Activity

Changes were made...

Please let me know if the sentences are correct : 1. Changes were made in the web page. Please review it. 2. Please review the changes done it. Thank you!-Read More...
Hello, 4n4, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. (1) is fine as long as the purpose of the review is to check the web page after introducing the changes. Otherwise, you should say: 1b. Changes were made in the web page. Please review them . I would revise (2) as follows: 2b. Please review the changes made/introduced .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

will always play / plays

Which is correct? Why? He will always play / plays well in the competition.Read More...
I'm glad I asked you to write them as separate sentences, bear_bear, because you are making precisely the error that I thought you might be making. But I thought you might know better, since you have been a learner for many years. Sentences (2) and (4) are ungrammatical. Whenever a modal auxiliary verb ( will, would, can, could, shall, should may, might ) is part of the verb phrase, the following verb ( play, score , etc.) must be in base form: " will play ," " will score ." This rule is not...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

the definite article

1) He boxes like the boxers of the fifties. 2) He boxes like boxers of the fifties. 3) He boxes like the great boxers of the fifties. 4) He boxes like great boxers of the fifties. Are the sentences grammatical? Is there a difference in the meanings of '1' and '2' and the meanings of '3' and '4'? What is the difference? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, Yes, all four of those sentences are grammatical, but I think (2) and (4) would sound better with some slight adjustments: (2a) He boxes like a fifties-era boxer. (2b) He boxes like a boxer out of the fifties. (4a) He boxes like a great fifties-era boxer. (4b) He boxes like a great boxer out of the fifties.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

When he (the baby) saw his mother, he (the baby) smiled happily.

Hello, When the baby saw his mother, he smiled happily. When he saw his mother, the baby smiled happily. Of the two sentences above, I think 1 is better than 2, but is there a situation where 2 is preferred? AppleRead More...
That's an interesting question, Apple. The effect is rhetorical. When someone hears or reads a personal pronoun and does not yet know whom that pronoun refers to, a subtle sense of suspense is created. A similar effect is created when "the" introduces a noun phrase headed by a common noun whose referent has not previously been identified -- e.g.: I had seen the movie before, but she hadn't, and that surprised me, because I thought that everyone my age had seen Dead Poets Society .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Question Tags

Hi there. So happy to join you. I am a fan of English. Recently some other friends and I had a discussion about three tag questions. Of course there were different ideas about them and finally we couldn't come to any specific conclusion that which option is the correct one and why. I'll post the three multiple choice tests here and if possible, would you please share your ideas about the correct ones? Thanks a million. 1. Jane believes that her team members won the game because they are...Read More...
First of all, a tag question must relate to a certain clause. Secondly, sentences with tag questions usually have only one clause. But in certain cases a tag question will relate to a "that"-clause following "I think" or "I believe": "I believe it's raining outside, isn't it?" Apart from such sentences, it is generally safe to assume that a tag question should relate to the root clause. All of the sentences you have presented have multiple clauses. In each case, you have tested tag questions...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Clause Ordering

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Are these sentences correct? 1. My fingers aching, I kept on writing the draft, having little time left for submitting it. 2. My fingers aching, I kept on writing the draft, having little time left to submit it. 3. Having little time left for submitting it, I kept on writing the draft, my fingers aching. 4. Having little time left for its submission, I kept on writing the draft, my fingers aching. 5. Having little time left to submit it, I kept on writing the draft, my...Read More...
Thanks a lot, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

It is past time to

Hi! I happened to learn this strucure: it is past time to. (1) It is past time to update your resume. I was wondering about this structure. Is the meaning (more or less) the same as the structure "It is (high) time to/that"? Is it possible to paraphrase (1) to (2) below, using that-clause just like "It is (high) time that"? (2) It is past time that you updated your resume. Which part of speech is the "past" in this structure? I would appreciate it if you could kindly give me information...Read More...
Hi, David, Thank you so much! Your comment is helpful!Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

'in' vs without 'in' vs "per"

May I know which sentence is correct? (a) The handout of the slides should be two slides in a page. (b) The handout of the slides should be two slides a page. (c) The handout of the slides should be two slides per page.Read More...
Hi, Joshua, The verb "be" establishes equivalence when what follows is a noun or a noun phrase: - Joshua is a GE member (Joshua = GE member) "two slides a page" does not express what the slide handout is but what it contains or consists of . That is why "have" is more appropriate.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Refer

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Are the following sentences correct? 1. Kindly refer the page 5. 2. Kindly refer to the page 5. Thanks.Read More...
Gustavo, I have always used refer that way; however, the abundant abuse of the expression (with to skipped over) by people around me made me seek expert opinion, which now having come from you has put my doubts to eternal rest. Thanks a lot.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

