Activity

Cost

My brother asked how much I thought the trip .......... . ( cost - would cost ) Thanks in advanceRead More...
Hi, Egyptian2017, Both answers are correct, but they have different meanings. With "cost," the sentence means: "My brother asked, 'How much do you think the trip cost ?'" Here, "cost" is the past tense of the verb "cost" (yes, the form doesn't change). With "would cost," the sentence means: "My brother asked, 'How much do you think the trip will cost ?'" Here, "would cost" is the backshifted version of "will cost." Everything hinges on whether the trip preceded your brother's question.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Adverb 'correctly' - does the time matter?

Hello, When writing emails at work, I often catch myself not knowing which tense to use in the following situation: 1. We processed a transaction (a few moments ago, yesterday or a month ago), and the customer sends an email to us saying we did not process it correctly. Should I use present perfect: We have checked an can confirm that your transaction has been processed correctly. Or just: Your transaction has been processed correctly. Can these examples imply that we have REprocessed the...Read More...

Provided that and as long as

Hello, is it OK if we use "provided that" and "as long as" in the third conditional? The following sentence is in a school book: "She would have been fine provided that she had worn sun cream." "My Grammar Lab" book says that "provided that, on condition that, as long as and only if aren't used in the third conditional."Read More...
Thank you a lotRead More...
Last Reply By Ahmed Abdelhafeez · First Unread Post

The use of can and could

Linda Abraham
Hi, I want to know if it is possible to use 'could' to talk about present/future ability. I was reading a book called Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True Amerian Monster and I came across this line "I don't think anybody could say as to that particular man just what the influence of that accident or that concussion was", and as far as I know, could (when we are talking about ability) is only used for past ability.Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo, I really appreciate the detail.Read More...
Last Reply By Linda Abraham · First Unread Post

all (the) passengers

Here is a sentence from one of the Youtube news sites. How All Passengers Survived the Miracle on the Hudson. I’m wondering if “the” should be between All and Passengers. Or is it acceptable to omit “the” because it’s a news headline. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwkdmMTCCPg AppleRead More...
Thank you, David, for your reply, but I still don't understand. I used to think "the" means something specific, therefore, the passengers on that flight were a speficif group of people, not just any passengers. Is it then, acceptable to say "All students in our school passed the final " or "All visitors to this world heritage site must follow this rule" without using "the"? I will watch Sully . This incident on the Hudson river has been featured in many TV programs. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

let alone

let aloneRead More...
Well, they sound better to me than (1), but I perceive some unbalance: we are excluding only some of his paintings but all of others, and "let alone" works more finely when there is, so to say, grammatical symmetry: our research/their research, time and effort/money, the kids/the dogs. What do you think, David and DocV?Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

was playing / has played / etc.

choose Someone next door..............heavy metal music all night long. I didn’t get a wink of sleep. a) was playing b) has played c) had been playing d) has been playingRead More...
You are very welcome, Tara. I was afraid that I had personally offended you. If I ever do offend you, please tell me. You have my e-mail address (or at least you used to). Or, if you're not comfortable contacting me personally about such a thing, I'm sure you know how to contact David. I greatly appreciate your presence on the Grammar Exchange, and I'm not the only one. We would be very sorry to lose you. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

each vs both

what’s the difference between each and both?Read More...
Mr Bakr, The primary difference is that "both" can only refer to a quantity of two. 1a: I have two bicycles, and both of them need major repairs. 1b: I have five bicycles, and each of them needs major repairs. Note that, in these examples, "both" requires a plural verb but "each" requires a singular. This is because, in this context, "each" means "every one of". We also use "each" to refer to severally counted items as opposed to mass quantities: 2a: These onions cost a dollar a pound . 2b:...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

when

Hi Can you please explain the difference? 1. I hope the WiFi works when I'm writing my bachelor‘s thesis. 2. I hope the WiFi is working when I'm writing my bachelor‘s thesis. 3. I hope the WiFi works when write my bachelor‘s thesis. (From EO)Read More...
Thank you sooo much ! ! ! ! !Read More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

quality time

Parents should spend some …..of time with their children every day. (a) equality (b) quantity (c) quality (d) qualification I was thinking of quality time but the 'of' made me pause and ask for your help. I think that we are limited to three posts a day. I hope I'm right and get the help I need It's from a mock exam in Egypt.Read More...
Doc V Thanks for your kind reply. I really appreciate the help I get from each and every admin or member here on this forum.Read More...
Last Reply By Rasha Assem · First Unread Post

enough vs too

There are times when you can't work ……..to live comfortably. (a) enough hard (b) hard enough (c) hardly enough (d) too hard This is sentence is one of the mock exams in Egypt. I have chosen (b). However, I can't get why (d) is wrong, if it is actually wrong. I really appreciate your help.Read More...
Hi, Rasha, Here is the sentence with answer (b): (b) There are times when you can't work hard enough to live comfortably. That sentence means that there are times when you can't afford to live comfortably no matter how hard you work. Well, let's add sentential negation to "I am too short to reach the shelf": (X) I am not too short to reach the shelf. That sentence means you are short but you can nevertheless reach the shelf.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Soaking wet

