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Reply by Gustavo, Contributor

Hello, Coco, and happy New Year. "such" can be used at the beginning and cause inversion only when it is an independent intensifier,...
Gustavo, Contributor

Difference between "will" and "would"

What is the difference between will and would in the following sentence? In the following news link, why is would used instead of will ? Here is the link: Here is the Headline: Why the US would never win a trade war with ChinaRead More...
It is true that the use of conditional "would" can be deemed to involve the implicit existence of a type 2 conditional clause (i.e., a conditional clause in the unreal past) in the context: Why the US would never win a trade war with China (if there was/were a trade war between both countries) I don't think he would leave FCB (if he was/were offered a lot of money). However, it is no less true that "would" can be used to emphazise the improbability of the event even if the condition is...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

<could> for single past ability?

grammarcrazed
Hello everyone: According to grammar books, when you are refereeing to a general past ability , you can use both “ could ” and “ was/were able to ”, but when the reference is to a single occasion in the past , only “ was/were able to ”, “ managed to ”, or “ succeeded in ” should be used. But while I was listening to an audible book, “ English Grammar Boot Camp” by professor Ann Curzan, I heard her say “ and I could find it ” in the following context. “Off of” tends to be colloquial, but it...Read More...
Thanks, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By grammarcrazed · First Unread Post

such ... that

cocoricot
Dear teachers, Please tell me which is correct among these sentences: 1. Such a strong public opinion was it that he had to resign. 2. Such was a strong public opinion that he had to resign. 3. Such was the strength of public opinion that he had to resign. Thank you.Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo and David. Both your explanations solved all my problems. Thank you so much.Read More...
Last Reply By cocoricot · First Unread Post

Reply by navi

Thank you very much, Gustavo, Yes, what you say makes perfect sense. In my mind, 'I am influenced' was not like 'I am affected' but like...

Reply by David, Moderator

Hello, Navi, To make the sentences synonymous, it would be better to place "still" right after the subject (before the modal): "Our team...
David, Moderator

Reply by David, Moderator

Hello, Menem, Only "twentieth" is correct, and you should follow it with a hyphen: He is a twentieth-century writer .
David, Moderator

Reply by terry

Gustavo. Instead of 11 minutes, one of my New Year resolutions is to run for at least 25 minutes a day; well, once in alternate day is...

Reply by terry

Very funny, DocV. It seems that you need many girl friends (or boy friends, just in case that you have male preference) to help you...

yet/still

1) I might beat this cancer yet. 2) I might still beat this cancer. Is there any difference between the meanings of '1' and '2'? 3) Our team might win yet. 4) Our team might still win. Is there any difference between the meaning of '3' and '4'? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, To make the sentences synonymous, it would be better to place "still" right after the subject (before the modal): "Our team still might win" <--> "Our team might win yet"; "I still might beat this cancer" <--> "I might beat this cancer yet." With "still" placed where you have it, after the modal but before the verb ("Our team might still win"; "I might still beat this cancer"), it is as if there were an implicit "in spite of" or "regardless of" or "even with," etc.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

tenses under influence!

1) As a writer, I was influenced by the work of Kafka, which I read at a very young age. 2) As a writer, I am influenced by the work of Kafka, which I read at a very young age. 3) As a writer, I have been influenced by the work of Kafka, which I read at a very young age. Are all three correct? Is there a difference in the meaning? a) I read Kafka before I started writing, but the influence was there when I started to write b) the influence was there but is not there anymore c) the influence...Read More...
Thank you very much, Gustavo, Yes, what you say makes perfect sense. In my mind, 'I am influenced' was not like 'I am affected' but like 'I am washed', if you will. I think that is the influence of my native language. I am under the influence of my mother tongue. I am not sure I am expressing myself clearly and you can see where I had gone astray, but I think things are clear now for me. Respectfully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Reply by Gustavo, Contributor

Thank you, David, for your nice words. As I've told you countless times, GE does not only mean work for me, but the possibility of...
Gustavo, Contributor

Reply by Gustavo, Contributor

Thank you for your question, Terry, which brought up DocV's answer, one more of those replies of his which nicely combine historical and...
Gustavo, Contributor

Reply by David, Moderator

You said it, Ruifeng! HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, too, and to all members of the Grammar Exchange. As always, I am looking forward to a year...
David, Moderator

Reply by cocoricot

Happy New Year! Good health, peace and happiness to all of us in 2019!
cocoricot

Reply by Doc V

Terry, Your suggestion makes perfect sense in my mind. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the central figure of the Christian...