Grammar question - list

I've got a sentence that starts, "As much as we – Tom, Charles, myself and a few others – saw the need for..." I've set it up that way because in the context of what had come before in the piece, while all of us were a group the first three were the most important involved. My question is whether or not the use and placement of "myself" in the list is acceptable grammatically, vs. sticking me at the end ("I") or making it "Tom, Charles and I and a few others," which seems a bit awkward. Thanks,Read More...
Thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By highstream · First Unread Post

Who

I always thought I understood how to use the pronoun "who" until I read this in a book: " Rawl was the Irish American son of a New Jersey truck driver who had enlisted in the United States Marines, made sergeant, and then... ". I first assumed it was Rawl's father, the truck driver, who had enlisted in the United States and all, but then it became clear later in the book that it was Rawl who was the US Marine. I have read the sentence over and over again but still can't make sense of it.Read More...
Hi, Catchan, Your initial assumption was natural. You assumed that the antecedent of "who" (i.e., what "who" refers to) was the noun phrase "truck driver" rather than "Irish American son." Grammatically, either one can function as the antecedent. The easiest way to parse it is to see the relative clause ("who had enlisted . . .") as modifying the entire noun phrase "the son of a New Jersey truck driver," the head of which is "son," not "truck driver." "Truck driver" is part of the "of"-phrase.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Correct question

Can anyone advise me which question would be asked by an immigration officer in an airport? Where are you traveling from? Where are you traveling in from? Where are you coming from? Where are you coming in from? Where are you flying from? Where are you flying in from? Are all grammatically correct? What would be the difference? Thank you!Read More...
Hello, Markus, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! "Coming" is spelled with only one "m." I recommend the following question for that context: Where are you arriving from?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Which sentence is better?

a. The purpose of the chores should not be getting an allowance. b. The chores should not be the purpose of getting an allowance. Are they both correct? If so, which is more natural? Thanks!Read More...
I agree with David. This is my suggestion to improve the sentences: - The chores should not be intended as a means to get an allowance.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Inform/Informed

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Are the following sentences grammatically correct? 1. This is once again to inform all the candidates who have applied for the post of the principal in this college to report for the interview on the scheduled date and time, as notified earlier, failing which they will forego their right for consideration. 2. All the candidates who have applied for the post of the principal in this college are hereby once again informed to report for the interview on the scheduled date and...Read More...
Hi, David, I am sincerely thankful to you for having pointed out, and subsequently rendered correct, so many mistakes in the maiden post of this thread, which I had overlooked miserably. Your helpful responses, and Gustavo's insights, are more than what I had hoped to get out of this thread. Your observation in your last paragraph is something I failed to foresee, as I was more interested to see if 'This is once again to inform' part, which was provoked by an earlier thread, had the...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

Any Error?

(a)HAVING a membership to a health club has helped me (b) TO LOSE weight, increase my (c) OVERALL fitness level, and (d) INTRODUCED me to new friends. (e) No error. That is an SAT question taken from from page 82 of 'SAT Writing Essentials' by Lauren Starkey. The error picked in the book is (d) INTRODUCED with the explanation that it should be in the present tense since the sentence is in the present tense. But I don't think that is an error; I think it's used because of 'has'. Please help...Read More...
I think it'd be great if you did, David.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Conditional sentence

hi what is difference between these sentences? if I see him, I will call you. if I should see him, I will call you. in other words, what is the role, or maybe the advantage, of "should" in if-clause? thanks in advanceRead More...
Hello, Leonard-Jones, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! "should" only adds some improbability to Type 1 conditionals. You can consider your sentence: - If I should see him, I will call you. to be equivalent to: - If by any chance I see him, I will call you. "should" also allows inversion in the condition: - Should I see him, I will call you. Note: We hope to see you here again. Please remember that all sentences should start with a capital letter. I know that in informal communications...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Using "for"

Am I using the word "for" correctly here? Should I use "with" or should I add a verb between "for" and "accessories"? Thank you for the help. Sentence: "This is a collaborative resource that provides endless design inspiration for accessories."Read More...
Hello, Helithos, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! I'd like to have our moderator's opinion about this issue, but I'll give you my view. Even if "accessories" is an object and thus not capable of being inspired, "for" seems to be introducing the beneficiary of that inspiration. I'd prefer this version: - This is a collaborative resource that provides endless inspiration for accessory designers / designers of accessories.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Bearing/Bore

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Is the use of bearing/bore correct in the following sentences? 1. The candidates bearing roll numbers 1,2,5 and 7 were shortlisted for the interview. 2. The vehicle bearing registration number SH-1258 was seen in the neighborhood around the time of the accident. 3. The slates that bore such numbers/markings were distributed among the children studying in the school. Thanks.Read More...