1- I got soaked. 2- I got soaking wet. Are these two the same? I've searched most of the online dictionaries but couldn't get a satisfactory answer. I wonder if anyone here could help. THANKS IN ADANVCE.Read More...
Hello, Rasha, Those two sentences can be used interchangeably, but it is possible for (1) to be used with a different meaning from (2). Read as equivalent in meaning, each sentence uses "got" as a resultative copula (linking verb) followed by an adjective phrase: "soaked" or "soaking wet." Read as not equivalent in meaning, each sentence uses "got" in a different way. In (1), it is a passive auxiliary verb, and in (2) it is a resulative copula. On the passive reading of (1), "soaked" is not...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

People who write materials

Which of the following options will be suitable for this statement: Course.........writers are to reflect local colour. A. materials' B. materials C. material D. materials' It's a question set in a university entrance exam. You can recommend further readings .Read More...
Wow! Thank you so much! I'm very grateful.Read More...
Last Reply By Yale Wale · First Unread Post

be going to vs will

A: John is a better player than Martin, isn't he? B: Oh, yes. _______ the match tomorrow, I expect. 1) He will win 2) He is going to win Which one is preferable here? (Me: #1 is better than #2.) Source: Destination, B1Read More...
Gustavo has elaborated on the point beautifully. Thank you, Gustavo! I really like the quotations you gave from the book by Michael Vince, too.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Go on vs go to

I go on the business trip. Why the above sentence use "on " as the preposition but not "to"?Read More...
Hello, Benhui, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! In your question, you need "do"-support. In English, we say, " Why does the above sentence use 'on'? ", not " Why the above sentence use 'on'? " "I go on the business trip" is a very strange sentence by itself. Normally it would be part of a larger sentence -- e.g.: "If I go on the business trip, I won't be home." We go on trips ; we don't go to trips . We do take trips to different places , but we go on trips to those places.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

subject and verb agreement.

Hello~ I wonder if the subject and verb agreement rule can be applied in both (a) and (b) to represent the abstract thing, making any distinction of count and non count nouns. a) The next thing on the list is cheese. b) The next thing on the list is egg. Thank you.Read More...
I agree with you, Gustavo, that we generally use "egg" as a count noun, and that "eggs" (plural) is probably a better choice for Jiho in (b). As a vegetarian who doesn't eat eggs, or who tries his best not to, I am accustomed to using "egg," occasionally, as a noncount noun. Thus, if I am placing an order for food at a restaurant I have never eaten at before, I will often ask whether a particular dish is made with eggs (count noun), but occasionally I will ask, instead, whether it contains...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

perfect tenses

a. I have been seeing that guy at our office for at least five years. b. I have seen that guy at our office for at least five years. Is there any difference between the meanings of (a) and (b)? Which could be used if I won't see that guy again? Which could be used if I will keep on seeing him at our office? Could either be used if that guy passed away a couple of days ago? Wouldn't one have to use the past perfect and past perfect progressive in that case? Many thanks.Read More...

have handmade enough scones to stretch across the Isle of Wight

Hi! I have a question about the word "handmade" in this sentence: I was wondering how the "handmade" woks in the sentence. I can think of three possibilities: (1) It is an adjective pre-modifying the noun "scones." (2) It is a past participle following the auxiliary "have." In that case, it implies there is a verb "handmake." (3) It is an adjective that is supposed to follow the noun "scones" but it is placed there for some (stylistic) purpose, just like "He had A ready" and "He had ready A,...Read More...
Hi David, Thank you so much! Interesting to see how a word is derived from another and its orthography can change over time.Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

BBC Grammar

Surely this BBC story has incorrect grammar in its sub-headline: "A mother drowned her three-year-old daughter in a bath a month after separating from her husband, whom she believed was having an affair, a court has heard". Am I right in saying it should be "who" not "whom"? I think it would be whom if it said "whom she suspected of having an affair"Read More...
Thank you DavidRead More...
Last Reply By silverchalk · First Unread Post

There

ahmad
Hello, everyone, I think something is terribly wrong with the following sentences, but I can't explain the same to myself. Would someone kindly help me with that? 1. ABC is a scenic place. You should visit to there. 2. ABC is a scenic place. You should visit there. Thanks.Read More...
Hi, Ahmad, In that position, "there" is an adverb of place. "visit" is a transitive verb and, as such, requires a noun or a pronoun as a direct object. Therefore, you should say: 3. ... You should visit it.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

