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Past perfect or past simple?

Hello, "After I .......exams last year, I spent my holiday on the beach." A- had finished b- finishedRead More...
Ahmed Abd el-Hafeez, (This is my best guess at how your name should be parsed in English. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I am here to learn as well as to teach.) Ahmed_btm is correct in saying that both answers are grammatically correct. This man has been a great resource for us at the Grammar Exchange in understanding what is expected on exams in Egypt, and how the "model answer" often conflicts with naturally spoken English. This is one of those times. If you want the right answer for...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

What does "those" refer to in this sentence?

Hello, In the last paragraph of a scientific article below, there is a sentence “It also limits potentially qualified students from participating in the talent pool tapped to fill advance jobs where the work force in dwindling, such as those in science, technology and engineering." I copied and pasted this paragraph. My question 1:Shouldn’t “in” before “dwindling” be “is”? Is it a typo? My question 2: What does “those” in the last sentence refer to? My question 3: Is “those” necessary for...Read More...
Thank you DocV. Your reply solved my problem. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

play them off against one another

Is there a difference between: 1) Play them off against one another and 2) Play them against one another If yes, what is the difference? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, In perhaps nine hundred and ninety-nine cases out of a thousand, (1) and (2) will have the same meaning. But have you ever heard of people who play (the) spoons ? They play them against one another.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

not where

Are these sentences correct: 1) He was supposed to write a short story, but not like this, not where one has to know a lot of history to understand what the story is about. 2) You're supposed to write a short story, but not a complicated one, not where the writer has to be an expert in history. If they are, what does 'where' refer to in them? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hi, Navi, I wouldn't say that "where" is incorrect but only vague. As a teacher or editor, I think I'd revise it as follows: 1) He was supposed to write a short story, but not like this, not one in which one has to know a lot of history to understand what the story is about. 2) You're supposed to write a short story, but not a complicated one, not one in which the writer has to be an expert in history. I prefer (2) because in (1) "not like this" refers to the manner, not the subject-matter...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Nouns

Hello, I’d like to know why these nouns use the -ing form instead of the simple form. I’d appreciate any help. ej. “A dress fitting” instead of “a dress fit.” “A drinking problem” instead of a “drink problem”. But, this example use the simple form: “Dance floor” instead of “dancing floor”. Thanks in advance.Read More...
PJ, please allow me to join Gustavo in welcoming you to our forum. Gustavo, these are excellent answers. I thought I could come up with a better explanation for "dance floor", but everything I came up with had either an exception or some other problem. So unless David can come up with something better, I'll just say that in English, we speak of a "dance floor" and a "playing field", and it's just one of those things we have to know. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Each vs both

The following sentence is from New Hello, Third Secondary, Egypt. My parents ….. have a mobile phone. a) all b) each c) every d) both The model answer is both, but I wonder if 'each' is also a possible answer. However, is it necessary to use commas if 'each' is another possible answer, i.e My parents, each, have a mobile phone? Thanks for anyone who can help me out!Read More...
Hello, Rasha, Yes, "each" is also a possible answer. The model answer should reflect this. Whether you use "each" or "both," do not set the word off by commas. The following answers are both perfectly correct : (b) My parents each have a mobile phone. (d) My parents both have a mobile phone. Please note that if you use the related partitive construction with "each," the verb will need to be singular. (e) Each of my parents has a mobile phone. (f) Both (of) my parents have a mobile phone.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

done/finished doing something

I have made up an example below. (1) I have finished cleaning the room. Most of my non-native English speaking friends think my sentence is wrong. So, they revised it to make the two sentences below. (2) I am done cleaning the room. (3) I am finished cleaning the room. They have heard a lot of people say (2) and (3). I don't think they are grammatical. I could be wrong. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (A) Is...Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, Sentences (1), (2), and (3) are correct. Is this a new sentence pattern for you and your friends? It is quite common.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"within' + a preposition that is not "of"

I know 'within" means before a certain period of time has passed. I have trouble using it correctly. I have written a few examples below with it. (1) Everyone will receive a raise within five days after the management and the union reach an agreement and complete all the paperwork. (2) John asks me, " Within what period from the date of purchase do you choose canned foods that are safe to eat?" I reply, "I usually choose canned foods that expire within one year of the date of purchase." Some...Read More...
Last night I made spaghetti alla puttanesca for dinner. I used one of my last remaining tins of anchovies that I had bought some years ago when a local store had an outrageous special on them. How long is "some years"? After reading your post, Ansonman, and yours, Gustavo, I took a look at the tin. It said "best by 12/2009". Not 2019. 2009. Freshness is generally not a characteristic one looks for in canned anchovies. Some canned and frozen foods foods can last virtually forever, as long as...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

come here for three days vs come here three days

I have made up two similar sentences below. (1) Tom will come here for three days next week. (2) Tom will come here three days next week. Some of my non-native English speaking friends and I think "for three days" means three consecutive days . The second sentence without "for" means three days that are not consecutive . But, my other friends think (2) is grammatically wrong when it is missing "for". Please help me. Thank you very much for your help.Read More...
Ansonman, More to the point, I would say that (1) will generally be understood to mean that Tom will be coming here sometime next week and staying for three days, which necessarily makes the days consecutive. In contrast, (2) means that on three separate days, Tom will be making trips from someplace else to here. It doesn't matter whether or not the days are consecutive or how long he stays. There can even be multiple trips on the same day, as long as at least one trip happens on each of...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

I am wanting

Hi What is the difference between "I'm wanting something" and "I want something"? I read in the thread below that : "'I want him to go to nursery school.' has a subtle difference in meaning from 'I'm wanting him to go to nursery school.' The first is a simple statement of fact - and expresses a feeling you have that you have no doubt about. The second is more refelctive: you have had internal doubts - or possibly you think someone may challenge or be surprised at your view. " Can you please...Read More...
Tara, I think I see the misunderstanding. To simplify, the dialog went like this: DocV: If you'd like suggestions as to how to make your presentation even more elegant, send me an e-mail. ... So, you have directly quoted a three-paragraph section from a post ... Tara: Sorry DocV, I really don't have any suggestion DocV: About what? Tara: About this that you said" If you'd like suggestions as to how to make your presentation even more elegant, send me an e-mail." What I was saying was that I...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Lack Of Parallelism Or Something Else?