play piano vs play the piano

Hello, I play the piano. I play piano. I used to think that we need "the", but now I often see the phrase without it. What is the difference? I have also heard that when someone plays clarinet in the orchestra, then you say "I play clarinet" without "the". Is this true? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David and Gustavo, for the interesting discussion. Since I'm more used to American English than British English, it was a surprise to me that" the" is often omitted before the name of musical instruments. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

emotional vs. abusive

Hi, This is not a question of grammar, but a definition of words in context. In the following sentence, "You should recollect a past event that was highly emotional/abusive for you." do you think that the two words 'emotional' and 'abusive' are synonymous here or not? Here, the past event is a bad experience and the author insists on addressing the wound by writing and/or talking about it. I am posting because we (not native speakers) have some controversy. So I am asking for intelligent...Read More...
Hello, Moon, I'm afraid that "emotional" and "abusive" are never synonymous. Have you looked the words up in a dictionary? The sentence doesn't work at all with "abusive" and is only marginally acceptable with "emotional." You might consider using one of these sentences instead: You should recollect a past event in which you were highly emotional. You should recollect a past event in which you felt very abused.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

for all my life or all my life

Hello, teachers! I've read this piece of information in "English Grammar in Use -5th edition that we don't use "for + all" in sentences like: "I've lived here for all my life." And that the correct form is: "I've lived here all my life." However, some people claim that it is OK so I'm confused. What do you think, teachers?Read More...
Thanks, Mr David 🌹Read More...
Last Reply By ayman · First Unread Post

Set

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Which of these sentences sound normal and are less ambiguous? 1. The next day of hearing has been fixed as July 20, 2019. 2. The next day of hearing is fixed as July 20, 2019. 3. The next day of hearing has been fixed for July 20, 2019. 4. The next day of hearing has been fixed on July 20, 2019. 5. The next day of hearing is fixed for July 20, 2019. 6. The next day of hearing is fixed on July 20, 2019. Thanks.Read More...
Thanks again, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

and vs. or

a. In those days, people generally believed that men were better suited to become scientists and artists. b. In those days, people generally believed that men were better suited to become scientists or artists. c, When I was a child, all my friends wanted to become pilots and astronauts. d. When I was a child, all my friends wanted to become pilots or astronauts. Are all of these sentences grammatically correct? Do (a) and (b) mean the same? Do (c) and (d) mean the same? Many thanks.Read More...

as much of

Which are correct: 1) He is as much a writer as a journalist. 2) He is as much a writer as you are. 3) He is as much of a writer as a journalist. 4) He is as much of a writer as you are. 5) He is more a writer than a journalist. 6) He is more a writer than you are. 7) He is more of a writer than a journalist. 8) He is more of a writer than you are. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

Whose

ahmad
Hello, everyone, 1. Whose right it is to institute anything may abrogate it. The above sentence is from BURTON’S LEGAL THESAURUS, Thirty-fifth Anniversary/Fifth Edition, and appears under the headword ABROGATE . How acceptable are this type of sentences nowadays? Thanks.Read More...
Thanks a lot, David and Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

about vs of

May I know which of the following sentence is grammatically correct? (1) The introduction is written with clear scenario about the topic. (2) The introduction is written with clear scenario of the topic.Read More...
Noted, thanks for the clarification. Capt (Rtd) Joshua LooRead More...
Last Reply By joshua · First Unread Post

Is it possible to say "hold the silence"?

I have to write a formal essay about environmental issues. I want to write a sentence: "I can no longer hold the silence about this problem". Is it possible to say this? Or its better to say something like maintain/remain/keep my silence? Which one sounds more formal?Read More...
Hello, Liza02, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Two of the verbs you have proposed (remain, keep) are generally used with the adjective silent. I can only think of the noun "silence" being used with an adjective, as in: maintain a stony silence . Therefore, I suggest you use remain/keep silent .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

State

ahmad
Hello, everyone, The following definition of the word “State” (verb) is from the OED. 8.8 To declare in words; to represent (a matter) in all the circumstances of modification; to set out fully or in a definite form. My understanding of the two parts of the threefold definition is something like the following. To declare in words: To describe using words. To set out fully or in a definite form: To describe a thing or event to the full, or to describe a thing or event in a way that is enough...Read More...
Thanks, David, It is really helpful. PS: Additional thanks for writing a 59-word long sentence. It comes so close to my idea of writing prose, though a vast majority of people, here and elsewhere, is of different opinion.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

to eat large amounts/numbers of coffee beans

"To produce more coffee, the civets were forced to eat large amounts of coffee beans ." I saw this sentence on the Ivy magazine (published in Taiwan). We all know that we should use amount with uncountable nouns, but here it goes with coffee beans (a plural countable noun). Is it correct? How about I change it into "large numbers of coffee beans"? I have to say the use of "numbers" here sounds odder, though. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Barry, I agree with you that "numbers" sounds worse than "amounts." That might be because "number" makes us think of the individual units, and coffee beans are not expected to be counted! "amount" gives us the idea of coffee beans forming a large load of things. "quantities" would be perhaps the best choice.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

people

Was going to write a quick thank you for the reference to p3 (plural people possessive). Took too long. This is the short version: Thought I was right, but it is nice to know that there are people who can actually verify it. Thanks.Read More...
Thanks. And you are right. Not only is my keyboard malfunctioning, but two confusing events occurred while I was trying to do a simple task. The comment was in reference to the word -peoples'- Sorry for the confusion. PanurgeRead More...
Last Reply By Panurge · First Unread Post

where.

