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mixed conditionals

If you listened to last week’s Natural World, you would know that we had a lot of unanswered questions about trees. This sentence is from our text book "New Hello". I wonder if it should have been written as follows: If you had listened to last week’s Natural World, you would know that we had a lot of unanswered questions about trees. THANKSRead More...
Hello, Rasha Assem, I agree with David. The clues to interpret that the past is real (not unreal or "subjunctive," as you say) in the original sentence are "last week" in the condition and "had" in the result. If "last week," which refers to one particular broadcast of the program, and "had," which refers to one specific occurrence in the past (the fact that the program left many questions about trees unanswered) were not present, then we could interpret the condition as describing a...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

before meeting him

a . He talked to me at four o'clock before meeting Jim. b. He talked to me at four o'clock, before meeting Jim. c. He mentioned your case in his second conversation with me before the last time we talked. d. He mentioned your case in his second conversation with me, before the last time we talked. e. He mentioned your case in his second conversation with me, that is, before the last time we talked. Which of the above sentences are grammatically correct? Which are natural? Do (a) and (b)...Read More...

Use "if" not "when"

Hello. In the following sentence, I think that we cannot use "when" instead of "if", right? - If you answer this question, you have a good brain. Could you please give more examples of "use if, not when? Thank you.Read More...
I'd like to add something to this historical answer given by the Longman editor. Even though the main clause of conditionals like "If you get this answer right, you have a good brain" refers to the present, there is an implicit element of futurity. Notice that the "if"-clause ("if you get this answer right") does refer to something in the future. At the present time, it is unknown whether "you will get this answer right." If you do, then the conclusion will follow. Therefore the real meaning...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How much and when you drink coffee is important.

Hi! I have some questions about this sentence: (1) How much and when you drink coffee is important. https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/coffee-may-help-you-live-longer/3112147.html I find the sentence (1) interesting. I would imagine that If "how much" were not connected with "when" in the sentence, "coffee" would be placed right after "how much" as in the sentence (2a) below: (2) a. How much coffee you drink is important. b. How much you drink coffee is important. Am I right so far? I am...Read More...
Thank you so much, Gustavo! I agree your sentence (5) is better than (1). The sentence (1) may be a less preferrable form, but it can be considered grammatical, which I think is interesting.Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

Respected Or respectable

My friend had a ........... position in the medical profession.Read More...
Hi, Mr Ahmed, Please put your question in your post. Initially I had no idea what you were trying to ask. Then I looked at your title and was able to infer what you intended your question to be. The reader should not have to work so hard to find the question. The answer is "respectable." The individual being spoken of had a position in the medical profession that was worthy of respect . That's what "respectable" means. Whether or not people actually respected the position, it was worthy of ...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Historic or historical

I'm totally get confused about the usage of historic and historical. These two different screen shots make the matter more confusable!Read More...
Hi, Mr Ahmed, You mean to say either " I'm totally confused about the usage of historic and historical" or " I get totally confused about the use of historic and historical." You mean they make the matter more confusing to you. The distinction between "historic" and "historical" has been discussed many times on GE. See this thread: https://thegrammarexchange.inf...storic-vs-historicalRead More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

now, now that, so

Hello, Of the following 4 sentences, is 2 correct? I don't think so, because "now that" is a conjunction, so a comma before "let's" is OK, but "Now" is not a conjunction, so the first sentence has to be an independent sentence. What about 4? Is a comma ok? or does it have to be a period? Now that everyone is ready, let's get started. Now everyone is ready, let's get started. Now everyone is ready. Let's get started. Now everyone is ready, so let's get started. AppleRead More...
Thank you so much, David. You gave me the very answer I needed. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

John standing

Which are correct: 1) I saw somebody in the distance. When I drove up I realized it was John standing there in a state of shock. 2) I saw somebody in the distance. When I drove up I realized it was John, standing there in a state of shock. 3) I heard a shout. I turned around. It was John running towards me like a madman. 4) I heard a shout. I turned around. It was John, running towards me like a madman. 5) I heard someone shout. I turned around. It was John running towards me like a madman.Read More...
Hi, Navi, Proper names are the most specific of all nouns and, as such, will not normally take a defining or restrictive clause. That said, I find (2), (4) and (6) to be much better than the others. I also find (6) to be superior to (4), where the thing described (the shout) is defined by means of a person (the shout was not the person, but came from the person). The person-person connection is clearer in (6): - I heard someone shout. It was John , running towards me like a madman.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Is or are