1. Roozbeh is a crazy sleeper. He often talks in his sleep. One time, I heard him say, “More wings! More wings! More wings!” Sometimes he looks right at you, talks to you, even asking how you are , but he never remembers it in the morning. 2. Roozbeh is a crazy sleeper. He often talks in his sleep. One time, I heard him say, “More wings! More wings! More wings!” Sometimes he looks right at you, talks to you, even asks how you are , but he never remembers it in the morning. My student thinks...Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, Your reasoning is good, except for one thing: it doesn't account for the use of "even," which wants to introduce a grammatical structure of the same type -- in this case, another finite verb phrase in the simple present. I would add "and": 2a) Sometimes he looks right at you, talks to you, and even asks how you are, but he never remembers it in the morning. Your interpretation would work with "even" if the participial modifying phrase were a member of a series or at least a pair...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

shamming a transaction

I have made up an example below. (1) John and I went to an antique show yesterday. We noticed that one seller and one buyer were shamming a transaction to make others think his vases were very rare and valuable. Is it correct to say "shamming a transaction"? Thank you for your time and help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, "sham" does not work as a verb. You could say that they were (1) feigning a transaction, or (2) bargaining over a transaction. While (1) implies that they were just pretending so the transaction was a fake, (2) means that they were actually discussing the price, presumably to make others believe that the pieces were expensive.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

cold like they have been ... or as cold as if they have been .... or as cold as when they have been

My city is very cold in winter. If I leave drinks outside my door for ten minutes, they'll get very cold. You don't even need a refrigerator to make them cold. I am going to make up three similar sentences about that. (1) The drinks are very cold like they have been refrigerated. (2) The drinks are as cold as if they have been refrigerated. (3) The drinks are as cold as when they have been refrigerated. I am not sure how to say this in the correct way. Please help me. Thank you very much for...Read More...
This brings back memories of winter at Kent State University when I was seventeen. Those of us that lived on the upper floors of the dormitories and didn't have refrigerators would set our beers on the outside windowsills to keep them cold. The problem was that some students were very adept at knocking the beers off the sills with snowballs, so I always kept mine on a tether. None of your sentences is incorrect, but I prefer 4: The drinks are as cold as if they had been refrigerated. DocV...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

7pm before I AND before I did at 7pm

(1) John got here at 7pm before I. (2) John got here before I did at 7pm . Is it wrong to put a specific time + "before" in one sentence? Thanks a lot.Read More...
Ansonman, Both sentences are awkward. (1) at the very least needs a comma after "7pm", and I would add "did" at the end. Even so, I hope you understand that the two sentences mean different things. I would suggest these rewordings for clarity: 1a: When I arrived, I found that John had been here since 7pm. 1b: When I arrived, I found that John had been here at 7pm. 2a: When I arrived at 7pm, John was already here. 2b: When I arrived at 7pm, John had already been here. In (1), (1a), and (1b),...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

"past perfect" vs "present perfect"

Should I use present perfect or past perfect in the following context? Are they both correct? Jason, did you see yesterday's match between Liverpool and Chelsea? What a match it was! I have never/had never seen a match like that before. I think both are correct but I am not sure. I think If I use past perfect it mean "before yesterday's match" and If I use present perfect it brings my experience to the present day.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, You have already asked this question, in the bottom segment of the thread below. You have duplicated your example word for word : https://thegrammarexchange.inf...2#590585063423918172 Was there something you didn't understand in the answer I gave you there? It was just three months ago.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Past perfect

The following sentence is in the school book: "I had waited until my car was repaired." What is the difference in meaning between the previous sentence and the following one: "I waited until my car had been repaired"Read More...
Hello, Ahmed A., Your use of "the" in "the school book" is worth considering. By using the definite article there, you are presupposing that your readers (I and others) will know which school book you are referring to, whereas none of us has any idea which book you are referring to. Thus, it would have been better to use "a school book." Of course, we would prefer to know the name of the book and who wrote it. There is very little difference in meaning as far as the "until"-clause is...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

family

The Smith family is/are from the U.S.. Which one is correct, is or are? I think both are fine. It depends on whether you consider them separately or as a whole group. Thanks.Read More...
Yes. The old thread below didn't come to my mind automatically, as it occurred a few years before I joined GE, but it came up when I used the Search function: https://thegrammarexchange.inf....cc/topic/the-family Here are a couple of other old threads dealing with this eternally recurring grammatical topic: https://thegrammarexchange.inf...pic/my-family-is-are https://thegrammarexchange.infopop.cc/topic/family-4Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

your assignment to complete tonight/infinitive question

Which are correct: 1) These are my shoes to wear at home and those are my shoes to wear at work. 2) These are my shoes for wearing at home and those are my shoes for wearing at work. 3) This is your assignment to complete tonight. 4) These are my books to take to my office and those are my books to take to my girlfriend's place. 5) These are your forms to complete and hand in by Tuesday. I don't think there is a 'for + gerund' form possible for 3, 4 and 5. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Navi, I don't have a problem with any of your five examples. I agree. I could imagine a "which" clause, though: 3a: This is your assignment, which is to be completed tonight. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

noise

Stop making ( ). The students are studying. A. noise B. noises C. a noise Which is correct? I am confused. I have asked about "noise" before, but I still don't know what rules my choice should be based on. Thanks.Read More...
Ruifeng, "Noise" works as both a mass noun and a count noun. The best answer is (A), where it is a mass noun, but it is also possible to use (B). (C) doesn't work because it means "a single instance of noise", but if someone were making the same obnoxious sound for a prolonged duration, you could say: D: Stop making that noise . DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

in & from

You can learn about China ( ) books. A. in B. from I think both work here. I need your opinion. Thanks.Read More...
Hi, Ruifeng: I share DocV's preference ("from"), but you are right that both work. The reason "from" works so well is that it gives the sense that the books act as teachers. Compare: You can learn about China from Ruifeng. That sense implies that the addressee can be taught things about China by you. That is how he will learn about China. With "in," the sentence could be used in answer to the question " Where can I learn about China?" Compare: You can learn about China in films and books. It...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

meaning of "a humbling experience"