cocoricot
Dear teachers, 1. Heaven is where my father is. 2. Heaven is the place where my father is. Please tell me if they are correct. Is it necessary to add ''the place" to the sentence? Thanks.Read More...
Hi, Coco and Gustavo, Even though heaven as a theological concept goes beyond the scope of this forum, "heaven" is also used figuratively to refer to what one finds to be an ideal state of being even in worldly life. Now, consider this common proverb: Home is where the heart is. Home is where you hang your hat. "Home" is not necessarily being used in the sense of one's own house, or apartment, or what have you, in those proverbs. The referent of "home" could be any number of things. Indeed,...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

prepostion in the passive

"A strange letter was sent me." Is this sentence correct?Read More...
I agree with Gustavo that the sentence is much better with "to" included ("A strange letter was sent to me", not "A strange letter was sent me"). The version with "to" is the passive of "Somebody sent a letter to me," whereas the version without "to" is a passive version of the double-object construction "Somebody sent me a letter." The double object construction can be passivized, but, except when the verb is "give," it is generally only the first object that becomes subject. The following...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

VOA English

Hello, In VOA English article, I found the following two sentences I don't understand. (1) “In our samples, ninety percent of the plastics we are finding are microfibers… Those are often times originating from textiles or other fibrous synthetic products.” What does "times" in the sentence mean? Chances? possibilities? It doesn't mean the same as that used in " three times a day" does it? (2)“So you think about the, you know, literally millions of garments like this that are being washed...Read More...
Thank you, David. So, oftentimes should be spelled as one word. I now understand the mysterious "the" in my second sentence. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Problem with multiple choice

Arriving late in the movie theater, he missed the beginning of the movie,. By the time he got to the movie theater, the movie ______________ started. 1.Wouldn’t have 2.Hadn’t 3.Had 4.Will haveRead More...
Hello, Adroit33, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! I'd like to know where you have you taken this exercise from. The first sentence contains at least two mistakes. "having arrived" is better than "arriving," and "at" should follow the verb "arrive" when referring to specific places like a theater or a restaurant ("in" is only mostly used with cities and countries). It'd also be useful if next time you could tell us which you think is the right answer. In this case, the answer is (3): when...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Problem with multiple choice

___________ they should have bought the tickets last week, ty in fact waited until the last minute to buy them 1. Nevertheless 2. Despite 3. However 4. WhereasRead More...
Hi, Adroit33, You seem to be asking us to do some exercise for you. We expect at least some effort from our members. Which do you think is the right answer? If you can't decide, at least give us an example with each of those linking words so we can understand where your difficulty lies.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

The preposition 'from':

Do we include the preposition from in this question or not? _ Where do we buy bread? (or) _ Where do we buy bread from?Read More...
Yes, that's right. In case it's not mentioned in the historical thread Ahmed_btm has linked to, the reason "from" is not needed is that "where" can have the syntactic status of a locative prepositional phrase. It need not have a nominal value. This is also why it is better to say " Where are you? " rather than " Where are you at? ," though the version with "at" is fairly common in colloquial speech.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

preposition after "enthusiasm"

I'd like to know if the preposition should be "for or in" in the following sentence: He has enthusiasm for / in his studies When we decide which preposition we should use in a sentence, do we always look at the word before the preposition, i.e. "enthusiasm" in this case? Thanks a lot.Read More...
Thank you very much, Ahmed and David. You have been very generous with your time. Have a nice day.Read More...
Last Reply By taiman · First Unread Post

Is it a rhetoric Question?

Which alternative is the correct one? xxx ________________he_______________? 1.Doesn't/play tennis very well 2.isn't/very good at playing tennis 3.Doesn't/play tennis well 4.isn't/a very good tennis player [Please help me answer the question, and your explanation is also desperately needed.]Read More...
Hello, Kru Mart, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! It is almost impossible to decipher the question you are trying to ask, but I'm assuming that the auxiliary verb before the slash in the answers is meant to go in the first blank in "xxx ________________he_______________?" and that the words that come after the slash are supposed to go in the second blank. If my assumptions are correct, then the third answer is the best: Doesn't he play tennis well? That question could indeed be used as a...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

visit (with) my brother and family

Hi! Could I ask you a question about this sentence I came across on the internet: (1) We had a great time visiting with my brother and family yesterday. I have a question about the "visit" in this sentence. I looked it up in a dictionary and it says it can be used intransitively, especially in American English, which I found kind of surprising because I thought it is normally used transitively. So, my question is whether the persence/absence of the preposition "with" in (1) (or in any...Read More...
Thank you so much, David! I understand. I will buy a copy of Garner!Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

My passport *expires/will expire* in three months.