"Which" in Reported Speech

Hi all "Which is my seat?" asked Hana A. Hana asked which (one) was her seat. B. Hana asked which seat was hers. C. Hana asked which her seat was. Actually I'm completely convinced that sentences A & B are correct, but what about sentence C ? It really surprised me when I found out that Michael Swan, in his "PEU", had accepted it. I can, semantically, absorb such a form with other question words such as "where"____ (Hana asked where her seat was.) But I think the case with "which" is...Read More...
Thank you very much, Gustavo. My due appreciation and respect.Read More...
Last Reply By Abdullah Mahrouse · First Unread Post

Write

ahmad
Hello, everyone, The embedded picture in this post is from A Guide to Patterns and Usage in English by A. S. HORNBY Would it be wrong to write the objected to sentence as follows? 1. Mr. Brown was written a long letter to by the secretary. Thanks.Read More...
No, Ahmad, it is not even remotely grammatical. It is 100% grammatically incorrect.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

clear up / clean up

Which is correct? 1 I'm going to clear up / clean up / tidy up the kitchen. 2 You have to tidy up / clear up / clean up your clothes. 3 Let me clean up / clear up the broken glass. THANKS.Read More...
And in abstract metaphorical usage, the following transitive case is common: (5) He needed to clear up the misunderstanding. Often such sentences are abbreviated like this: (6) He needed to clear things up.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

ASK FOR more / much / many / most

Which is correct? John has already put in his best effort. I really cannot ask for more / much / many / most. ThanksRead More...
Hi, bear_bear, In the absence of further context, the best answer is "more." All you could ask for is for John to put in his best effort, and that is what he did. You really cannot ask for more.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Which sentence is grammatically correct about personality?

I have made up a few similar sentences below. (1) John can sense your personality easily. (2) John can sense the personality you have easily. (3) John can sense the type of personality you have easily. All of my non-native English speaking friends think none of my sentences are correct. What is your opinion? Thanks for your help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, I see nothing wrong with (1), which I think is preferable because "easily" will unmistakably refer to "sense" rather than to "have" (even though one cannot have a personality easily, since "have" is a stative verb to which "easily" will not apply).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

exists in one copy or only one copy exists

I have made up two similar sentences below. (1) Only one copy of the stamp exists in the world. (2) The stamp exists in only one copy in the world. I am not sure which one is grammatical. Please help me. Thanks a lo.tRead More...
Hi, Ansonman, Only (1) is correct. However, one would normally say: (3) There is only one copy of the stamp in the world. For the phrase "in X number of copies/versions, etc." to be possible, there needs to be some adjective or participle after the verb "be": (4) The book is only available in hardcover edition. (5) The agreement will be signed in three copies/counterparts.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

sorer v. more sore

Hi All, Which is correct "sorer" or "more sore"? Since sorer is an actual word, I'm thinking it is correct and would be in any case and that I would not want to use "more" whatever. Thanks for your help! I joined not too long ago and it's my first time posting. I usually always find the answer here!Read More...
Thank you, Mr. Moderator I appreciate the help!Read More...
Last Reply By This Lisa Lee · First Unread Post

Which/Whom

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Some ten men visited the family, out of whom three stayed over. Some ten men visited the family, out of which three stayed over. Which one of the two sentences is correct (even in terms of punctuation)? Thanks.Read More...
Hello, Ahmad, While (1) is better than (2), I find neither sentence to be good, mainly because of "out of." And while you can say "of whom three," I would prefer "three of whom": (1a) Some ten men visited the family, three of whom stayed over. You may be concerned about the fact that the relative clause comes at the end of the sentence rather than after "men." That's OK. It has been "extraposed." If you still don't like it, you could use a fancy absolute construction instead: (3) Some ten...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

what you are going to give up

Tell us what are you going to give up or Tell us what you are going to give upRead More...
Hello, Paviaandres, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! You haven't asked a question, but I assume you mean to ask which of those two sentences is correct. With the punctuation as you have it, neither is correct, since neither ends with a period. If you added a period at the end of each sentence, then only the second sentence would be correct. Tell us what you are going to give up. "What you are going to give up" is an embedded question functioning as the object (one of the objects) of the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

extremely precise device

Are all of these sentences correct and correctly punctuated: 1) This is a device that is extremely precise for people in the medical field. 2) This is an extremely precise device for people in the medical field. 3) This is a device that is extremely precise, for people in the medical field. 4) This is an extremely precise device, for people in the medical field. =========================================== 5) This is a device that is extremely expensive for people in the medical field. 6)...Read More...
Thank you very much, Gustavo, I have been thinking about this some more. I don't think '5' is really ambiguous. If something is expensive for me, that means it will be difficult for me to afford it. But maybe one might argue that there is a different meaning in which 'for' would simply mean 'according to'. Not sure. One could argue that if it is hard for me to afford something, I'd consider that thing expensive. I thought '6' could mean: a) This is an extremely expensive device and it has...Read More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

and or

Hello, Do the following two sentences both mean that Kent can speak neither English nor French? Or is one of them incorrect? 1. Kent cannot speak English and French. 2. Kent cannot speak English or French. Does sentence 2 mean that Kent can speak either one, English or French? AppleRead More...
Ah,,,thank you, David. I got it. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Grammer 3