What does Sir Kazuo Ishiguro mean by a humbling experience in the following? ”Humbling" in this context cannot mean "something makes him feel insignificant or inferior" as some dictionaries define, can it? Sir Kazou, 64, was today knighted for services to literature by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. Speaking afterwards, the best-selling author described it as 〈a 'humbling experience'〉. He added: 'It is all part of my story of coming from a different country and growing up in this...Read More...
Re: meaning of "a humbling experience"Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

past perfect

I am sorry that I _____ before I _____ the explanation. 1) had stopped – finished 2) stopped – had finished Answer key: 2 The PAST PERFECT TENSE indicates that an action was completed (finished or "perfected") at some point in the past before something else happened. What I understand is the first action is "stopping" and the second is "finishing". So, why not #1?Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, I agree with the answer key. Given those two choices, (2) is the only option that works. It would also be OK to use the simple past in both clauses: 3) I am sorry that I stopped before I finished the explanation. Additionally, we could reduce the "before"-clause such that it would have a nonfinite verb phrase with an implied subject: 4) I am sorry that I stopped before finishing the explanation. If we're using a finite "before"-clause, though, the past perfect works particularly...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Reflexive vs object pronoun

Hello, Micheal Swan believes after prepositions of place , we often use a personal pronoun (me, you etc) if the meaning is clear without a reflexive. Compare: (1): She took her dog with her. (NOT ... with herself.) (2): They divided the money among them. (NOT ... among themselves) (3): Close the door behind you. However, I wonder why the following, although using a prepositions of place, is correct: (4) He placed his little dog beside himself on the couch. As a matter of fact, I don't know...Read More...
It means that each case is different, so you will have to decide which pronoun to use according to the specific circumstances.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Odd or something

Q1: When we describe a figure or number between 20 and 30, we can say twenty odd or twenty something. Are there any other expressions with similar meanings? Q2: Do we need to add a hyphen ie twenty-odd, twenty-something? I guess the use of a hyphen is optional. Is it true? Q3: Is the above use confined to any particular use only? For example, in the use of an approximate age of a person, is it restricted to twenty something or, in other words, can “xxx something”, in fact, be used in any...Read More...
Many thanks, DocV.Read More...
Last Reply By terry · First Unread Post

"the" before the superlative

Hello, I was reading a multiple choice quiz on the following URL. http://global.oup.com/us/companion.websites/9780190270995/stud/ch1/mcq/ Question No.9 asks, Which of the following is closest to the meaning of “Sartori's Ladder of Abstraction”? Don’t we need “the” before “closest” the superlative? Is this a simple typing error? In question 3, “the” is before “best”. Which of the following is the best social scientific question?, BTW, the title of this page says Mutiple Choice Quiz, but it’s...Read More...
By the way, Apple, please notice that "the" is optional in (d).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

less number / a less number of people

Hussein Hassan
Hello, there, Would you please help me? Which one/s of the following sentences is/are CORRECT? You should have hired less number of people because too many cooks spoil the broth. You should have hired a less number of people because too many cooks spoil the broth. You should have hired a few number of people because too many cooks spoil the broth. You should have hired fewer number of people because too many cooks spoil the broth. Many thanks ...Read More...
Greetings, all. First of all, let me say that I am in complete agreement with Gustavo. I find all of Mr Hassan's examples unequivocably ungrammatical. I would find his example "•" (as opposed to his other examples, "•", "•", and "•") acceptable if "less" were changed to "lesser". The word is not commonly used except in certain set phrases (eg, "the lesser of two evils"), but because of such phrases it is commonly understood. Mr Hassan, was there something in particular that made you not want...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Without

Without looking where he was going , the man ......... into a tree . ( would walk - would have walked )Read More...
Frankly, I don't like either option. They are grammatical, but I can't imagine any native speaker of English phasing a conditional that way. David's examples "If he hadn't looked ... " and "If he didn't look ... " are much more natural. The only option that works for me is simply "walked": Without looking where he was going, the man walked into a tree. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

is finishing; has finished

As the term ________ next week, the school will hold a special assembly for all students. a. is finishing b. has finished _______________________________________ from a Korean English book Are they both correct? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Kis, No, they are not both correct. The "as"-clause would make no sense with the present perfect, which refers to the past. Something in the past can't be in the future ("next week"). With "is finishing," the "as"-clause is ambiguous in meaning. It could mean that the fact that the term is coming to a close is the reason for holding the assembly, or that the assembly will be held while the term is coming to a close.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Stative passive vs participial adjective

http://www.victorianlondon.org...kens/tale-0006.shtml "Good day!" said Monsieur Defarge, looking down at the white head that bent low over the shoemaking. It was raised for a moment, and a very faint voice responded to the salutation, as if it were at a distance. Q1: Is “it was raised for a moment” a stative passive rather than a participial adjective? If I add the word “very”, “it was very raised for a moment” does not sound right. Hence, “it was raised” is not a participial adjective. Q2:...Read More...
Thanks, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By terry · First Unread Post

Future simple or present continuous?

"When he finishes his exam, he ...........to London." A- will travel b- is traveling I think "is travelling" is correct as it shows that he has arranged to travel to London, but I have never seen a present simple and a present continuous in one sentence.Read More...
Please see my comments in this thread .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

present continuous or be going to

Hello, teachers I found this question in an outside book "not a school book" __ He has filled up the bucket with water. He ........the car. ( a- is washing / b- is going to wash). My choice is "is going to". As far as I understand, both the progressive form and be going to are sometimes interchangeable (when they express the future). Yet, the present continuous implies arrangements while the "be going to" form refers to intentions or decisions in addition to "present reality". That's why I...Read More...
Thanks a lot, sir. I see eye to eye with you. I didn't like sentence either. I was asked to give my opinion about it, that's why I preferred asking yours.Read More...
Last Reply By ayman · First Unread Post

shoulders is/are

Hi all, I just wanna make sure. "Shoulders are the target." Is this correct? Or is the target or, i dont know, somehow i have doubts evn though it is easy. I just hear ppl using is even when plural, and you cannot always explain it with an existed rule. Thank you.Read More...
Aria, Welcome to the Grammar Exchange. I can't think of an instance where I would ever say "shoulders are the target". If you are talking about shooting, I would say "aim for the shoulders". I could imagine saying: 1: My shoulders are the source of the pain. This is a similar construct to your example in that we have a plural subject linked to a singular predicate noun, and the verb agrees in number with the subject. But if we reversed the two, I would say: 2: The source of the pain is my...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

to as a preposition?