"My passport will expire in three months." This sentence is from my textbook. I'm wondering why it's not written as "My passport *expires* in three months." Here is an example from LDOCE Online : My driving licence expires in March. In this case, it goes with the present tense, which is grammatically correct to me, because we're taught that when it comes to a sure thing to happen in the future, we should use the present tense instead of the future tense. Why is this sentence in the future...Read More...
Hi, Barry, When talking about events that are part of a timetable, we can use either the simple present or 'will + inf.' . See Michael Swan, page 190: "We can sometimes use the simple present to talk about the future. This is common when we are talking about events which are part of a timetable, a regular schedule or something similar. The summer term starts on April 10th. What time does the bus arrive in Seattle? My plane leaves at three o'clock. Are you on duty next weekend? The sun rises...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

(for) all of the winter/all through the winter

I have made up three similar sentences below. (1) I will be available to volunteer for all of the winter. (2) I will be available to volunteer all of the winter. (3) I will be available to volunteer all through the winter. As a non-native English speaker, I think they all sound okay. However, some of my non-native speaking friends think all of my sentences sound unnatural. Do they sound OK to native speakers? Please give me your opinion. Thanks a lot for your help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, From a native standpoint, (3) is perfectly correct and natural, and (1) and (2) are extremely unnatural. You can use (3), or you can say: (4) I will be available to volunteer all winter. (5) I will be available to volunteer all winter long. (6) I will be available to volunteer for the entire winter. (7) I will be available to volunteer throughout the winter.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Form a question

What is the best question for this answer ...........................................................................? I like English best.Read More...
Hi, Abdullah, How do you want us to form a question without knowing the whole dialogue?! What are they talking about? Are they talking about their favorite subjects, languages or what? Gustavo's answer is possible in a certain situation in which the speaker knows more than two languages, but there are many other options. See: Speaker A: Which subject do you like best? / Which subject is your favorite? / What is your favorite subject? / I like Arabic best. What about you? / And you?Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Past participle

Hello, "She entered......by her mother." A- accompanied B- being accompaniedRead More...
That's a very good example, David. Thank you for your clarification. A comma would obviously also be required if the participle appeared in front position: - Accompanied by her mother, she entered that place she had always dreaded entering alone.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

walk like Brando

1) I could walk like Brando right into the sun. Source: https://genius.com/Bruce- springsteen-its-hard-to-be-a- saint-in-the-city-lyrics Does '1' mean: a) I could walk right into the sun the way Brando walked right into the sun. or: b) I could walk right into the sun the way Brando walked. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, I don't know if Springsteen was thinking in terms of the line's being subjected to a strict semantic analysis, but my sense is that it probably means (c): c) I could walk like Brando in that , like him, I could walk right into the sun. That reading would be more natural if the sentence had a comma: "I could walk like Brando, right into the sun." I wonder if it's sung as if a comma were present.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

on a stage

1) I can act as well as John on a stage. Can't this sentence have three meanings: a) John doesn't act well on a stage. He acts well in another place (say, in front of a camera). I can act as well as him on a stage. b) I can act as w ell as John acts on a stage. c) I can act as well on a stage as John acts on a stage. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, David, Point taken. My bad! I was pushing it! But isn't this a possibility Can you act as well as John? I have never acted in front of a camera and I have never seen John on a stage. All I can tell you is that I can act as well as John (does in front of a camera) on stage . Can't the part in parentheses be ellipted without any loss in meaning? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Difference between 'from' and 'of'

Hi everyone, can anyone please help me understand the difference between from and of in the following sentence? 1- John: Hey, have you watched the movie 'avengers the end game'? Me: yes. John: What's your favourite scene from / of the movie?Read More...
I completely agree. That combination of a possessive and a quasi-superlative like "favorite" renders an "of"-phrase unidiomatic.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

for five days

a, The library will be closed for five days in June and July. b. The library will be closed on five days in June and July. c. The library will be closed five days in June and July. Which of the above sentences could be used in the following situations? 1. The library will be closed for a period of five days. That period extends from the last days of June to the first days of July. 2. The library will be closed on five different days, some of them in June and some in July, but we don't have a...Read More...