Reply by Gustavo, Contributor

Re: Try
Happy New Year! I agree with David on all counts. I usually tell my students that "try" + infinitive is preferred when some effort is...
Gustavo, Contributor

Reply by Gustavo, Contributor

Thank you and happy New Year to all of you! May 2019 bring all of us a lot of happiness and success.
Gustavo, Contributor

yet/still

1) I might beat this cancer yet. 2) I might still beat this cancer. Is there any difference between the meanings of '1' and '2'? 3) Our team might win yet. 4) Our team might still win. Is there any difference between the meaning of '3' and '4'? Which should be used if there is a limited amount of time available? That is the case in the second set of examples. Which should be used if the event we are talking about is very unlikely. I think 'yet' might have such an implication. HAPPY NEW YEAR...Read More...

Reply by David, Moderator

Re: Try
Happy New Year, Menem! Both choices are correct; however, I do have a slight preference for "opening." The gerund (a type of noun...
David, Moderator

Try

Hello, If you can't find the key, try ( to open - opening) the lock with something like a knife or a screwdriver. Thanks in advance.Read More...
Happy New Year! I agree with David on all counts. I usually tell my students that "try" + infinitive is preferred when some effort is involved (actually, some effort might arise from trying to open a lock with an object that is not originally intended for that purpose, as is the case with a knife or a screwdriver), while "try" + gerund is used when it carries the meaning of experimenting, as conveyed by David's paraphrasis:Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Reply by terry

According to Oxford English Grammar Course by Swan & Walter: - going to - talk about intentions - use ‘will’ at the moment when we...

Reply by navi

Happy New Year to Ruifeng, Subhajit123 and to everyone else on GE! Thanks to David, Gustavo and Doc V for making GE a fantastic site for...

Reply by subhajit123

Happy new year from India to you Ruifeng. Happy new year David, Doc V, Gustavo and everyone on this site. 😃

Happy 2019!

It's already officially 2019 here in China. On this crisp new year's morning, I want to express my gratitude to every teacher for your priceless help in 2018 and for the privilege of ever being able to join you on this forum. I wish you--my dear teachers, every member and all your families a GREAT NEW YEAR! 😊😊 😊祝大家新年快乐! zhu da jia xin nian kuai le!😊Read More...
Thank you, David, for your nice words. As I've told you countless times, GE does not only mean work for me, but the possibility of continuing learning. I was very lucky to find GE a few years ago, and we are very lucky to have you in charge and DocV on board. Happy New Year! (By the way, I loved the picture, which happens to show my animal in the Chinese horoscope .)Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Reply by David, Moderator

Hi, Subhajit: Your examples here aren't very pleasant, but you are correct that the one with "any" has the meaning "Does there exist a...
David, Moderator

Reply by David, Moderator

Re: Intend
A happy new year to you, too, Ahmad. Welcome back! Sentence (A) is incorrect. You need the passive here: "was intended." Being...
David, Moderator

Reply by David, Moderator

I agree with both of you that "will" works better than "[be] going to" here, the context being one of spontaneous decision making. Even...
David, Moderator

Reply by ahmed_btm

Hi, Freeguy, I agree with you. It is a decision taken at the moment of speaking, so 'will' is the better choice here.
ahmed_btm

will vs be going to

As you know, there are differences between "be going to" and "will" when we want to refer to some actions in the future. So, which of the following response would be more appropriate? Wow, the grass is getting tall. I think I ....... cut it tomorrow 1) will 2) am going to For me, "Wow, the grass is getting tall" is a sign for an instant decision, hence "will". Thanks.Read More...
According to Oxford English Grammar Course by Swan & Walter: - going to - talk about intentions - use ‘will’ at the moment when we decide somethingRead More...
Last Reply By terry · First Unread Post