Learning to take good notes is very important. Good notes can help you remember and review a text you have read. There is no magic formula to taking notes when reading.You have to find out what works best for you. (Source: Iran's English Coursebooks) I wonder why we have "taking" (a gerund) after "to". Is this "to" a preposition? I've checked a couple of dictionaries. The common combinations are: (1) formula for: a formula for the withdrawal of US forces from the sea (2) formula that: There...Read More...
Thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By Freeguy · First Unread Post

plural and singular used in the same sentence

Hello, I was reading THE KANSAS CITY STAR, which I suppose is an American online paper. I came across an article where the following sentence appeared. “I do find that the victims in this case, in particular, were more an aggressor than a participant in the criminal conduct,” My question: “the victims” is a plural, (two young girls). Is it acceptable to use a singular “an aggressor, a participant” to refer to the girls? Or is it not problematic because an aggressor in this case means just...Read More...
Thank you so much, David, for elaborating on my question. You went so far as to search other sources. What a respectable expert! I really appreciate your answer. It made everythihg very clear. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Using on condition that and provided that in conditional sentences

Is it correct to say: Michael could go to the theatre on condition that / provided that he was home by six. Or these two expressions(on condition that/provided that) are only followed by present tenses in conditional sentences?Read More...
Mr Bendary, I completely agree with David's answers, in regard to the questions you actually asked. However, I'm not entirely sure that what you asked was really what you meant to ask. 1a: Michael could go to the theatre on condition that he was home by six. 1b: Michael could go to the theatre provided that he was home by six. Both of your examples refer to events or states in the past. What Michael is allowed to do today doesn't enter into it. If we want to talk about what Michael wants to...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

using of understand.

Think about I am talking to someone and I am saying “Two month ago, I started to study English again and I understand I am good at it” ”I started to study English again and I understood I was good at it” Which is correct? I got confused because in this situation I was good at English and I am good at it nowRead More...
Hello, Mrtkrdmn, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Unfortunately, it is ungrammatical in English to use clauses as objects of prepositions. Instead of saying * " Think about I am talking to someone ," you could say, "Let's suppose I am talking to someone." Another problem is that " t wo month " should be "two month s ," because "month" is a count noun. As for the use of the present tense ("understand") or the past tense ("understood"), the whole part of the sentence in which the word...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

during this year

The following link believes that the sentence "We have moved five times during this year ." is wrong. https://www.grammar-quizzes.com/preps_during-in.html Many native friends of mine confirms the claim, saying that "during" is redundant. I don't understand why the sentence given is wrong, and it should have been written as: We have moved five times this year. Thanks.Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, Yes, the sentence would be much improved by the deletion of "during." You could, however, use "during the last year" or "during the past year": We have moved five times during the last year. We have moved five times during the past year. Those sentences measure a year from the time of speaking to one year ago, whereas your sentence technically applies to the calendar year.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

1st or 2nd conditional?

A: The cake's delicious. Have some. B: No, thanks. If I .........., I .......... get fat. 1) do - will 2) did - would .......... Me: Both Answer key: 2 What do you think?Read More...
>>Since we do not know, as readers, how resolute the speaker is about not eating sweets, we can't tell how remote a possibility his eating the cake is. << Absolutely. Meanwhile, in Oxford Grammar book, we have an additional part which says: Rachel: Would you like some cake, Jessica? Jessica: No thanks. If I ate cake, I'd get fat. Rachel: But it's delicious The last line confirms that it's somehow a remote possibility. Without it, as shown in my test, we cannot clearly decide...Read More...
Last Reply By Freeguy · First Unread Post

Can or may?

If you have a cold, eat healthy food and drink eight glasses of water in a day. Chicken soup with lemon juice is good for you. Vitamin C is also good for a cold. If you have a running nose and a sore throat, see a doctor. It can be the fl! To me, "can" should be replaced for "may, might, could". It doesn't work for me. What about you? (Source: Iran's English Coursebook) Thanks.Read More...
I am sorry. Yes. I meant "flu". Thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By Freeguy · First Unread Post

look at, look up

Hello, We can say, "Look at the word" but not "Look the word at". However, we can say "Look up the word " and "Look the word up" or "Look it up". Why is this? I've read somewhere that "at" is a preposition but "up" is not but adverb, but this doesn't solve my problem I almost always decide wether or not I can put the word between the verb and the preposition just by a hunch. Could anyone tell me how to explain this point of grammar? Thank you.Read More...
Thank you very muchRead More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

which will be great for them

a. They won the championship, which was their fourth time. b. They are trying to win the championship, which will be their fifth time. c. They are trying to win the championship, which is their fifth time. d. They won the championship, which was great for them. e. They are trying to win the championship, which will be great for them. Which of the above sentences are grammatically correct? Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, The only correct sentence that I see there is (d). You could fix (a), (b), and (c) by changing the "which"-clause to a "for"-phrase, and (e) by changing "will" to "would": a'. They won the championship, for their fourth time. b'. They are trying to win the championship, for their fifth time. c'. They are trying to win the championship, for their fifth time. e'. They are trying to win the championship, which would be great for them.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Future tenses

"By eight o'clock I......back at home" A-will be b-will have been What do you think?Read More...
Thanks for revising the question. It would still be better if you would do more than simply give an exercise. The answer to your question is that either answer is possible, but the test or exercise maker probably wants you to choose (A). "By eight o'clock I will be back home" indicates that home is where you will be at eight o'clock. "By eight o'clock I will have been back home" says not that home is where you will be at eight o'clock, but that you will HAVE BEEN there by then.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Past perfect and past simple