before all of you were born

Could one use a. That happened before all of you were born. instead of b. That happened before any of you were born. ? Could one use c. The doors were closed before all of the guests arrived. instead of d. The doors were closed before any of the guests arrived. ? To me, there is a difference between (a) and (b), but I get the feeling that some people use (a) instead of (b). I doubt that anyone would use (c) instead of (d). Many thanksRead More...
Hello again, Azz, Yes, that is a very nice observation. I agree with you that (c) has that implication. The reason (a) doesn't have the corresponding implication that all of them were born (more or less) at the same time seems to be that that would be a very strange state of affairs and perhaps even stranger for the speaker to know about it. In short, that type of interpretation is unnatural in (a). Yes, I think it's ambiguous, but in a different way. It has one of the possible readings that...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Usage of 'dare'

Hi there, How should I use dare in the following sentence? If John dares to go there, I will tell his Mom. If John dares go there, I will tell his Mom. If John dare go there, I will tell his Mom.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, An "if"-clause is a non-assertive context (cf. negative statements and questions), so it is possible to use "dare" as a modal in them. When we use "dare" as a modal, it is uninflected and used without "to" -- "dare go" in your example. You can also use "dares to go," in which "dare" is a main verb, not a modal, and needs "to." The only option that is incorrect is "dares go," which confuses the modal and the main verb. However, "dares" + [base form] is occasionally found.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

will vs be going to. 2

Here is no cloud in the sky. It --------- a lovely day. 1) will be 2) is going to be ......... In grammar-related books, there is a common sentence showing the usage of "be going to". - Look at those clouds. It's going to rain. However, to me, the OP is different. I think "a lovely day" is a mere opinion, and has nothing to do with "what is likely to happen in the near future". So, both #1 and #2 sound correct to me. What do you think?Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, I think you meant to write "There." The natural, native choice here is "is going to be." If you use "will be" instead, the sentence won't be ungrammatical, of course. Your sentence will simply be perceived as nonnative by native speakers. I am planning to write an extended, fabulously researched post on the differences between will and be going to sometime in the near future, since questions in this area crop up regularly on the Grammar Exchange, so stay tuned. As to "a lovely...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

enter college, go to college

Hello, How do you use these two phrases? Which sounds more natural? I personally use "go to college" more often. "My sister went to college " seems to mean she is still in college or she finished her college education, while "My sister entered" college sounds like she has just passed the exam and is now a college student. appleRead More...
Thank you, David. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Is this language formal enough?

"More than 20 million people have some kind of mental issue" My problem is with "some kind of". I would rather have said, "... have one kind of mental issue or another"Read More...
Thank you, David. And just like "kind of," we also have "sort of": - He has some sort of mental issue (= some type of mental issue). - He has sort of a mental issue (= a condition that could be roughly defined as a mental issue).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

a well-written sentence?

Look below, please: - The design of the new house is similar to those that have already been built, so they prefer to look for modern ones. To me, the sentence is not well written. I believe the correct sentences are: 1) The design of the new house is similar to those houses that have already been built, so they prefer to look for modern ones. 2) The new house is similar in design to those that have already been built, so they prefer to look for modern ones. What do you think? Are you OK...Read More...
The first part is fine. I wasn't actually wondering about the meaning of "they" but about their preferring to look for modern houses/designs as a direct consequence of what was said before.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Podcast about Grammar Cops

The author Michael Lewis has a podcast called "Against the Rules." The summary for the episode entitled "The Alex Kogan Experience" is "Everyone hates grammar and ethics cops. Until they need one." I enjoyed this podcast and think that readers of this forum will enjoy it also. This doesn't really fit in the Q&A section, but I don't know where else to post it. The podcast begins with the ethics topic. If you are pressed for time and want to focus on grammar, I suggest going to...Read More...

Individual things that make us, us.

The following is an excerpt from the blog posted by "a third culture kid" in the Japan Times. What does "Individual things that make us, us." mean? This sentence looks incomplete and how can you make it complete? “Everyone is different, and that’s what makes life interesting,” Osaka tweeted last year. “We all have our own backgrounds and stories. Individual things that make us, us.” I couldn’t agree more with her statement.Read More...
Hi, Fujibei, I agree with Gustavo's parsing and suggestion for revision. Another option besides "individual things that make us who we are " is to use a reflexive pronoun: "individual things that make us ourselves ." You are right that the sentence is incomplete. It is incomplete even with the revisions we have suggested. The sentence is a deliberate fragment. It can be parsed as an appositive or as a conjunct in relation to the preceding sentence: appositive reading : We all have our own...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

anyways

Hello, I've heard people especially young (uneducated?) people use the word "anyways" when they probably mean "anyway". Is there such an English word as "anyways"? It bothers me so much that I looked at BYU corpus and there are a lot of examples. Is it now accepted to use it in an informal conversation? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David. Wow! Prince of Whales!! Tweeting is sometimes dangerous, because they write and send the messages very quickly. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Which word is the subject?