My sister asked why the sky (is - was)blue.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed55, Both "is" and "was" are correct. You can take your pick. with backshift : My sister asked why the sky was blue. without backshift : My sister asked why the sky is blue. You don't need to backshift with eternal truths, but backshift isn't forbidden with them, either. The sky isn't always blue, I realize, but it is when there is daylight and there are no clouds or any other conditions clouding the view of the sky.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

a variety of

Amir: By the way, let’s go to a restaurant. Ali: OK. I know a restaurant in which a variety of seafoods ..... served. 1) is 2) are OED says: A plural verb is needed after a/an (large, wide, etc.) variety of…A variety of reasons were given. (Source: https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/variety_1?q=variety) I personally think "is" is also correct in this context. What do you think? (Source of the question: One of the exam held by The Iranian Ministry of Education)Read More...
Yes, here you go. You have to pay to use it, unless your school gives you access: https://www.oed.com/Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

deep vs deeply

He dug (deep/deeply) to plant that tree. I know that dig deep is an idiom which means to investigate, so is the answer here 'deeply'?Read More...
Hello, Rasha, Both answers are possible, but the more natural answer is "deep." "Dig deep" does not always mean "investigate" and, when it does mean "investigate," it's not an idiom; "dig" and "deep" are simply being used non-physically in that usage. "Dig deep" is an idiom when it means (a) to draw heavily on one's financial resources (dig deep into one's pockets) or (b) to draw on one's own energetic resources and make one's best effort. Each of those meanings is non-literal. Lastly, the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

not only

a. Not only there wasn't any reason to suspect them of negligence, it was also clear that they had behaved bravely fighting the fire. b. Not only wasn't there any reason to suspect them of negligence, it was also clear that they had behaved bravely fighting the fire. c. Not only he isn't smart, he is also extremely ignorant. d. Not only isn't he smart, he is also extremely ignorant. Which of the above are grammatically correct? Many thanks.Read More...

warn

It might be a 'silly' question but it's been bothering me for some time. 1- He warned me to talk in class. 2- He warned me not to talk in class. I think that both are the indirect form of the sentence 'You must not talk in class' but can't get the difference. THANKSRead More...
Hello, Rasha, With reported warnings, orders, etc., we generally can't tell what the original sentence was. In this case, the original sentence for (2) could have been the one that you think it is, but it could equally have been "Don't talk in class," "You are not to talk in class," etc. Incidentally, I think (1) would make more sense like this: 1a- He warned me to participate in class.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

modals again

Learning chess is easy. 1) It has to be, because I managed to do it. 2) It must be, because I managed to do it. 3) It should be, because I managed to do it. 4 ) It ought to be, because I managed to do it. Which of the sentences 1-4 are grammatically correct in this context? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, While none of them is ungrammatical, (1) is the most natural choice for me. It would be normal to write it with "if" instead of "because" and no comma: 1a) Learning chess is easy. It has to be if I managed to do it. If the speaker were slightly less certain, then (3) would work. But it would be more natural with "anyway" inserted parenthetically before the "because"-clause: 3a) Learning chess is easy. It should be, anyway, because I managed to do it. I suppose (2) and (4) could...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Reported

I was told that my friend ………………. a terrible accident while he was driving to Mansoura. a had had b had c was having d is having I think that 'b' is the correct answer. If I am right, would 'a' be wrong because backshift is not possible here as backshift wasn't used with 'was driving' ?Read More...
Yes, Rasha, that is not only possible but perfectly correct and normal. What would be unusual, though also correct, would be to do what you thought was needed but isn't: "I was told that my friend had had a terrible accident while he had been driving to Mansoura." In that sentence, there are two relative tenses, "had had" and "had been driving" each being located prior to the past time of "was told." But that is totally unnecessary, because the "while"-clause is part of the reported-speech...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tenses