Here is a sentence from the student book year 2 secondary: He wasn't feeling well yesterday as he had been working hard all weekend. He had been trying to do the homework which the teacher ..........him last week. A- gave b-had given The answer in the book is "had given" How can we use two past perfect clauses in the same sentence?Read More...
Yes, it's OK. The only requirement is that it must make sense to do so.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

can usages

Hello, Here is an explanation from Michael Swan: We normally use can and could to say that things are possible in general: people are able to do them, the situation makes them possible, or there is nothing to stop them. May and might are not used in this way: These roses can grow anywhere. Can gases freeze? I think I understand the point. My question is: Does the following sentence fall into this category? Does it show "a general possibility"? Every year, about one billion tourists travel...Read More...
Hi, Freeguy: Yes, "can" does indicate a general possibility right there. The sentence means that when tourism is spoken of, it is possible that either domestic tourism or international tourism is being spoken of.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Us All or Us Each?

Can we use ‘us’ with ‘each’ in a sentence? Does it sound idiomatic to a native? For example, which one(s) is/are correct? It's an insult to us each. It's an insult to us all. The manager gave us each a task. The manager gave us all a task. Please note also that ‘all’ can mean either every member or part of — used with a plural noun or pronoun to mean that a statement is true of every person or thing in a group OR the whole number or sum of — used with a plural noun or pronoun to mean that a...Read More...

will

Hi Can you please explain "will"? Why isn't it "is"? "That is, instead of performing eight recursive multiplications of n/2* n/2 matrices, it performs only seven. The cost of eliminating one matrix multiplication will be several new additions of n/2 * n/2 matrices, but still only a constant number of additions."Read More...
Thank you very muchRead More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

malign your job

This is slightly related to one of my previous posts. Suppose that you make a lot of negative comments about your job. You are always saying bad things like: long work hours, low pay, no breaks, strict workplace rules, terrible manager, and so on. (ex) You are maligning your job. Is it correct to say "malign your job"? Thanks for your time and help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, No, "malign" is not being appropriately used in that sentence, and I think you understand why; otherwise you wouldn't have said that this is related to one of your previous threads. Why not use one of these sentences instead? You are complaining about your job. You are whining about your job. You are looking at the minuses of your job. (cf. "the pluses and minuses")Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

present tense + would in the same sentence/same question

I have made up three examples below. (1) If you have time, would you go fishing with me? (2) Is there a situation in which you would fight a poisonous snake? (3) I say to John,"While I work on my project in my bedroom, if someone made a lot of noise, would you quiet them down for me?" Are my examples OK with two different tenses each? Thanks you for your help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman: Sentences (1) are (2) are OK. Please let me know if you are perplexed as to why they are correct. Sentence (3), however, does not work well. It would be better (though still not a wonderful sentence) if you used the progressive in the "while"-clause: "While I am working on my project in my bedroom . . . ." Also, I would prefer "makes" in the "if"-clause and "will" in the main clause of (3), but it is not incorrect to use "made" and "would."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

cause fear in people or cause people's fear

I have made up two sentences below. (1) The next hurricane will cause fear in people in this city. (2) The next hurricane will cause people's fear in this city. Which one is grammatical? Thanks for your help.Read More...
Both are grammatical, Ansonman, but only (1) makes sense.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

has been/was

Hello. Your bet slip has been settled correctly. or Your bet slip was settled correctly.Read More...
Thank you, David! The bet slip I am referring to is an online bet slip, so I thought it could be described as "settled". Thank you for your quick help!Read More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

"used to" vs "would"

Hi there, what's the difference between the two following sentences? 1- As a child I used to swim in the river. 2- As a child I would swim in the river.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, Sentence (1), with "used to," means that swimming in the river was a habit you had as a child. Swimming in the river is something you did regularly as a child. Sentence (2), with "would," means that swimming in the river was something you occasionally did as a child, especially in a special circumstance -- e.g.: (2a) As a child I would swim in the river when the pool wasn't open.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

My hobby is to collect stamps/collecting stamps

I am trying to come up with different ways of saying the same thing. (1) below is my original sentence. (1) Collecting stamps is my hobby. (2) My hobby is to collect stamps. (3) My hobby is collecting stamps. (4) My hobby is that I like to collect stamps. Do any of my sentences sound natural to native speakers? I really appreciate your time and help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, All of the sentences except (4) are OK. Sentence (1) and (3) are transforms of each other, just as a transform of (2) would be "To collect stamps is my hobby." Sentence (4) doesn't work because your hobby does not itself involve liking. It involves simply the doing of it. I recommend breaking (4) into two sentences: (4a) I like to collect stamps. It's my hobby. "It" in "It's my hobby" refers, of course, to the infinitive "to collect stamps," which again yields "To collect...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

praise/compliment your job

Suppose that you make a lot of positive comments about your job. You are always saying good things like: it's a very easy job, you get paid a lot, you can have lots of breaks, your manager frequently buys everyone lunch, and so on. (ex) You are praising (or complimenting) your job a lot. I am not sure if either of my chosen verbs (praise and compliment) fits the sentence. Please help me. Thank you very much for your time and help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, Unfortunately, neither "praise" nor "compliment" works there. We praise and compliment other people and sometimes the things they produce, like sentences. However, we don't praise or compliment objects and other nonsentient entities, including jobs, which can neither be praised nor flattered. You could use "tout," "promote," "talk up," or "show off about": He is touting his job. / He is promoting his job. He is talking up his job. / He is talking his job up. He is showing off...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

not to displease his boss

a. He didn't say a word about what his boss's son had done in the office last week. It was in order to please his boss. b. He didn't say a word about what his boss's son had done in the office last week. It was to please his boss. c. He didn't say a word about what his boss's son had done in the office last week. It was in order not to displease his boss. d. He didn't say a word about what his boss's son had done in the office last week. It was not to displease his boss. e. He didn't say a...Read More...
Hi, Azz, Yes, I agree with your comments about the sentences. I don't think we need to explore the philosophical differences between trying to please someone and trying to avoid displeasing him or her. Suffice it to say that (a) and (b) are fine, and (c) and (d) are undesirable for the reason you indicate. And even though split infinitives aren't bad in themselves, (e) is pretty ugly. I suggest fixing (c), (d), and (e) all in precisely the same way -- by eliminating the sentence boundary...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

can be folded to...