From a draft study for a US Government agency: "... the analyses were prioritized by first concentrating on systems whose performance are deemed critical to the safe and efficient operation ..." After I changed "are" to "is" in my comments, the author replied: "NO -- Systems is plural" I then asked a tech writer friend who replied: "Depends what is being emphasized as critical - the systems or the performance." Isn't "performance" the subject?Read More...
Gustavo and David, thank you for your replies. In a later email from my tech writer friend, he clarified that he agreed with me.Read More...
Last Reply By StillKicking · First Unread Post

Use of hyphen

Is it correct to use the hyphen in the following sentence: "time-saving and cost-saving manner"Read More...
Hello, MaaAdjoa, and welcome to GE! I agree with Gustavo's answer and, like you, share his preference for (1). The hyphen after "time" in (1) is sometimes referred to as a suspensive hyphen . Another option is to use a relative clause: 4- a manner that saves time and money I'm not saying that I prefer (4) to (1). There is a good chance that I would use (1).Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Sentence confusion

My friend and I were playing a game and discussing about some various strategies to finish it as fast as possible and he suddenly asked me this "does that trick work if you abandon the gate.' I'm so confused whether this is correct or not, should it be will that trick work if you abandon the gate? Thanks in advance!Read More...

elliptical usage

With their special moon vehicle, they could travel farther from the landing site to investigate more of the lunar environment and collect a wider range of soil and rock sample. ...... Which of the following interpretation is right? 1) ....., they could travel farther from the landing site to investigate more of the lunar environment and (could) collect a wider range of soil and rock sample. 2) ....., they could travel farther from the landing site to investigate more of the lunar environment...Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, Syntactically, either interpretation is possible, and ellipsis is not involved: 1) They could [ travel farther from the landing site to investigate more of the lunar environment ] and [ collect a wider range of soil and rock sample ] . 2) The could travel farther from the landing site to [ investigate more of the lunar environment ] and [ collect a wider range of soil and rock sample ] . In (1), two verb phrases are coordinated as complements of the modal "could": the verb...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

set things staight again

a. He'll set things straight again. b. He'll set things straight one more time. Do these mean 1. He'll set things straight before and he will do it again. or 2. Things were good at first, then went wrong. He will restore things to the way they were. ? I think from a logical point of view both should mean (1), but people generally use them to mean (2). Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, Where you said above: "*He'll set things straight before," I'm sure you meant to say "He set things straight before." I think both interpretations are possible. Interpretation (2) might be a case of "excessive conciseness," so to say, but I wouldn't say it's wrong. Context can help, for example: - When we bought this house, this wall was white. Then we painted it gray. Now we'll paint it white again. (Now we'll paint it white + As a result the wall will be white again.)Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

possessives

1 When I say "This is a pig's trough.", so is the word "a" describing or attached to "pig" or "trough"? 2 When I say "This is the pigs' trough.", so is the word "the" describing or attached to "pigs" or "trough"? 3 When I say "These are the women's wallets.", so is the word "the" describing or attached to "women" or "wallets"? Thanks!Read More...
Thank you all your help!Read More...
Last Reply By Kimconu · First Unread Post

Zero or First Conditional

If you are a well-organised person, you ..................... your time. a) will manage b) would manage c) manage d) managed This sentence was included in our GSSC final exam. Students were supposed to choose only one of the options provided. Do you think it should be first conditional (WILL MANAGE), or Zero conditional (MANAGE)? Thank you very muchRead More...
Great reply .Read More...
Last Reply By Ahmed Mohammed · First Unread Post

Future

Liverpool 's players are known to be skilled. They (are going to win / will win) the match easily. What is the right answer here?Read More...
Yes, I realize that you guys are looking for a detailed explanation, and I have decided to turn this into a research project. Please give me about a week, and I will try to clear up the mystery of will versus be going to to the best of my ability. As a native speaker, I never (or almost never) have to think about it. As a grammar-forum moderator, though, I encounter the question regularly, and I very often disagree with Egyptian "model answers" in this department! The distinction between...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

was standing

Are these sentences correct: 1) In the doorway, a tall dark woman was standing. 2) In the bedroom, a tall dark woman was sitting on an armchair. Do you interpret '2' to mean: a) She was seated on an armchair. or b) She was in the process of sitting down on an armchair. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, David, Just to clarify, I thought one should say 1 b) In the doorway, stood a tall dark woman. and 1a) In the doorway, a tall dark woman stood. sounded bad. That is what I was referring to when I mentioned inversion. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

will or going to

The other team’s players are very big. It (will/is going to) be a difficult match. That question is in our course book “new hello for Egypt” The answer in the book is”is going to”. But, I think that “will” can be a correct answer. It is a prediction based on an opinion. What is the better answer?Read More...
Hi, Islam Mohamed, Both answers are correct. I would more naturally use "is going to," but "will" works perfectly well there. If a student answers "will," the answer should not be marked incorrect. It would be good if another choice were added: "both" (the true model answer).Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

zero , first Conditionals

Hello. Could you please help me to choose the correct answer? - If you are well-organised, you (manage - will manage) your time. thank you.Read More...
Hello, Ahmed Imam Attia, Someone else has asked the very same question today. Please see the answer I have just given Abdullah Mahrouse at the link below: https://thegrammarexchange.inf...or-first-conditionalRead More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Past Cont vs Past Simple