I knew that a new secondary school …………… in our village recently. a has built b has been built c had been built d had built My first guess when I read the sentence is that 'c' is the answer. Then, I started thinking of why 'b' is not correct. I think that because 'knew' is past and the present perfect shows a relation between what happened ' the building' and the present. Am I right? I really appreciate what you do and which really helps A LOT.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed_btm I really appreciate what you do which really helps a lot. I didn't intend to add the 'and'. Thanks for your kind remark.Read More...
Last Reply By Rasha Assem · First Unread Post

their hobby; their hobbies

a. Their hobby is collecting stamps. b. Their hobbies are collecting stamps. Are they both correct and natural? If so, do they have the same meaning? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Kis, They share the same hobby , which is collecting stamps, so only (a) is correct. "are" would only be possible if more than one hobby were listed: c. His/Her/Their hobbies are collecting stamps and gardening.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Future forms

Wash your hands.your meal .......ready in 5 minutes (will be-is going to be-is)Read More...
Hi, Ahmed55, Both "will be" and "is going to be" are possible here, but I find "will be" to be the more natural choice. "Is" is incorrect. Please note that we capitalize the first letter of a new sentence. We also use a space between one sentence and the next.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

In case vs Alternatives of if

……….passing the driving test is a must, you have to train well for the test. a In case b Unless c As long as d Should I think that 'c' is the answer and that 'a' is not correct. Am I right?Read More...
Hello, Rasha, Yes, you are right on both counts: (c) is the answer and (a) is incorrect. In speaking of what the addressee has to do, the sentence is talking about a necessity. Thus, it must be known to the speaker that passing the driving test is a must. Given that he knows that it is a must, he would not use "in case," which has conditional meaning. "As long as" is the only answer that makes sense. As for the other two choices, (d) is ungrammatical and (b) is absurd.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Asking for Permission

May I use your calculator? – Of course, you ……… ; I don’t need it now. a may b can’t c can d may not The answer given is 'c'. I would like to know why 'a' isn't correct? I know that 'May' and 'Can' can be used to ask for permission. However, 'may' is more formal. Could it be because the subject 'you' makes 'may' not acceptable as it used only with 'I' or 'we' when used to ask for/give permission? I've heard of the famous response, 'Yes, you can but you may not,' that demonstrates the...Read More...
Thanks again, David, for the video. It was REALLY useful. I really appreciate any recommendation that helps enrich my knowledge of the language.Read More...
Last Reply By Rasha Assem · First Unread Post

kindhearted as she seems

a. Kindhearted as she seems in the public eye, you should see how kindhearted she is in private. (meaning: She seems kindhearted in the public eye, but she is even more kindhearted in private.) b. Kindhearted as she is as a public figure, you should see how kindhearted she is in private. (meaning: She is kindhearted as a public figure, but she is more kindhearted in private.) c. Amazing as the characters he plays on screen are, you should see how really amazing he is in real life. (meaning:...Read More...
Hi, Azz, The structure "adjective/adverb + as... " is concessive, and my first impression was that an opposite adjective was to be expected in the main clause: a1. Kindhearted as she seems in the public eye, you should see how mean she is in private. b1. Kindhearted as she is as a public figure, you should see how cruel she is in private. c1. Amazing as the characters he plays on screen are, you should see how dull he is in real life. I then realized that the contrast lay in the pairs...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Present perfect or present perfect continuous

I(have watched/have been watching) English movies all evening and now I'm going to bedRead More...
Hi, Ahmed55, The duration of the action as reinforced by the presence of the adverbial "all evening" makes the present perfect continuous the better choice in this case: - I have been watching English movies all evening and now I'm going to bed.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Reported Speech

1- My friend told me that he ………. the visa to the USA until he had paid for it. a doesn’t take b won’t take c hadn’t taken d didn’t take I think that 'c' is the correct answer as the verb was 'didn't take' which when reported will change into 'hadn't taken', but then one teacher told me that 'd' is the correct answer. So can anyone here help me with this sentence. 2- She told me that I ………………. due care to my work. I actually appreciate her advice. a needn’t have given b could have given c...Read More...
Thank you, both, very much.Read More...
Last Reply By Rasha Assem · First Unread Post

It's high time for s.o. to do sthg

Is it possible to use It's high time for s.o. to do sthg or do we stick to the rule: a. It's high time s.o. did sthg (Subjunctive, criticism) b. It is time for s.o. to do sthg (for to Inf, neutral)Read More...
Hello, Tanski, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! You seem to have already found a thread here that deals with your question quite extensively. After reviewing the thread again, please let us know if you have any further questions about the topic. Otherwise, we look forward to questions you might ask about other topics. Again, welcome to the forum. https://thegrammarexchange.inf...opic/it-is-high-timeRead More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Reduced relatives