Are these sentences correct: 1) That letter needs to be read at least twice to extract some information from it. 2) This chair can fold to put in the trunk of a car. 3 ) This chair can fold to be put in the trunk of a car. 4 ) This chair can be folded to put in the trunk of a car. 5) This chair can be folded to be put in the trunk of a car. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, All five of the sentences are pretty bad, to tell you the truth, though (5) is technically correct. The problem with (2) is that "put" wants to be "fit": (2a) This chair can fold to fit in the trunk of a car. I suppose the correctness of (1) is debatable. I don't like it, though. I suggest that its sentence-ending infinitival be changed to a passive "if"-clause: (1a) That letter needs to be read at least twice if information is to be extracted from it .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

where

Hi Can "where" be replaced with "that" or "which"? "Instead of looking at the daily prices, let us instead consider the daily change in price, where the change on day i is the difference between the prices after day i-1 and after day i . " From CLRSRead More...
Thank you so muchRead More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

past simple or present perfect "preference"

Hello, teachers. I get puzzled when I read "We prefer ....." when dealing with a grammar point. In "Swan's Practical English Usage" I found this ... A. Why are you crying? ---B. My brother HIT me. (Not HAS HIT). Does this mean that "the present perfect is not O.K.?" *Does this prefence of one option means that the other options are NOT fine?.Read More...
Thanks a lot.Read More...
Last Reply By ayman · First Unread Post

dead or alive

Which are correct and make sense in a world where there are no living dead: 1 ) They included thirty revolutionaries, dead or alive, in the list. 2) They included thirty revolutionaries, dead and alive, in the list. 3) They included thirty dead or living revolutionaries in the list. 4) They included thirty dead an d living revolutionaries in the list. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, Navi meets Bon Jovi . That's what I thought upon reading your title. I do see your "living dead" interpretation for (2) and (4); however, that was not the first interpretation of those sentences which came to my mind. Indeed, I think all four sentences are "correct and make sense in a world in which there are no living dead." There are differences, though. I read (1) as saying that the list included thirty revolutionaries, regardless of whether they were living or dead; (2) as...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

only have a positive attitude

Which are correct: 1) If you want to succeed, you can only have a positive attitude. 2) If you want to succeed, you have to work hard and you can only have a positive attitude. 3) If you want to succeed, you have to work hard and you can only be optimistic. 4) If you want to succeed, you have to work hard and you can only hope. I don't like '3'. It seems contradictory to me. If you are working hard then you are doing, and can do, something other than hope. The others seem OK to me. The...Read More...

Unreal Past

1- When she was younger, Leila wished she .............. faster. could read - would read - could have read - read 2- Steinbeck wished people .................... him alone as he hated publicity. had left - would leave - could leave - left I think both sentences express unreal past, so I'd go with "could have read" and "had left"Read More...
Yes, Mr. P. One of our members actually shared that text with me in e-mail after you asked your question. Please review our policy on the use of quotations . Whenever you quote something on this forum, you must show that you are quoting it (by using quotation marks or a quote box) and cite the source. You'll notice that the sentence you asked about is not identical to the sentence in the quotation. "And hated publicity" has been changed to "as he hated publicity." Is it possible that you or...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

If you have anyquestion(s)

Hi there, what's the difference between the two following sentences? This site says any could also be used with singular nouns in if clauses when it means any kind of. Is it true? Are both following sentence correct? If you have any questions, please let me know. If you have any question, please let me know. I know the first one correct. But according to this site BBC World Service | Learning English | Learn it says the singular noun is also correct when It means any kind of.Read More...
These are your threads about "any," Subhajit. All but two have responses, I believe. Please carefully review each one and let us know precisely how we have not already provided you with enough information to answer this new question: 8/29/17 https://.infopop.cc/topic/any-or-any-other 8/29/17 https://thegrammarexchange.inf...e-of-any-with-except 8/30/17 https://thegrammarexchange.inf...o-you-have-any-other 9/7/17 https://thegrammarexchange.inf...c/topic/usage-of-any 9/8/17...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Late Monday Evening

ahmad
Hello, everyone, 1. He went to see his parents on late Monday evening. 2. He went to see his parents late on Monday evening. 3. He went to see his parents late evening on Monday. 4. He went to see his parents on late evening on Monday. Are any of the above sentences correct? Thanks.Read More...
Thanks, David.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

Been Being

ahmad
Hello, everyone, 1. His dog had been being beaten for five minutes when he got the news. Is the above sentence correct, incorrect, rare, etc? PS: I am a bit skeptical of the underlying structure of the sentence. Thanks.Read More...
Hello, Ahmad, I'd like to vary the example if you don't mind: (2a) His cigar had been being smoked by him for five minutes when he got the news. "Had been being smoked" is the past perfect progressive passive . It is rare, but there is nothing inherently wrong with using it in today's world. It isn't like saying "failed of comprehension" or something like that. Still, I'd greatly prefer the active-voice equivalent: (2b) He'd been smoking his cigar for five minutes when he got the news.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

still much left to learn about the nature

“Although research in the earth and environmental sciences has pieced together narratives of ancient and historical environmental changes, there is still much left to learn about the nature and causes of changing climatic conditions through time”. Question:3 http://www.cracksat.net/sat/id...-errors/test401.html Please help me in understanding the grammatical form and function of “still much left to learn about the nature”.Read More...
Now I understand, David. Thank you very much for the detailed explanation.Read More...
Last Reply By symphony · First Unread Post

piano playing

1) Is that man German-speaking? meaning: Can/Does that man speak German? I don't suppose one could say 2) Is that man piano-playing? meaning: Can/Does that man play the piano? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, Instead of (1), it would be much more natural to say: (1a) Is that man a German speaker? And instead of (2), it would be much, MUCH more natural to say: (2a) Does that man play the piano? I find (2) ungrammatical, unlike (1), which I find merely intolerable.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

