this two sentences, can I say like this : "I would love to be like her, having my son singing at my birthday party". Or how can I add those sentences and make one which sounds natural?Read More...
Hi, Toaha, Actually, I would love to be like her, having my son singing at my birthday party makes a better sentence because, instead of (2) above, I'd use: I would love to have my son singing at my birthday party. "be having" does not sound well in this case, but "having" does because it introduces a participial clause.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

If you abandoned a town house and left it empty

According to the saying "nature abhors a vacuum", if you abandoned a town house and left it empty som ebody would soon move in and live in it. Do this sentence indicates 2nd conditional: If you abandoned a town house and left it empty somebody would soon move in and live in it.Read More...
Thanks David ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

You weren't meant to know

A little bird told me basically means: I have heard from somebody. You aren't telling them who told you. Someone's told you something that maybe was a secret, maybe was something that you weren't meant to know. Could anyone please explain me the meaning of that phrase in bold?Read More...
Thanks Gustavo ๐Ÿ’–Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

ambassador to, of

Hello. Is the following sentence written correctly or it has wrong prepositions? - Mr Thomas was an ambassador (at - in - with - to) the United States in South Africa. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed, David answered that same question before. The correct answer is 'of' which isn't listed in the choices above. David said, "Actually, "to" doesn't work, assuming Mr. Thomas was representing the United States in South Africa." I completely agree with his answer.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

HAVING

"That style of playing originally came from me and George *having* a party piece when we were kids" Could anyone please tell me : Does "having" used here as a reduced participle phrase beacuse there is no "to be" verb in front of it.Read More...
Thanks David ๐Ÿ’–Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

The future tenses

The next Olympic games....in London (Will be/is going to be /is)Read More...
Hi, Ahmed, I see that the most natural choice here is "will be''. 'Will' is more formal than 'be going to' and is used in formal style for scheduled events. 'Is / Are' can also work if the intended meaning is to tell somebody a statement of fact.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Yes, she doesnโ€™t

Hello, In ABC of Common Grammatical Errors (Nigel D Turton, MacMillan) there is this entry โ€œ yes โ€ including two error examples: โ€˜ She doesnโ€™t like meat.โ€™ โ€” โ€˜Yes, she doesnโ€™t.โ€™ Yes, I donโ€™t go running in my badminton shoes. And they should be corrected, according to the book, as: โ€˜ She doesnโ€™t like meat.โ€™ โ€” โ€˜No, she doesnโ€™t.โ€™ No, I donโ€™t go running in my badminton shoes. The book explains: โ€ When we want to confirm that a negative statement or belief is correct, we use no (NOT yes ). โ€˜He...Read More...
Thank you very much David for once again solving a lasting doubt of mine.Read More...
Last Reply By Kinto · First Unread Post

from recent months

A CNN poll released Wednesday found Biden leading the president by 5 percentage points nationwide but trailing by 7 points among voters in crucial battleground states. In that poll โ€” conducted a week after Biden publicly denied allegations of sexual assault, to which he had initially hesitated to respond โ€” the former vice presidentโ€™s support among female voters and college graduates was badly diminished from recent months. Source: https://www.yahoo.com/news/ trumps-ratings-virus-sagging-...Read More...
Hi, Navi, I understand "from" as meaning "compared with": Biden's support among female voters and college graduates used to be much wider but, compared with recent months, it has dropped drastically. It is also possible to interpret it as a case of ellipsis: the former vice president's support among female voters and college graduates was badly diminished from what it was in recent months.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Causative

ceedhanna
The concert started quickly, but the band had us all...... to their hit songs. A. dances B. to dance C. dance D. dancing In Cambridge English Grammar Today We read " Talking about an experience We use have + object + -ing form or infinitive without to to talk about an event or experience. We use the - ing form for an event in progress and the infinitive without to for a completed event: We can also use the - ing form to describe an ongoing action that someone or something is causing: " So,...Read More...
I've just learned what I didn't know for a long time once again. Thank you both creedhanna and David.Read More...
Last Reply By KDog · First Unread Post

Confusing part of a sentence

If you look into the metal lattice from the other side, you can only see the green curtain. Anything else you think you're seeing is your imagination! Behind the green curtain are four structures - ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—บ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—”๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ต (๐—ฟ) ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐—จ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜†๐˜†๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด. Could anyone please explain the part in bold? That line seems hard to understand for me.Read More...
Thanks Gustavo ๐Ÿ’–Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

Perfect Infinitive with to

Hello, Grammar Exchange members! I've found the following sentences on page 140 of "The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language" by Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Pullum. 1. He was believed to have written it the previous week. 2. He is believed to have written it last week. 3. He hopes to have written it by next week. To my knowledge, the perfect infinitive usually refers to things that happened (or had happened) in the past. For example, I think I could change the first two sentences...Read More...
Thanks again. I got it very clearly.Read More...
Last Reply By KDog · First Unread Post

Past Continuous or Past Perfect Continuous

ceedhanna
- Although the police suspected him, he was able to prove that he ........when the crime was committed was working had been working worked had worked According to this website ( https://englishstudypage.com/grammar/differences-between-past-continuous-tense-and-past-perfect-continuous-tense/) ,we have two choices (1&2). Am I right? ThanksRead More...
Yes, Ceedhanna, that is right.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Some confusing sentences

Could anyone please explain me which sentences are correct and which aren't? I don't want to see any more posts which are submitted claiming that Rahim is a thief. I don't want to see any more posts being submitted claiming that Rahim is a thief. I don't want to see any more posts to be submitted claming that Rahim is a thief. I don't want to see any more posts which are being submitted claiming that Rahim is a thief. I don't want any more posts which are being submitted claiming that Rahim...Read More...
What is it that you are trying to say?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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