Hi colleagues, I have come across this sentence in a mock Exam. Trees(grow_grown_grows_are grown) in rainforests can reach 30 meters. I think the four distractors are WRONG.There must be"GROWING"Read More...
Hi, Wael Shaltoot, I agree with you that the best choice to refer to trees that grow without human intervention (as is the case with trees in rainforests) is "growing": - Trees growing (= that grow) in rainforests can reach 30 meters.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

To feed through

Hello everybody The below sentence is discussing about a demographic subject. "A bulge in child-bearing-age women takes a while to feed through the system." I have an ambiguity with "to feed through the system". What does the sentence want to say exactly? Thanks a lot. M.hobRead More...
Hi, M.hob, Please review our policy about the use of quotations. What have you taken this sentence from? What is the surrounding context? What is the system under discussion through which such data is fed?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

The difference between absolute phrase and participle clause?

Hi, 1. They have two friends, both of them killed in an accident. 2. They have two friends, both of whom killed in an accident. 3. They have two friends, both of whom have been killed in an accident. Which one is correct? Which one is an absolute phrase? How can I distinguish between an absolute phrase and a participle clause? Thanks.Read More...
ThanksRead More...
Last Reply By quangco123 · First Unread Post

Scheduled actions

We need to go. Our plane(leaves_is going to_will leave_is leaving)soon. This sentence is in an outside book. It is controversial.Read More...
Hello again, Wael, Please pay attention to your spelling, and note that "a lot" is two words. Your question " How 'soon' makes a difference? " is ungrammatical. You need "do"-support: "How does 'soon' make a difference?" "Soon" enables "leaves" and "will leave" to work. By themselves, those phrases don't indicate when the leaving will happen. "Our plane will leave" is hopelessly vague. "Our plane leaves" seems to refer absurdly to the plane's habits.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

causative

The following sentence was written twice in our textbook, once with an infinitive and another with a P.P. They had ten students moved into a house with a mobile phone mast in the garden. They had ten students move into a house with a mobile phone mast in the garden. I do understand that the first sentence with the P.P means that they were moved by someone, but does the second imply that 'move' there is used an intranstive verb? The sentence is from New Hello, Third Secondary, Longman 2018,...Read More...
Thank you very much, David.Read More...
Last Reply By Rasha Assem · First Unread Post

Tense in news reporting

Hi there, Can I use present perfect tense in the following news reporting in my first paragraph and then use simple past? I want to do so because I want to present it as hot news though it occured yesterday . I know when no past time frame is mentioned we can present perfect. I want your opinions. Please note that I have written the report just a day after the incident took place. New Delhi, 24 May : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has clean swept the country and this time with a bigger...Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, The text of your example can be Googled. Do you really claim to have written it yourself? If it was really you who wrote it, then you write for India Today . If not, then you are plagiarizing by claiming you wrote it. Please answer the question. There are many grammatical errors in the passage, but the tenses are OK. Again, the biggest problem is that you seem to be trying to pass off somebody else's writing as your own, which is not only against GE policy but unethical and ...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

playing pool

Which are correct: 1) He is amazing playing pool. 2) Playing pool, he is amazing. 3) He is amazing when playing pool. 4) He is a god playing pool. 5) Playing pool, he is a god. 6) He is a god when playing pool. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, All six sentences are correct. But (4) is ambiguous. Sentence (4) could mean that he is a pool-playing god.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

it is good

Which are correct: 1) It is good taking these medications. 2) It is good, taking these medications. 3) It is good for me taking these medications. 4) It is good for me, taking these medications. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, Gustavo, So we are undecided about 'e'. But we seem to have established that the presence of 'for him' necessitates the use of an infinitive. That's my new theory! Thanks again, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Must