to + inf OR Gerund

1- It is a mistake ............. (wasting - to waste) your time. 2- It was a mistake .............. (wasting - to waste) your time. I think it's appropriate to use "to waste" in the first sentence as it refers to a general piece of advice, but we should use "wasting" in the second sentence as it refers to a complete action in the past.Read More...
Hi, Mr. P: I agree with your reasoning with the exception of the "should." You are not grammatically obligated to use the gerund in (2) if the reference is to a completed action, but the fact that the reference is to a completed action makes the gerund a grammatically viable option. Here are a couple of ways you can bring out that reference explicitly while using an infinitival clause: (2a) It was a mistake to waste your time as we have . (2b) It was a mistake (for us) to have wasted your time.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Punctuation

ahmad
Hello, everyone, 1. Amusing kids is easy; we do it every day, but making them refrain from being naughty is difficult. 2. Amusing kids is easy. We do it every day, but making them refrain from being naughty is difficult. Are both the ways of punctuation correct, if at all? Thanks.Read More...
Thanks, David. I think I got the point.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

"If there is any" vs "If there are any"

Should I use "if there is any" or "if there are any" in the following sentences? Are they all correct? Can I ever use if there is any with singular countable nouns? Please let me know if there is any problem. Please let me know if there are any problems. If there is any book that is better than yours, it is this one. If there are any books that are better than yours, it is this one. If there is any scooter or bike parked in front my door, I will throw it away. If there are any scooters or...Read More...
These are your threads about "any," Subhajit. All but two have responses, I believe. Please carefully review each one and let us know precisely how we have not already provided you with enough information to answer this new question: 8/29/17 https://.infopop.cc/topic/any-or-any-other 8/29/17 https://thegrammarexchange.inf...e-of-any-with-except 8/30/17 https://thegrammarexchange.inf...o-you-have-any-other 9/7/17 https://thegrammarexchange.inf...c/topic/usage-of-any 9/8/17...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

off

Hi Can you explain "off"? What is the difference between "rounding off" and "round" and also between "subtract" and "subtract off"? 1- "We can simplify this recurrence, though, with a change of variables. For convenience, we shall not worry about rounding off values, such as n , to be integers." 2- " Then show how to subtract off a lower-order term to make a substitution proof work."Read More...
Hi David Thanks a lotRead More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

Depose

ahmad
Hello, everyone, The following example appears in The Kenkyusha Dictionary of English Collocations under the headword ‘depose’. “All of them deposed to having seen him enter the house on that night”. Why is there ‘having’ instead of ‘have’? Thanks.Read More...
Hello, Ahmad, "depose" is a very formal verb, only used in legal English (see 3a under the dictionary entry provided). Its meaning is similar to "declare" or "state" (which are more general verbs), but depose follows the same pattern as the (also legal) verbs testify and attest , where "to" is a preposition , not an infinitive marker, which explains why "to" is followed by V-ing (the perfect gerund -- having + past participle -- is used, as you must know, because witnesses usually refer to...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Fail Of

ahmad
Hello, everyone, The following is from R. L. Stevenson's Walking Tours . "And, above all, it is here that your overwalker fails of comprehension." https://www.thoughtco.com/walk...is-stevenson-1690301 I am unable to understand the preposition in the above sentence. Thanks.Read More...
Thank you very much, David, DocV, and Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

word choice: adored/valued and abominated/hated

Every week, my non-native English speaking friends and I meet and learn English from one another in one of our places. At our last meeting, we came up with two sentences and four different verbs for them. I have written them below. (1a) After ten days of continuous rain, the sunshine coming back is adored . (1b) After ten days of continuous rain, the sunshine coming back is valued . (2a) Even after ten days of continuous rain, more rain expected is abominated . (2b) Even after ten days of...Read More...
Ansonman, I don't like any of those. Consider these: 1c: After ten days of continuous rain, we're looking forward to some sunshine. 2c: I can't stand the idea of more rain after we've already had ten days of it! DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

placement of "in GG Mall"

My original sentence is written below. (1) Some restaurants in GG Mall serve delicious food. Next, I am going to move "in GG Mall" to the end of the sentence. (2) Some restaurants serve delicious food in GG Mall. I am quite sure (1) is correct. I am wondering if (2) sounds OK to native speakers. Please help me. Thank you very much for your help.Read More...
Ansonman, (1) definitely refers to restaurants that are located in the mall and serve delicious food. (2) allows for the possibility of restaurants that are located elsewhere serving delicious food in the mall. Both are grammatically correct. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

... a shift schedule convenient for you

I have made up a sentence below. (1) You can develop a shift schedule convenient for you. I showed it to my non-native English speaking friends. They all said it's grammatically bad. First, they think "develop" is the wrong verb and replace it with "draw up". Next, they suggest adding "that is" as given below. (2) You can draw up a shift schedule that is convenient for you. Lastly, they rephrase my original sentence to make their own sentence as given below. (3) You are free to choose a...Read More...
Ansonman, I do not find (1) ungrammatical. I do prefer the addition of "that is", which sounds a bit more natural to me, but I don't see it as strictly necessary. The word "develop" works, especially if what is meant is that you should take some time, perhaps weeks or months, to work out what hours will work best for you. Otherwise I would suggest "arrange" or "work out". In my mind, (3) only works if you are presented with a specific selection of schedules to choose from. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Going to

1-The wall is cracked. It......fall. (will- is going to) 2-She has studied her ledsons well. She....pass her tests . (will- is going to) 3-We did a lot of exercises today. What a.........day! (heavy- hard- long)Read More...
You are right sir. I misunderstood it. The last question: "He has studied his lessons well. So he..........pass his exams." (will - is going to) All I want to know here is whether or not the first clause is evidence; because there are many similar questions like this. Sorry for being long.Read More...
Last Reply By Ahmed Abdelhafeez · First Unread Post