How would you explain to a learner of English the difference in meaning between the following pairs of words? Spain : Spanish 2. wise : intelligent walk : stroll see something through : see through something then : than I really need the help.Read More...
Again, you need to learn how to ask questions properly at this website.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Grammer 2

Then this is my next question. Correct the student error by writing the corrected sentence in the first box. In the second box explain, as simply as possible, why we use the corrected version My bike stole last week. Please put your luggages over here. My sister is more tall than Oliver. I used to go and see my parents last weekend. I wish you stop playing the loud music.Read More...
Please do not present us with a set of school exercises to complete for you. We don't do students' homework for them. If you are struggling with how to answer one of the questions, try to understand what perplexes you about the grammar. Then ask a focused question, and try to give the thread a meaningful title. Never use completely generic titles like "Grammar," "Help," "I'm stuck." Thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

could vs can

In one episode of Seinfeld, Jerry is sitting there on a plane and the plane is running. He looks out of the window and sees Kramer is running after the plane. But in a second Kramer is out of sight. Jerry sits straight and says to himself, "Couldn't be." My question is, why doesn't he say "can't be" instead? Thanks.Read More...
Hi, Ruifeng, Let me begin by saying that I've never watched Seinfeld . "Can't be" would have made sense if Kramer was still in sight when Jerry made the statement to himself. Compare: That can't be him/he. You have asked about truncated, elliptical sentences. If we were use a complete sentence, the one that I would use is this: That couldn't have been him/he.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

my memory of .... or a memory of ...

I have made up two pairs of similar sentences below. (1a) My old shoes brought back my memory of the time someone stole my watch. (1b) My old shoes brought back a memory of the time someone stole my watch. (2a) The song brought back my memory of my dad who passed away ten years ago. (2b) The song brought back a memory of my dad who passed away ten years ago. If I am talking about one specific incident, do I use "my memory" or "a memory"? Thanks for your help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, The phrase is "bring back memori es " (in the plural). If the speaker needs to make clear that those memories came back to him/her rather than to an unidentified person or group of people, then an object pronoun rather than a possessive determiner should be used: 1c) My old shoes brought me back memories of the time someone stole/had stolen my watch. (Note: I find it hard to see the connection between the shoes and the watch, but it's just a narrative detail.) Actually, I'd...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

have asked for a long time

My non-native English speaking friend made up a sentence and asked me if it was correct. I have written it down below. (1) People have asked me for a long time how to make ice cream at home. It sounds OK to me. Does it make sense to say "ask for a long time"? Thanks for your help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, To express the duration indicated by "for a long time," I think the present perfect continuous would sound much better: (2) People have been asking me for a long time how to make ice cream at home. Instead of "for a long time," some other adverbs could be used, like "repeatedly" or "once and over again," which I believe are in fact more appropriate, since they express recurrence rather than continuity.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

take a rest a few times or take a few rests

I have made up two examples below. (1) Along the way home, I took a few rests because I was tired. (2) Along the way home, I took a rest a few times because I was tired. Which one is correct? Please help me. Thanks a lot.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, Although "rest" is defined as countable and uncountable, its countable variant is largely restricted to the use of the article "a." We don't usually come across the plural "rests." Instead, we prefer "some periods of rest." More specific measures of time can also be used, in which case the genitive can be used: - three hours(') rest - two weeks(') rest - five minutes(') restRead More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

I'm seriously stuck

I have been giving questions and I am completely stuck. Can someone help. I have to think of two similar items to the words below: I've, Won't, He's, on, toward, with, gone, stolen, seen, fast, hopefully, actually, must, should, may, Then this is my next question. Correct the student error by writing the corrected sentence in the first box. In the second box explain, as simply as possible, why we use the corrected version My bike stole last week. Please put your luggages over here. My sister...Read More...
I appreciate your effort, but it was not good enough. This is a site for discussing specific grammar questions. Each thread is devoted to one general topic. The title of the thread should reflect that topic, even if it is only a phrase from one of the examples. Never use completely generic titles like "grammar," "help," "I'm stuck." And never present a list of homework exercises for us to complete. The Grammar Exchange is not a homework completion service. If you wish to ask about more than...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"You have our support, whatever you decide"

Hi everyone, I came across this saying "You have our support, whatever you decide." In the oxford advanced learners dictionary when looking up the word whatever. Could somebody please advise what function is being performed by "whatever you decide".... Many thanksRead More...
Hello, Philip, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! The word "whatever" can play different roles within the sentence. In this case, it introduces an adverbial clause of concession. Within the adverbial clause, "whatever" is, at the same time, the linking word and the direct object of the verb "decide." This can be more easily understood if we break it down into "no matter what," where "no matter" is the concessive linker and "what" is the direct object of the verb "decide": - You have our...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

‘US assets will need to get cheap enough or offer high enough yields to keep foreigners willing holders and accumulators of US assets.’

