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Use of Quotes

David, Moderator
Our Policy on the Use of Quotations We understand that members occasionally desire or need to ask grammar-related questions about sentences or phrases that were written by others, and it is perfectly acceptable for you to do so. However, if you wish to include sentences or phrases in a post that were not originally written by you, you must do two things: 1) You must show punctuationally that they are not your words. 2) You must cite what you have taken the text from. The easiest way to...Read More...

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Meaning of "That which"

Today, a friend of mine asked me, what does "That which" mean. They gave me one examplea said they saw it on a game: "Shinning as lucifer, the morning star, in the dawn, showing a beauty that is not God's — *That which* appears withing graps" Also, they gave me other example: "That which doesn't kill us, it just makes us stronger" And I couldn't answer. Could you guys help me? Thanks in advance.Read More...
I'd just like to add that in the second sentence Harry asked us about (about the first one, I'll just say it contains a few spelling mistakes), "it" is not correct, because the subject is the clause "that which doesn't kill us" (meaning "anything that/whatever doesn't kill us) and "it" is therefore redundant as a subject:Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

the use of "at first"

Hello, Q. I wonder if the adverb "at first" in (a) is used naturally being in harmony with the use of past perfect? To me, (b) seems correct, but (a) feel awkward. This is because while the past perfect sentence implies that he had had wrong belief for a long time for that island, "at first" indicates the time when he heard the news. (a) The floating garbage patch was discovered in 1997 by a man. At first , he had mistaken it for an island. (b) I hadn't seen him in years. At first , I didn't...Read More...

past or present perfect

Could you please answer this question? He is walking to work as he ....................................... his car since last Monday. (sold/has sold )Read More...
Thank you for your efforts in responding to Harry, Ahmed. Hi, Harry, In case you are a native speaker of English, you might try substituting "Monday" with "then" or moving the "since"-phrase to the front of the sentence to see the possibility of the intended reading: (1a) He has sold his car since Monday. (1b) He has sold his car since then. (1c) Since Monday he has sold his car. (1d) Since then he has sold his car. Also, consider the possibility of the following dialogue: A: We last saw...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Interact with or interact

Teachers are expected to * interact * and teach each of their students in a way that reinforces their interests even though only a few females quest for knowledge about courses and have the potential to perform well in male dominated fields and vice versa. "Interact" is a intransitive verb,so there should be a "with" after it .Am I right?Read More...
Hello, Robby, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! I fully agree with DocV's answer. Another point you might consider is that the original may be read as a reduction of the following, in which there is a second "to," introducing the second verb phrase complementing "expect." I am omitting the 32 words following "students" as grammatically irrelevant to your question. (A1) Teachers are expected to interact and to teach each of their students.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

does 'successive manifold of shapes' make any sense?

Hi everyone! I'm trying to write an essay in English, but as this is not my first language, I need some help! I was wondering whether I could say 'a successive manifold of shapes'. The context is that there is a thing, that can take various shapes, but does so in a set order. So first it will have shape A, then shape B, then shape C, etc. The sentence I'd like to use is this: ' To this end he has designed a system, in which ‘the consciousness’ manifests itself in a successive manifold of...Read More...

Closing out the effort?

I am searching everywhere for the answer to this but I don't know what parts of speech I'm looking for so I'm not finding what I need. Which one is it?: "The deliverable must be approved prior to closing out the effort." or "The deliverable must be approved prior to closing the effort out." Same for: "...check the deliverable in/out" or "...check in/out the deliverable"Read More...
Thank you both very much! This answers my question and I will bookmark this thread as it has also answered additional questions I’ve had before!Read More...
Last Reply By Kerry · First Unread Post

adjective used as a noun

Hi, I came across the word "recyclables" in this site https://ieltsweekly.com/how-to-quickly-plan-your-essay/ When I looked it up in the dictionary, recyclable turns out to be an adjective but on the site above, the author used it as a noun. I was taught that some adjectives with "the" preceding them can be used as a noun such as "the poor", "the rich" ... but "recyclable" used as a noun without "the". Can you explain this? Thank you.Read More...
Gustavo, Thank you very much for this input. I hope you will see fit to make a reply on Kerry's thread "Closing out the effort?". Best regards, DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Anything VS Everything