Can we use must + be + ing to express obligation or necessity? For example: You must be studying. I think that it can only mean a deduction that I'm so sure of and that it can't mean necessity or obligation. Am I right? Thanks for helping me with this weird question.Read More...
Thank you very much, David.Read More...
Last Reply By Rasha Assem · First Unread Post

pronoun, it or them

"There isn't room for the slightest mistake-- and yet we can't avoid making them." I think "them" should be it, or "mistake" should be "mistakes" for the sake of noun and pronoun agreement. Or is "them" acceptable in this sentence? AppleRead More...
Ah,,,,OK. I got it now. Thank you, GUSTAVO.Read More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

defeated&defeatist

Do not Let yourself look so sad and....... Life is a mixture of gains and loses. (defeatist _defeated_defeating_defeat)Read More...
Welcome to the Grammar Exchange, Wael Shaltoot. Please note that the correct spelling is "gains and lo ss es." I'm curious. What did that author say that made you doubt?Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

future perfect

Hi every one, I am a little confused about that question. I appreciate your help. " I think people ........ on the moon by the end of the 21st century. Who knows." a) will live b) might live c) will have lived d) might have lived That question is on one of longman websites: newhelloforenglish secondary stage. http://www.newhelloforegypt.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Sec_S_03_U03_struct.pdfRead More...
No, not at all. Thanks for the question. We're glad you joined the forum.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

That is the (a) woman we saw at the station three days ago.

Hello, Is there a difference between using "a" and "the " in the following sentences? 1.This is a (the) picture that made us smile. 2.That is the (a) woman we saw at the station three days ago. In sentence 2, "the" sounds more natural to me. I'm not sure about sentence 1. AppleRead More...
Thank you, GUSTAVO. So when "a" is used that picture is just one of several or many. When "the" is used, it implies, that this is the (very) picture(I was talking about) that made us smile. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

2 Synonyms in 1 Sentence/ A comma before "and"

Hi everyone, I’m wondering whether it looks well-written and, most importantly, grammatically correct to use 2 synonyms at once in my following sentence: If it looks well-written and is grammatically correct when the audience read it, do you recommend me using a ‘comma’ after ‘muscle cells’ to prevent it from sounding too long for a sentence? Original Quote: Thank you!Read More...
Hello, Blue_Delta_47, Please note that you should refer to relative clauses as being restrictive or non-restrictive . Both types of clauses, restrictive and non-restrictive (or defining and non-defining) are relative or adjectival. I liked your examples about the lions. You main question seems to revolve around this: The answer is yes (provided we understand that you refer to "non-restrictive" clauses, that is, those set off by commas). They do add extra information, and that extra...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

all havoc breaks loose

Hi, What does "all havoc breaks loose" mean? Thanks a lot.Read More...
Hi, Kuen: I think you mean to ask about "all hell breaks loose." It should be "hell," not "havoc." If you Google "all hell breaks loose," you'll find definitions. The basic meaning is this: when all hell breaks loose, all sorts of things go wrong; many problems need to be solved. Think of a volcano erupting—a volcano of problems.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

infinitive/gerund

1) Why do they complain about cleaning the house taking too long? They have a servant to clean the house! 2) Why do they complain about cleaning the house taking too long? They have a servant for cleaning the house! Can we tell if they have only one servant or more? If they have one servant, is cleaning the house the only thing that servant does? If they have more than one servant, does the same servant clean the house every time? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you so very much, David, Yes, I agree with you. Having a cook does not mean one also has a chauffeur! But I wasn't even going for that interpretation. I find your analysis of my '1' very astute. But the 'restriction' you discovered in this construct (the sentences marked with *?) is a true gem! I hadn't thought of that at all. It looks like a real discovery to me. I wanted to mention that in my last post in this thread, and I hope this will be my last post in this thread, but I suspect...Read More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Look (at) what you've done!

Hi! Could I ask you this question? Practical English Usage (fourth ediction) says that the preposition "at" following the verb "look" is often dropped before a wh -clause. (1) Look (at) what you've done! I was wondering whether there is any semantic difference when the preposition is present/absent. I was also wondering whether the preposition can appear after "look" in the following sentences (taken from Practical English Usage ): (2) Look who's here! (3) Look where you're going. I would...Read More...
Thank you so much, Gustavo! I really appreciate your comments.Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

a falling tree, a tree falling

Hello, 1. A falling tree made a sound like a thunder. 2. A tree falling behind me made a sound like a thunder. 3. A tree falling made a sound like a thunder. I think sentences 1 ,2 are correct, but not 3, because a single participial adjective "falling" has to be placed before the noun. Am I correct? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David, for clarifying that. I was in fact only agreeing with Apple's comments on the correct or incorrect position of the participle depending on whether it is used alone ( falling tree) or with some adjunct (tree falling behind me ).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Future simple or continuous