Give away

The shop is (giving away /giving out) a pen with each book that you buy. What is the right choice here?Read More...
Hi, Emad, As you know, this example is found in our workbook, Unit (13), and its model answer, with which I agree, is: 'giving away'. 'Give out' : To distribute among a group of people, which means that more focus is put on the distribution process. 'Give away': To donate (for free as a gift), which means that more focus is put on the fact that it is for free. It doesn't matter to know to whom you are giving the thing away. The following example is found on LDOCE and is similar to the one...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Their/No Their

ahmad
Hello, everyone, 1. They expressed their grief over his loss. 2. They expressed grief over his loss. 3. They expressed their joy on/over his feat. 4. They expressed joy on/over his feat. Are all of the above sentences acceptable? Thanks.Read More...
Thanks a lot, David.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

Finder/Misser

ahmad
Hello, everyone, 1. The find er of the wallet returned it to the owner. 2. The students who missed their examination made a representation before the principal for its re-conduct. 3. The miss er students represented before the principal for the re-conduct of the examination. I hope '1' is correct. And in case '2' is also correct, can it be replaced by '3'? Thanks. PS: Primarily, I am concerned about the acceptance of words like finder and misser in formal English. A link relating to the...Read More...
Thanks, DocV.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

Among other things

ahmad
Hello, everyone, 1. Among other things, he failed to adhere to the set guidelines. 2. He had filled in wrong information, among other things, which rendered him ineligible to compete for the position. 3. He had filled in wrong information among other things that rendered him ineligible to compete for the position. Are the above sentences properly punctuated? Thanks.Read More...
DocV, I am grateful to you for having provided an elaborate answer. It took me some time, and effort, to comprehend the difference arising out of varied use of punctuation. The patience involved therein did indeed prove inherently virtuous. Thanks, a lot.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

celebrated OR celebrity

The hotel is well known for its ............... guests. celebrated - celebrity I'd go with "celebrated" as the word "guests" is a noun that requires an adjective to modify it. RegardsRead More...
Hi, Mr P, If you have in mind movie stars, rock stars, and the like, use "celebrity guests." If you have in mind non-famous people who are being celebrated—for example, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary at the hotel—use "celebrated guests." In "celebrity guests," "celebrity" is an attributive noun. Though attributive nouns are nouns, they function adjectivally. Here are some phrases with attributive nouns: "garbage can," "credit card," "door knob." Often...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

key to be, being or become

1. The key to be a good parent is to support your kid. 2. The key to become a good parent is to support your kid. 3. The key to being a good parent is to support your kid. Q1: Are all the three sentences correct? Q2: If so, what are the differences? Q3: what is the nature of “to” here? A preposition? thanksRead More...
Thanks for your very useful and detailed explanations!Read More...
Last Reply By terry · First Unread Post

Equipment

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Oxford Online Dictionary defines equipment as: mass noun 1 The necessary items for a particular purpose . ‘suppliers of office equipment’ https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/equipment I believe there is no plural form of equipment. And my difficulty concerns the same. 1'. They used various equipment to deal with the problem. Would the above sentence, or its grammatically correct version (here I am assuming to have missed something as I usually do) be enough to...Read More...
Thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By terry · First Unread Post

correct word order

(1) Tom sings for three hours at home every day. (2) Tom sings at home for three hours every day. (3) Tom sings for three hours every day at home. (4) Tom sings every day at home for three hours. I am not sure which word order sounds natural to native English speakers. Please help me. Thank you very much for your help.Read More...
12: *At home, Tom every day for three hours sings. Ask and ye shall receive. Even so, this example isn't really ungrammatical. It's just bloody weird. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

(the) additional services

(1) Customers need to pay more for (the) additional services they request for their computers. (2) You need to let us know in advance for (the) additional services for your stay in our hotel. I am not sure whether or not the definite article is required in both sentences. Please help me. Thank you very much.Read More...
Your clear explanation has helped me understand how to construct these sentences better. Thank you very much.Read More...
Last Reply By ansonman · First Unread Post

idiom: hire a window

I have heard of this idiom "hire a window" from one of my non-native English speaking friends. He said it means that you cheat on major assignments, exams, and other academic work by hiring someone to do them for you. I tried to look it up in dictionaries, but I could not find it. Then, I asked him where he heard it. He said he doesn't remember. I am pretty sure he made a mistake. If it is wrong, what is the correct idiom? Thank you very much for your help.Read More...
Xie xie.Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Sound /look

She decided not to buy the dress. It (sounded - looked) old fashioned. What is the right choice in this sentence?Read More...
Hello, Emad, I believe DocV is poking fun at the option "sounded" because normal dresses don't emit sound and thus do not sound a certain way. I suspect the authors of the test question may have had in mind an old-fashioned appearance that was inferred on the basis of a heard report about the dress. For that other meaning, you could use "It sounded/sounds as if it were old-fashioned," where the first "it" is a dummy and the second "it" refers to the dress. I talked to Sally, who is still at...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

One in five youngesters gets anything

Hussein Hassan
Hello, there Would you please, help me understand the following sentence: According to medical experts, one in five youngesters gets anything between two and five hours' sleep at night less than their parents did at their age. I'll attach the whole text. The point is that I can't understand what "anything" means here? Each word you write is appreciated.Read More...
Several days ago, I wrote: Yesterday, Hussein Hassan responded: First of all, Mr Hassan, you flatter me. I am not a "great one". I am an ordinary man, and like all of us, there are a few things that I am good at. My knowledge of English grammar happens to be one of those things. It is a gift from The One, not anything that I deserve praise for, and if I can help anyone by sharing my knowledge, that is my duty. Second, I hope that none of Mr Hassan's students, or any other students, for that...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

...and it rains right now.

Hi there, This is an extract from Charmed by Canadian author Michelle Krys. What do you think about the simple form rains? Should she have written is raining instead? Why? (Why not?)Read More...
Hope, First of all, thanks for citing your source. This enabled me to find a number of excerpts from the novel online, including the chapter containing the passage you've quoted here. I like the first "rains" (“It hardly ever rains in L.A. ..."), but not so much the second (" ... and it rains right now."). I would have written it more like: 1: ... but it would have to rain now! To me this expresses the character's frustration and her futile rage against the universe and God (or the gods)...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post
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