Hi! Could I ask a question about this sentence from Oxford Dictionary of English ? "US assets will need to get cheap enough or offer high enough yields to keep foreigners willing holders and accumulators of US assets." I was wondering what the structure of the sequence "need to get cheap enough or offer high enough yields" would be like. It seems to me that the sentence can be paraphrased like this: (1) US assets will need to get cheap enough yields or offer high enough yields to keep ...Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo and David! It's interesting that the "keep+noun+noun" pattern is less preferable though it is a grammatically available option. I have no idea why, but maybe that's the way it sounds!Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

the difference between like to do and like doing

Hi, What's the difference between "I Like to read" and "I like reading"? Thanks.Read More...
Hi David Thank you very much for your very clear explanation. According to my grammar book, there is difference in meaning between "I don't like to V" and "I don't like V-ing, for example, I don't like to go. (It means I won't go because I don't like to go) I don't like going. (It means I still have to go even if I don't like to go) Could you please give your opinion on that? Many thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By kuen · First Unread Post

" what" vs "which"

What or which : which one should be used? What/which medicine is good for boosting immunity of children? What/which is the longest river in the world? I think both are correct.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, Yes, you can correctly use either "what" or "which" there. The latter will tend to communicate that the speaker is thinking of a specific set of medicines or rivers: "Which [of these rivers] is the longest river in the world?" The first question does contain a grammatical mistake. You need to use "the" before "immunity of children." The "of"-phrase makes "the" necessary there. Another option is to use the possessive: "for boosting children's immunity."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

tomorrow in ABC Mall or in ABC Mall tomorrow

I have made up two sentences below. (1) We will meet in ABC Mall tomorrow. (2) We will meet tomorrow in ABC Mall. All of my non-native English speaking friends think my first sentence is correct and my second one is awkward. Is (2) really awkward? Thanks a lot for your help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, I do find (2) awkward, because you are altering the normal word order of adverbials (manner - place - time) for no apparent reason.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Each /every

What is the right answer here :"(Each - Every) engineer in the factory was given a separate job to do.Read More...
Hi all, I agree with Ahmed_BTM (who, by the way, is doing a great job helping us to answer some questions) that both "each" and "every" can be used. Please notice that the noun phrase in question is restricted by the postmodifier "in the factory," so it is clear that we are not referring to engineers in general, but only to those who work in the factory. The first two examples of "every" in the Longman dictionary are precisely along those lines: • She bought presents for every member of her...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

as a cowboy

1) That movie featured John Smith in his last role as a cowboy. 2) That movie featured John Smith in his last role, as a cowboy. Are both sentences correct and correctly punctuated? Is there a difference in the meanings? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hi, Navi, (1) is ambiguous. His last role may have been as a cowboy or he may have had other roles afterwards. (2) clearly states the last role he played was that of a cowboy.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

The Undersigned/Explainer

ahmad
Hello, everyone, While responding to somebody in writing , can one refer to oneself by using words like, the undersigned, the responder, the explainer, the interlocutor, and the replier? 1. The explainer/undersigned is of the opinion that any further delay on your part will have far reaching consequences. What are various other acceptable ways of referring to oneself? Thanks.Read More...
Hi, Gustavo and DocV, I got "the undersigned" part. In fact, I see it used often. But I need more on the topic. Suppose, I am in the business of making highly formal communications with my senior routinely. Within such a setting, if I am asked to explain something or to give my opinion on some matter, etc, do I have the option to refer to myself as "the responder/the replier/the explainer"? Thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

Still Less

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Is the following sentence correct? The release of the toxic gas in the theater had terrible consequences: people could hardly find their bearings, less still the exit, far still less their belongings. Thanks.Read More...
Thanks, David. I was myself less sure of the correctness of the sentence, although I failed to notice the order of words previously, but the construction as a whole was what interested me the most. Your recommendations, especially the second one, are a great help, which I hope to find myriad situations to use in. Gustavo, thanks for your recommendation. It is great too.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

commas and periods

Hello, Here is a part of self-introduction of an English proof reader born and educated in the UK. I like to encourage students as much as possible, I am here to help and I want to get the best out of our customers. I want them to feel comfortable working with me and students must never get upset by my corrections, they are there to help, I never want to embarrass the student or make them feel they have lost confidence in carrying on learning the subject. I copied it from the website and...Read More...
Thank you again for your kind reply. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

(a) minority

Hello, In the following sentence do we need "a" before "minority"? I don't think "a" is needed, but I'm not sure. In the organization where most managers are men, women are considered (a) minority.Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo, for your prompt reply. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