In 2030, we will treat people with diabetes .. Is "will be treating " incorrect here?why?Read More...
Hi, Ahmed55, I think "will be treating" is much better than "will treat" there, because the treatment involves an ongoing process consistent with the use of the progressive, but some more information would be necessary for the sentence to make sense, for example: - In 2030, we will be treating 100,000,000 people with diabetes. - In 2030, we will be treating people with diabetes by means of this new method .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

adjectival or adverbial? No.3

The dog, frightened by the thunder , trembled. What type of participle is the above sentence? To me, it's adjectival, deriving from: - The dog, who was frightened by the thunder, trembled However, the link below says it's adverbial: http://grammarpuss13.blogspot.com/p/adverbial-clauses.html?m=1 Thanks.Read More...
Perfect! Can you introduce a comprehensive grammar book which explains these nuanced points?Read More...
Last Reply By Freeguy · First Unread Post

which or where

The shop, ..........I visited last week, has good souvenirs. ( which/where) with explanation,please. Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hi, poet 20, (and my greetings from El-Madina El-Monawara), Choose: 'which'. There is an easy way to choose between 'where and which' here. Make a complete sentence without using any relative pronouns. That will be: I visited the shop. You see the object comes directly after 'visit' without using any propositions, which means that 'which' is the right choice. Change your example above to be: The shop..... I work, has good souvenirs. Making a complete sentence would result in: I work in a...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Using 'of' correctly

A few weeks ago I casually wrote out the sentence ''It was about time to see what he wanted of her.'' and didn't really think anything of it, even after reading through it again. Today however it made me question if 'of' was used correctly here. In context, the person is wanted to do something, not give something.Read More...
Hello, JayK, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! To me, "want something of somebody" sounds similar to "expect something of somebody" and "demand something of somebody" (alternatively, from can also be used in all three cases, as far as I know). I don't find any possession meaning there as long as "somebody" is "somebody" and not "somebody 's ." Compare: - He wanted something of her. (which may mean: He wanted her to do something for him/to act in a certain way.) - He wanted something of...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

equipment, one

Hello, I understand that "equipment" is an uncountable noun. So, it cannot be replaced with "one". The following sentence is wrong. Ken replaced the broken equipment with new one. Am I correct ? AppleRead More...
You explained it so well that I think I got the difference between clouds and cloud. Thank you for the interesting discussion. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Help Required: Is this a dependent clause?

The opposing army were masterful at spreading lies and hate throughout their region, people hated them and therefore feared them. Is this a dependent clause: "People hated them and therefore feared them".Read More...
It doesn't make much sense to say that a clause is dependent, let alone adverbial, nominal or adjectival, if no context is provided. The only section that makes sense on that website is "Dependent Clauses in Sentences ."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Since or That

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

apostrophes

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

which or where

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

Is this sentence correct?

Hello, I have never seen such a beautiful beach like this. This is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen, No other beach is as beautiful as this (one). I have never seen anything like this beautiful beach. I think sentences 1,2,3, mean about the same, but what about 4? Is 4 correct in the first place? If not, what's wrong with it? If correct, does it mean the same as the other three sentences? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David, always. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

not only but also

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

onto and on to

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

trust believe

Hello, 1.I don't believe your story. 2. I trust you. 3.I cannot trust this research result. 4.I cannot believe this research result. I think 1,2,3,4, are correct, but what about the following sentence. 5. I can trust none of his success stories in business. Doesn't "trust" have to be replaced with "believe"? Or does "trust" work in this sentence? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Are exciting and excited the same

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

"A variety of" vs "varieties of"

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

delay to repair the bus

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

too drunk to remember

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

passive voice

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

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

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

Usage of apostrophe 's

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

there is or are a wide range of...

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

Point of view and interpretation.

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

the economy is much larger and diverse than this sector.

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

Admit

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

grammar

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

Please

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

Adjectival or adverbial?

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

On or while

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

-ing form with preparatory it

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

which vs. who

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

to last a week/infinitives!

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