The following sentence is our textbook as an example for the passive. Radar was being used for the first time, to help planes to land. Why didn't they use ( Radar was used for the first time, to help planes to land.)Read More...
Hello, Rasha, We use the progressive in the passive voice in the same types of circumstances in which we use the progressive in the active voice. The progressive allows us to talk about what is or was happening at a certain time or time period. The comma before "to help planes land" tells us that the main point of the sentence is that it was the first time radar was used at all. The fact that it was to help planes land is a parenthetical detail. I don't know whether you have access to the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Present or future

She suggested that he ....fishing tomorrow and he liked the idea. ( would go - go - going - will go)Read More...
Hi, Ahmed55, Yes, "will go" is incorrect. You have titled this thread "present or future," but "go" is not the present tense here. It is the present subjunctive . The common alternative to using the present subjunctive in a clause complementing "suggest" is to use "should" + [base form]. She suggested that he go fishing tomorrow and he liked the idea. She suggested that he should go fishing tomorrow and he liked the idea.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tenses

Before you mentioned about him, I ………….. of that novelist. (hadn’t ever heard- haven’t ever heard)Read More...
I agree with your tense choice, Ahmed. "Mention" is normally a transitive verb. That seems to be the motivation for your revision to "Before what you mentioned about him." Webster's dictionary doesn't even list an intransitive usage. But I do recognize it, and it's fairly common among native speakers. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) devotes a fair amount of space to it. I'd describe this intransitive usage as normal but a bit informal.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

take a rest a few times

I have made up an example below. (1) Yesterday, I spent quite a few hours walking hour kilometers. During my walk, I was very tired and had to take a rest a few times. Is it correct to say "take a rest a few times"? Thank you for your help and time.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, No, we don't say "take a rest." We do, however, say "take a break." You could say: I was very tired and had to take a few breaks. I was very tired and stopped to rest a few times.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

as in the structure: as +adj/adv+ as+n+be

Is the use of as in the following acceptable now :" As remarkable as the revelation is , more remarlable is the story that accompanies it."( cf. The "Perfect Aryan"Child , The washington Post , July 4, 2014) ? As far as I know, most people would prefer to say :Remarkable as/though the revelation is....What do you think?Read More...
Hi, David, Sorry for my delay in reply. No, Mr. Swan doesn't make any comments for that matter.He just presents facts. Thanks again for your help.Read More...
Last Reply By Pal · First Unread Post

didn't, hadn't or haven't

Suppose that I stopped shopping at a particular store for about two years. I shopped there again last week. This is what I am going to say to my friends. (1) I hadn't shopped at Great Savings for two years. When I bought things there last week, I was surprised by how expensive its merchandise is now. (2) I didn't shop at Great Savings for two years. When I bought things there last week, I was surprised by how expensive its merchandise was . (3) I haven't shopped at Great Savings for two...Read More...
Hello, Ansonman, Your friends are correct in this case. Let me know if there is an issue here that you wish to explore in more detail.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

transitioning for a career change

I am planning to have a career change. I went to see an employment counselor about that. He is not a native English speaker. When he saw me, he said, (1) "Are you transitioning for a career change?" Is it correct to use "transitioning"? Thanks for your help and time.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, "Transition" can be used as a verb, and the verb is sometimes used in the progressive. But that sentence makes no sense. Perhaps he was trying to say: (1a) Are you planning to make a career change? (1b) Are you transitioning into a new career? (1c) Are you going through a career transition?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

I want to watch "the" football

I heard people say in the UK "I want to watch the football." Is it correct? If it is, did they mean they wanted to watch "the" football as in a specific football match hence the use of the article "the"? Thank you.Read More...
Hello, Jeff2019, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! What was the context in which you heard people say that? Did they say it once? If so, what was happening in the surrounding extra-linguistic context when they said it? Did they habitually say it? If so, what were the circumstances in which it was habitually said? Answers to the above will help us to ascertain the meaning. Once we know the meaning and the context, I will be able to tell you whether the usage is correct in American English.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tenses

Although the police suspected him, he was able to prove that he (was working /had been working) when the crime was committed. What is the right answer in this sentence?Read More...
Hello, Emad, Both answers are right. Because of the adverbial "when the crime was committed," the past perfect is not needed to show that the working occurred further back in the past than "was able to prove." But the past perfect is also correct. The fact that the past perfect isn't necessary doesn't mean you shouldn't use it. And if you think the test makers believe (mistakenly) that the past perfect is needed, it would be prudent to use it.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
×
×
×
×