He saw enough to satisfy and interest him

Hi! When I was reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, I noticed this sentence interesting: Laurie did not read all this while he watched her feed the peacocks, but he saw enough to satisfy and interest him, ... (Chapter 37) I thought "him" should be replaced with "himself," and I was wondering whether the following sentences are grammatically okay and whether there could be any difference in meaning among (1) and (2), (3) and (4), and (5) and 6): (1) He saw enough to satisfy and interest...Read More...
Hi, Gustavo, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! It's interesting to see that the adjective enough phrase can not only follow but also precede the noun it modifies (there might be some restriction on its preceding the noun, I don't know) on one hand, and they can differ when it comes to the presence/absence of the (for sb) to do sth infinitival clause on the other hand.Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

every game I play

Are these sentences correct: 1) Each game I play, I consider as a new challenge, even if it isn't in an important tournament. 2) Every game I play, I consider as a new challenge, even if it isn't in an important tournament. If they are correct, would you consider them literary or informal? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, David, Wow! Another great reply! I had totally missed that ambiguity!! It was not a hidden challenge! Respectfully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

are/is

Which are correct: 1) Who are richer than the French in this county? 2) Who is richer than the French in this county? 3) Which ethnic group is richer than the French in this county? 4) What ethnic group is richer than the French in this county? Gratefully, NaviRead More...

Correct use of “having seen”

Hello! Am I using “having seen” correctly in the sentence below? ”The images were etched in his memory from having seen them every day for as long as he could remember.” I’m starting to doubt myself. Thank you! EddyRead More...
Hi Doc V, Thank you for the helpful top-up. The latter is correct, per David’s suggestion. I suspect my original phrasing was misleading, hence my appeal for help. Feel free to email me some info on the editing services you offer. I have an agent who acts as a first-round editor, but I like to ensure the manuscript is polished before sending her way. I’d be interested in getting the first 50 pages or so edited, depending on your rates. Testimonials and reviews would also be helpful. Thanks...Read More...
Last Reply By eddyautomatic · First Unread Post

I'm having a problem vs I have a problem

Hi What is the difference between "I'm having a problem" and "I have a problem"? Are these the same as "I'm having trouble" and "I have trouble"?Read More...
Tara, Does this mean that our answers (mine and David's, in particular) to your questions on those other threads have sufficiently addressed this new question? If not, just tell us, and we'll try to give a better answer. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Can I say ?

I. If I know that my friend have changed the job, so can I ask suddenly that: 1 "Hey John! What did you do for a living? / Hey John! What was your job?" or I have to ask that "Hey John! Formerly, what did you do for a living? / Hey John! Formerly, what was your job?"? 2 "Hey John! Were you a teacher? or I have to ask that "Hey John! Formerly, were you a teacher?" And does he understand me when I ask suddenly like that? II. If I know that my friend have changed the name and I have forgotten...Read More...
Kimconu, In section (I) you can say, a: What did you do before this? or b: Did you use to be a teacher? In (II), you can say, c: Didn't you use to go by a different name? DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

on (the) top and bottom

I have made up a few similar sentences below. (1) There are stickers on the top and on the bottom of the box. (2) There are stickers on the top and the bottom of the box. (3) There are stickers on the top and bottom of the box. All of my non-native English speaking friends think my sentences are all grammatically correct. Are they really correct? Thanks a lot for your help.Read More...
Yes. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

usage of "pay"

I have made up a few similar sentences below. (1a) I get pa id for doing the project. (1b) I get pay for doing the project. (2a) This is a high paying job. (2b) This is a high-pay job. (3a) This job is high paying. (3b) This job is high-pay. I heard people use the a sentences. Are the b examples grammatically correct? Thank you very much for your help.Read More...
Ansonman, I don't like any of the (b) versions. Also, my tendency would be to hyphenate "high-paying". DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

a place and a day + weather

Suppose that ABC is the name of a city. I have written some short sentences below. (1a) It's usually rainy in ABC. (1b) ABC is usually rainy. (2a) It's rainy today. (2b) Today is rainy. (3a) It will be rainy on Wednesday. (3b) Wednesday will be rainy. (4a) It will rain in ABC soon. (4b) ABC will rain soon. (5a) It will rain tomorrow. (5b) Tomorrow will rain. My non-native English speaking friends and I know all the "a" sentences are correct. We made up the "b" examples, and we are not sure...Read More...
(4b) and (5b) are incorrect. Cities and days can be rainy, but they can't rain. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

on the roads?