Zero Article/Definite Article/Indefinite Article

ahmad
Hello, everyone, 1. Which of the following sentences is/are correct? A. Someone in this room has been to hospital today. B. Someone in this room has been to a hospital today. C. Someone in this room has been to the hospital today. Thanks. PS: I am taking it to be the case that there are more than one hospitals in the area, and that there is no prior reference to or any mention of any hospital etc.Read More...
Thanks, David.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

Intend

ahmad
Hello, everyone, A happy new year to all of you. A. The event intended to introduce students to broader perspective and scope of Management Studies. B. The event was intended to introduce students to broader perspective and scope of Management Studies. 1. Are both the sentences correct? 2. Do I need to put 'Management Studies' in lower case? Thanks.Read More...
Thanks a lot, David. I have been unbelievably busy for last few months, which is why I replied so late.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

Reply by terry

We can say Happy Christmas. But can we say Merry New Year?

Happy New Year

What are your New Year resolutions? Settle your debt? Learn a new language? Go on diet? Do more physical exercise? Get taller? No matter what. Happy New Year!Read More...
Gustavo. Instead of 11 minutes, one of my New Year resolutions is to run for at least 25 minutes a day; well, once in alternate day is not bad; maybe twice a week is still better than nothing, etc. Reason: I have to get a new identity card soon with a new photo!Read More...
Last Reply By terry · First Unread Post

"a" vs "any"

What is the difference between a and any in the following sentenc? Can a bulletproof vest stop a bulltet fired from an AK-47? Can any bulletproof vest stop a bulltet fired from an AK-47? Does the second one using any mean to say "Does there exist a single bulletproof vest that can stop a bullet fired from an Ak-47"?Read More...
Hi, Subhajit: Your examples here aren't very pleasant, but you are correct that the one with "any" has the meaning "Does there exist a single bulletproof vest that . . . [etc.]?" In a normal context, that is not the desired meaning. We would simply say, "Can a bulletproof vest stop a bullet fired from this type of gun?" If the sentence with "any" were used, it would receive emphatic stress, and there would be preceding context justifying its use with stress -- for example: "This (supposedly)...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Reply by Doc V

Fujibei, First, let me thank you for your question. Second, let me suggest that, even though featuring the focus of your question in the...

Reply by Doc V

Mwr829, I'm sorry that I've been unable to respond to your post. I've been under the weather. I think that your client was attempting to...

Reply by Doc V

Tara, Ruifeng, Cocoricot, Subha, Thank you all. May you and your families be blessed in the coming year. This also goes for my many...

Reply by Doc V

I agree with Gustavo. I definitely think that the comma should be omitted in (4). Of course, omitting the comma in (3) changes the...

Reply by Doc V

Re: Scarce
Gustavo, Thank you for this feedback. First, I agree that "rare stamp collections" is unpalatably ambiguous, possibly in more ways than...

Reply by Doc V

Re: tense
Ruifeng, First off, I agree with everything David has said. You said: I don't mean to speak for David, but I agree with your...

Reply by Gustavo, Contributor

Re: Scarce
I considered that, DocV, but then thought it was possible for rare to modify the whole phrase, collection of stamps . However, I agree...
Gustavo, Contributor

Reply by Doc V

Re: Scarce
Actually, I find the adjective to be misplaced. We generally do not speak of a collection being rare, but rather of the items in the...

Reply by Gustavo, Contributor

Re: Scarce
Hi, Emad, "scarce" does not usually collocate with "collection." We generally speak about collections being small (see below). "scarce"...
Gustavo, Contributor

Scarce

Do we say "a rare collection of stamps "or “ a scarce collection of stamps“?Read More...
Gustavo, Thank you for this feedback. First, I agree that "rare stamp collections" is unpalatably ambiguous, possibly in more ways than have already come to your mind. I find that your example about the Indian collection justifies my use of "generally" as opposed to making a blanket statement. Stamp collections in general are not rare, and it is fair to assume that every collection that exists is actually unique. But this article that you shared speaks of an exhibition of a collection that...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Reply by ruifeng

Re: tense
I think I understand now. But I need your confirmation.(And I have decided to be an English teacher for elementary school students. That...