1) Anything related to Phoebe Waller Bridge is amazing. Is the sentence written above correct and can we use the word anything in that context? Or do we need to use everything instead of anything there. 2) Everything related to Phoebe Waller Bridge is amazing.Read More...
Shivam Raj, You've probably never heard of Amy Spencer since she hasn't become famous yet. She is a genius in many ways. She is a visual artist, a musician, a writer, and a fabulous chef, and she has lived some years in Japan teaching English. Everything about her is amazing, but she remains a great unknown. More people are probably talking about Miss Waller-Bridge, the writer, producer, actress, etc, etc. From even the little I know about her, Everything about her is amazing. I would not...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Use of comma

Should I use a comma in the next sentence? The police could not find the source of the fire, nor could the fire chief.Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo, for your clarification. I want to correct myself in that what I called complex sentences are more accurately compound sentences, in that they consist of independent clauses joined by coordinating conjunctions. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

start

Hi, Which sentence is correct? How do we use 'start' in a situation like this below? 1. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood to barking. 2. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood to bark. 3. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood barking. Thanks a lot.Read More...
Yes, Kuen. There can be no doubt that some people use "start" that way, but I am not one of them. I would use "get somebody doing something" instead. You could use (3) if you changed "starts" to "gets," or you can put your trust in Longman.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

why + to infinitive

I wonder if the following sentence is grammatically correct. "No one knew why to cancel the swimming class."Read More...
Hello, Ellipticmodulo, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. David, our moderator, provided a very thorough answer to a similar question here some time ago. It is true that "why to" is much more limited in use than other "wh"-word + to infinitive constructions. In fact, your sentence: sounds wrong. "why" + to infinitive will be much more usual in titles: Why to cancel the swimming class (= Reasons for canceling the swimming class): - Because the swimming coach or the lifeguard are absent. -...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

"A/an" vs "one" vs "you" vs "someone"

Hi there, can anyone please tell me what the difference between a/an , one and you in the following sentences? Are they all correct and do they mean the same? One should be careful around one’s stove to avoid burning oneself . You should be careful around your stove to avoid burning yourself . A person should be careful around their stove to avoid burning themselves . And.......... 4. How to tell if one has diabetes? 5. How to tell if you have diabetes? 6. How to tell if someone has...Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, "you" can be generic or refer to the interlocutor. In "You have to be careful," you may be Subhajit or anybody, including myself. "one" is always generic (speaker included). "someone" and "a person" refer to a third person.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

a little money

1) Money is better than absolute poverty. 2) A little money is better than absolute poverty. 3) Some money is better than absolute poverty. 4) No money is better than being heavily in debt. Which of the above are grammatically correct and make sense? Which are idiomatic? Which are acceptable in formal English? . Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, DocV, I do appreciate it, but I wasn't sure it was really there. Respectfully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

in 1973

1) “I think we’ve made our best album since Quadrophenia in 1973,” singer Roger Daltrey said in a statement to Rolling Stone . Source: https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/detail-first-album-13-years-161130863.html Quadrophenia was an album that came out in 1973. It was the only album by that name. The question is whether the sentence quoted in '1' is correct and, if it is, how should 'in 1973' be parsed? The meaning of the first sentence is: “I think we’ve made our best album since...Read More...
Wow! It is good to have DocV around! I had completely forgotten the soundtrack album! Thank you all very much! NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

dangling modifier

Hi, teachers I'd like to know whether this sentence in the attachment Ok or not. I think it is a misrelated participle. By the way, it is from our text book for secondary stage in Egypt.Read More...
To clarify what the Longman editor meant, it is not that such sentences are ungrammatical. They are perfectly grammatical. But they are grammatical with respect to a meaning that the speaker did not intend. Analogously, the sentence "He punched him" is perfectly grammatical, provided that the referent of "him" is different from the referent of "he." It is ungrammatical if "him" is to refer to the same person as "he": He punched him. ≠ He punched himself.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Why is the simple present?