It is very difficult to find your favorite food when you travel. Sometimes it is even difficult to find healthy food. Besides, the prices of foods may be so high on the roads or in airports. Long trips may make you tired and weak and this can increase the risk of illness. So you should eat well while you are traveling. 1. Shouldn't "on the roads" be "on the road"? 2. Is "on the road" here an idiom, meaning " travelling in a car, especially for long distances "?Read More...
The name of the book is: Vision The authors are Iranian English teachers whose major fields of study is "English, as a second language."Read More...
Last Reply By Freeguy · First Unread Post

Span Toward

ahmad
Hello, everyone, "Brahman cannot be a bridge, since there is nothing beyond for it to be a span toward." The above quote is from The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Volume 3: Advaita Vedanta up to Samkara and His Pupils edited by Karl H. Potter...Read More...
Thanks a lot to both of you. The explanation provided by DocV is quite enlightening.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

too much

cocoricot
Dear teachers, 1. Don't spend too much time on video games. 2. Don't spend your time too much on video games. 3. Don't spend too much of your time on video games. Please tell me if they are correct and explain the meaning of the different positions of "too much''. Thanks.Read More...
Thank you, DocV, for your precious help.Read More...
Last Reply By cocoricot · First Unread Post

the meaning of to infinitive

cocoricot
Dear teachers, The sentence below is in a dictionary. Please explain what it means when "to be'' is added to the sentence while to me the sentence still has its meaning without it. Honesty is essential if there is to be good rapport between patient and therapist. Thank youRead More...
Thank you, DocV, I fully understand.Read More...
Last Reply By cocoricot · First Unread Post

correlative conjunctions

mohsen
Hi dears, I have read if u want to use correlative conjunctions to join two items u need the equal grammar, for example ' either[a noun] or [ a noun] what about the following example : # I think the chores are either boring and a waste of time. ' boring ' in the first part is an adjective but ' a waste of time ' in the second part is a noun phrase. is it possible to do this as the terms are not grammatically equal?? Best of wish MohsenRead More...
David, i did not pay attention to the beginning because I expected your name at the end! anyway, thanks for your answer...Read More...
Last Reply By mohsen · First Unread Post

Didn't have to or needn't have pp

Hello, The following sentence is from a school book: "We didn't have a test today so I .............for it last night!" A- didn't have to revise B- needn't have revised The guide of answers says "B" But I inquire why not "A". I think that "A" is OK as it means that we didn't revise last night because we didn't have a test today.Read More...
David, you obviously posted while I was still writing my last bit, as often happens, but I don't think I've contradicted you. In fact, I completely agree with your logic. I will say that you are absolutely correct, with regard both to your grammatical point itself, and to the fact that it is, as you so elegantly understate it, "worth mentioning" in the context of this thread. Rather, I say that your point is essential in order to appreciate the subtle differences among the various uses of...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

mixed conditional?

You shouldn't be so tired if you ....... to bed earlier. 1) had gone 2) went This test was asked by one of my colleagues today. To me, #1 works. Also, I am not happy with this usage of "should". I think "You shouldn't be so tired" is not modern usage; "Would" is what's meant. What do you think? And tell me which type of conditional is this sentence? I think it's mixed.Read More...
Yes, Freeguy, this British use of "should," which relates to "shall" in its first-person usage in British English, is generally used only in the first person -- and it is generally not used at all in American English. The last style guide in the U.S. to have recommended it without reserve was published in the nineteen-sixties. The British usage of "shall" and "should" allows for changes in perspective, and it is still possible to conceive of such changes in perspective. If you and I were...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

some vs. several vs. a few

a. There were some books on the desk. b. There were several books on the desk. c. There were a few books on the desk. Which of the above sentences could be used if only three books were on the desk? d. There were some books and notebooks on the desk. e. There were several books and notebooks on the desk. f. There were a few books and notebooks on the desk. Which of the above sentences could be used if only three objects (two books and one notebook or one notebook and two books) were on the...Read More...

Interesting sentences/paragraphs

Do you know of any way to write sentences/paragraphs that captivate. When i read my stuff it is so boring, but when i read the same written in a book by a pro it sounds so much better. Is there a way to lay out the words or ideas, to constructe interesting sentences/paragraphs. All i can find is to place active words at the beginning or end of a sentence. What do you do to spellbind the reader. ThanksRead More...
John121, I don't see a grammar question here. What you are asking is outside of the scope of this forum. I suggest you find a writers' workshop. Depending where you live, there might be such groups in your area with an actual leader or instructor (possibly through a college or adult education center), or strictly peer groups, where, at every session, members volunteer to submit what they have most recently written in order to have it critiqued by the other members. I see advantages and...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Is disclosed or has been disclosed

From time to time, I read financial reports of listed companies and would like make a summary of each of the financial reports that I have reviewed. 1. Information concerning related party loans is disclosed in the financial report. 2. Information concerning related party loans has been disclosed in the financial report. I think both “is disclosed” or “has been disclosed” are correct. Is it true? What the differences are? ThanksRead More...
Got it! Thanks. Have a nice weekend.Read More...
Last Reply By terry · First Unread Post

Neither ... nor ...