Reply by David, Moderator

Hi, Subhajit, Both sentences are correct. You can choose the simple past ("I recently bought a mobile"), and you can choose the present...
David, Moderator

Reply by David, Moderator

Hi, Freeguy, Swan is right that "His book is selling itself well" is wrong. And you are right that you can correctly say, "His book is...
David, Moderator

Reply by David, Moderator

Re: tense
Hello again, Ruifeng, You are right about (b). In order to see how (a) can work "as criticism after someone did something a short time...
David, Moderator

"Have been doing" vs "have done"

Hi there, What's the difference between have done or have been doing in the following context? Can I use both in the following context? John: Can you please repair my computer? Me: Yeah!! it's too easy. I have been doing/have done this for 3 years.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, The natural, native choice in the sentence in question is the present perfect progressive: "I've been doing this for three years." While the present perfect simple is possible, it is not the native choice, at least not without the addition of "now": "I've done this for three years now." The sentence "I've repaired computers for three years" by itself can easily mean that you done that for a three-year period of time in the past. You want the up-to-now reading here. That's why...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

reflexive not used? No.2

This is another question related to the previous one. As you may have noticed, Swan claims that (a) is wrong. Again, I believe we have a sentence like (b): (a) His book is selling itself well . (b) His book is selling itself . Here's my take: "The ____ sells itself" is an idiomatic expression. "His book is selling itself well" is not wrong, but would be a very unusual construction. "His book sells itself well " would be more common. I also think "The book sells itself" is also fine. But that...Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, Swan is right that "His book is selling itself well" is wrong. And you are right that you can correctly say, "His book is selling itself," and that the problem with the sentence that Swan rejects is the use of the adverb "well." Sentences like "His book is selling itself," "The book will sell itself," etc., mean that the seller does not have to make any real efforts to sell the thing. If he puts the book out, someone will buy it. The sentence "His book is selling itself" and...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tense with "recently"

Hi there, should I use recently with simple past or present perfect? I recently bought a mobile. It has very good features with a four-GB ram. I just love the mobile. I have recently bought a mobile. It has very good features with a four-GB ram. I just love the mobile. I have found a similar example on this site using simple past tense. As an English speaker which one would you prefer in the given context?Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, Both sentences are correct. You can choose the simple past ("I recently bought a mobile"), and you can choose the present perfect ("I have recently bought a mobile"). The choice is yours. Speakers of American English are more likely to choose the simple past in that context, whereas British speakers, who tend to be more fond of using the present perfect, might favor the present perfect. I hope you realize that the second sentence ("It has very good features") does not involve...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Reply by ruifeng

Re: tense
Thank you, David. You really are a great mentor! To me, (a) means a piece of warning advice that tells someone not to do something if he...

Reply by David, Moderator

Re: tense
Well, Ruifeng, do you understand the difference between these two sentences and how each can work as criticism after the news? (a) The...
David, Moderator

Reply by ruifeng

Re: tense
Thank you so much, David, for your clear explanation of the word, but when the comment works as criticism after the news, could we also...

Reply by David, Moderator

Re: tense
Hi, Ruifeng, It appears that you are misunderstanding the example sentence, which is used to illustrate the definition of...
David, Moderator

tense

The BBC is not supposed to editorialize about the news. This is an example sentence from the LDOCE. My questions are: Did the editor give the editorial or not? When can this comment be made, right after or before? Thanks.Read More...
Ruifeng, First off, I agree with everything David has said. You said: I don't mean to speak for David, but I agree with your interpretation. You said: Before I answer your question (strictly speaking), I must advise you that, in order to convey your meaning properly, you need to put quotation marks around the word "auxiliary", or italicize it. Otherwise, the question lends itself to myriad misinterpretations. As to whether you should use a full stop after the word "auxiliary" in this...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Reply by Gustavo, Contributor

The two examples where intransitive "open" appears in Swan are provided under sections 493 (item 9) and 609: I have to say I don't like...
Gustavo, Contributor
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