--"You bring news, I trust?" (Harry Porter) Why not the simple past instead? Thanks😀Read More...
Hi, Ruifeng, The simple past would have a totally different meaning. The speaker means to refer to the present, not to the past. The simple present is being used instead of the present perfect ("You have brought news") or the present progressive ("You are bringing news"). The usage of the simple present here is the same as the one that we often hear in live sports commentary. It is a specialized use of the simple present. He shoots! He scores! The crowd goes wild!Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

best/the best

Which are correct: 1) We have a lot of colors to choose from. Which color would you say is best? 2) We have a lot of colors to choose from. Which color would you say is the best? 3) We could use one, two or three colors. One color is best. I don't care which one is used, but one color is best. 4) We could use one, two or three colors. One color is the best. I don't care which one is used, but one color is the best. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, DocV, I thought that '4' might mean the same as '3' as well as being a self-contradictory statement. Apparently it has only one meaning and that meaning is self-contradictory. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Prepositions

Hi, Which is or are Ok? 1-"Many websites allow people to upload videos from their computers." 2-Many websites allow people to download videos from their computers."Read More...
Hello, Ahmed and DocV, I would think that we can use two other prepositions in context NO. 2; 2b: Many websites allow people to download videos on their computers. 2c: Many websites allow people to download videos onto their computers.Read More...
Last Reply By Hussein Hassan · First Unread Post

Prepositions

Hi, "Sara has got a new job. She works.........computers." A- with B- onRead More...
Ahmed, I'm sure I've seen this question before. Both are correct but they mean different things. (A) can mean that she does programming, editing, data entry, etc, and uses computers to facilitate her job. (B) means that she is a technician who builds and tests the computers themselves, repairs them, or performs maintenance on them. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

a long way

a. There is a long way to go for women to be treated equally with men. Can one say whether the women have to go that long way or society or....? Who is going to cover that long distance? Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, "for women to be treated equally with men" is an event, and the passive renders the first interpretation unlikely. I think the sentence can only be interpreted as meaning: - There is a long way for this to happen.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

make life bearable

Hi, What does 'make life bearable' mean in this sentence? "To me, peanut butter is the only thing that makes life bearable." Thanks a lot.Read More...
Hi, Kuen, The speaker is saying that, to him, life would be unbearable without peanut butter. "Life" refers to the burdens of life, or to the burden of life itself. An unbearable burden is a burden that cannot be borne. "Make life bearable" here means "make an unbearable burden (or unbearable burdens) bearable." Grammatically, the structure is the same as the one we find in sentences like "He made it red," "She makes him happy," etc.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Using 'for' with time

Hello, In my area (in the UK) we regularly use 'for' as a preposition of time. For example, "Could you finish this for 5?" (as in, "Could you finish this by 5?"), a non-native English speaker corrected me and said 'for' can't be used as a preposition of time. I have tried to research this, but it seems like it's something that isn't technically correct. So, I'm wondering if this is just a dialect quirk of where I live, if it's a British English thing, or if this is actually correct but isn't...Read More...
Hello, Lauraaliali, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. I don't think the difference between "for" and "by" in adverbials of time indicating deadlines is a BrE/AmE issue. Both are correct but slightly different. While "for" introduces the due date on which some task needs to be completed, "by" means "no later than": - Could you finish this for 5? ( Delivery is expected to take place at 5.) - Could you finish this by 5? (Delivery is expected to take place anytime no later than 5, or at 5 at...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post
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