Are the following sentences correct? Neither food nor drinks are allowed in the lab. Neither drinks nor food is allowed in the lab. Neither food nor drink is allowed in the lab.Read More...
Uh, it's the singular or the plural format of "food" "drink" and "drinks" that confused me. I saw a wrong sentence. But I did research a bit before I wrote above sentences. Just need confirmation. Thank you David!Read More...
Last Reply By JessieHU · First Unread Post

Date

Hello, if someone said "on the 12th of March" orally, when I need to put this into formal written format, should I write "on the 12th of March" or "on 12th of March"?Read More...
David wrote: I agree. I wonder if the fact that this form has fallen into relative disuse is the pervasiveness of using the name of a day of the week ("on Thursday the 12 th ", which is inevitably followed by the ever-ominous Friday the 13 th ) between the "on" and the "the" in such a construct rather than the name of a month. Incidentally, I used the ordinal numerals "12 th " and "13 th " in my own examples because I'm honestly not sure what the accepted protocol is, or, in fact, whether...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Active and passive form

cocoricot
Dear teachers, Is it correct to use whether active or passive form? 1. It was too badly damaged to repair. 2. It was too badly damaged to be repaired. Thank you.Read More...
Actually, Cocoricot, in light of Gustavo's excellent point that "repair" is almost exclusively used transitively, I find your (1) more natural than your (2). A robot might very well show up at a job shop and announce "I'm ready to repair!", but a technician would be much less likely to do so. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Each of

Can we say"Each one of the parties was nice. "Read More...
Emad, To me, "every" sounds more natural, but both are correct. And, of course, you can also say: 6: Peter has been to a lot of parties this month. He enjoyed all of them. I must say that I don't have nearly the same sense of difference in meaning as I did with the earlier set of examples, although I really can't explain why. This is one of the dangers of using "sense" as opposed to demonstrable rules, as I have done here. I hope my colleagues can help provide the insight that I seem to be...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

too powerful

a. You are too powerful for your own good. b. You are too powerful for your own interest. c. You are too powerful for your interest. d. You are too powerful for your team. Which of the above sentences are grammatically and make sense? Which are natural? What does (d) mean? It seems to me that it means you belong in a better team, and that is the only meaning the sentence could have. (b) and (c) seem meaningless to me but (a) seems fine. I think it is an idiom. Many thanks.Read More...

Perambulatory

ahmad
Hello, everyone, With a view to ensure whether I could use ' perambulatory' in a certain way (which I will come to later on), I ran a search on COCA and came upon the following: "Such guarantees of public input reflect the Parties' perambulatory affirmation of the importance of public participation in conserving, protecting, and enhancing the environment." https://corpus.byu.edu/coca/ I don't understand the meaning of the word in question in the above sentence. Would someone help me...Read More...
Hello again, Ahmad, Yes, I believe those two sentences are fine and express the meaning you wish them to express. I like "the perambulatory orders" the best. "Perambulatory orders" is similar to "grammatical errors," which refers to errors of a grammatical nature, not to errors having the virtue of being grammatical. The reason I have qualified my answer with "I believe" is that I am not at home with "perambulatory." I don't think I have ever once used the word in real life.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

prepositions

1) Tom and Harry were of great assistance getting me a new passport. 2) Tom and Harry were of great assistance in getting me a new passport. 3) Tom and Harry were of great assistance with getting me a new passport. Did they get me a new passport or did they help me or someone else get me a new passport? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
None of which are to be confused with 4: Tom and Harry were of great assistance, getting me a new passport.Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Microscope

ahmad
Hello, everyone, "Microscope noun an instrument consisting essentially of a lens or combination of lenses, for making very small objects, as microorganisms , look larger so that they can be seen and studied " The above definition of 'microscope' is listed as the third (one) on the following link. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/microscope Does the removal of the possible confusion account for the presence of the first comma in the definition above, or is there more to...Read More...
Thanks, DocV.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

"Let's get started."

I have the impression that almost all English native speakers use the expression not a) but b) when they launch a meeting, presentation, etc. a) Let's start. b) Let's get started. I have two questions. 1) Is a) a correct sentence? 2) The reason for the use of the verb "get" in b)? I suspect "get" makes the voice of the sentence passive, so that allows the speaker to omit an objective. Thanks.Read More...
Thank you always!Read More...
Last Reply By ken · First Unread Post

globalization of nothing vs globalization is nothing

Appreciate if you could assist me to interpret the difference of "globalization of nothing" and "globalization is nothing". The Globalization of Nothing, January 2007,DOI: 10.1353/sais.2003.0053Read More...
Hi, Joshua, "Globalization is nothing" would be a sentence denying either the existence or the importance of globalization. "Globalization of nothing" is phrase whose meaning is specified in the article you seem to be referring to: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2...ge_scan_tab_contents The grammatical meaning of "the globalization of nothing" is specified in the first paragraph with the phrase "the spread of nothing throughout the world."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

attend tutoring centers

(ex) Students who attend tutoring centers usually get high marks in school. I am not sure if I am using the right verb "attend". Is it correct to say "attend a learning center"? I really appreciate your help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman: "Attend" is generally used with reference to events. We do not speak of attending places like tutoring centers, though we do speak of attending school and church. Instead of "attend," it would be better in your example to use "go to," "visit," "take advantage of," "utilize," etc.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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