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Would you guys make a new paragraph starting at the bold?

I recommend that everyone read Emma Pattee ’s fascinating and thought-provoking 12 October 2021 piece about the need to challenge the standard ideas about how to stop global heating—one of the piece’s pull quotes says the following: “By promoting the carbon footprint as the single most important thing for concerned citizens to focus on, the fossil fuel industry ensured that we wouldn’t put our energy toward what truly matters: collective action and activism.” I have a threefold response to...Read More...
If I split the paragraphs at the bold then I have a tiny one-sentence paragraph that says this: I have a threefold response to the piece.Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

What precisely does the bold refer back to?

And does semantic context allow us to resolve such matters? I asked a famous linguist about one of these and they said that grammar/syntax doesn't give you a precise answer to what (e.g.) ", which" links back to when you have a ", which" construction...their point was that you just need to recognize that that's ambiguity and let semantic context tell you the answer. As far as I know, this is the first work that approaches meaning from an I-language perspective and that seeks to incorporate...Read More...
I guess I'm looking for "permission" where the experts say that X is normal practice and that I'm not being sloppily ambiguous but rather I'm just being standardly/normally ambiguous.Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

as

Could you tell me why 'just as' are inserted in this sentence? While I agree with you that some of the books on the list are of questionable quality and taste, I also feel just as strongly that no one person or organization has the right to determine what is ‘suitable’ literature for other people.Read More...
Hello, GBLSU—"Just as strongly" means "equally strongly": the speaker feels equally strongly that (a) "some of the books on the list are of questionable quality and taste" and (b) "no one person or organization has the right to determine what is 'suitable' iterature for other people."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Being open and honest even when it's hard to do.

Hi, I'm wondering whether "it's hard to do" is used naturally. What does the "it" refer to? A: What are the qualities of a good friend? B: Being open and honest even when it 's hard to do. I'd appreciate your help.Read More...
Hi, Ray—I agree with Gustavo. Another natural option is to simply leave out the infinitival and say "Being open and honest even when it is hard," in which formulation "it" would refer to "being open and honest": " Being open and honest even when being open and honest is hard."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

had been writing - had written

Hello. Could you please tell me which sentence is correct? If both are correct, what is the difference in meaning? 1- My brother had written short stories for three years before he published them. 2- My brother had been writing short stories for three years before he published them. Thank you. ReplyRead More...
As for 1, the tense is past perfect. It is supposed that the person wrote short stories for three years in total. It means the three years when he wrote does not have to be continuous. He might have started writing five years ago. He wrote for two years, and he didn't write for one year. And again he started writing and he finished. Totally, he wrote for three years and he published. But in 2, past perfect continuous tense is used. So, the three years must be continuous. We can find that he...Read More...
Last Reply By mmaassuu · First Unread Post

'in even the most common expression' or 'even in the most common expression

Please read the following first. Culture has a strong influence on non-verbal expression. The simple act of looking someone in the eye, for example, is not actually straightforward, varying in meaning from culture to culture. In the USA, people are encouraged to look directly at others when speaking to them. It shows interest in what they are saying, and it is thought to convey honesty. However, in Japan and South Korea, people avoid long eye contact. It is considered more polite to look to...Read More...

so much time and effort

a. There is so much time and effort that goes into this project. b. There is so much time and effort that go into this project. c. There are so much time and effort that go into this project. Which of the above sentences is grammatical? Many thanks.Read More...

When is it due?

Hello, Sometimes, I heard people saying: When do I have time until to submit this application? The speaker is trying to say when is it due? "When do I have time until to submit this application?" Is it grammatically correct?Read More...
Hi, Tony, Unlike other "wh"-words, "when" does not usually take stranded prepositions. Being used only for time adverbials, the preposition "until" is therefore not usually stranded, that is, placed at the end. For some speakers, it will be more usual to say: - Until when do I have time to submit this application? However, there may be more idiomatic ways to ask that question: - What/When is the deadline to submit this application? - How much time/How long do I have to submit this...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

a similar trip to you

Hi, Which of the following sentences do you think is okay? a. We did a similar trip to you, but in reverse. b. We did a similar trip to yours, but in reverse. I'd appreciate your help.Read More...
Over the years, I've accumulated page after page of such errors, from both Oxford and Longman. It might be a good idea to let them know, but they seem to take a relaxed attitude to examples in their publications.Read More...
Last Reply By raymondaliasapollyon · First Unread Post

Should I split this paragraph in this situation?

The bold words could be the start of a new paragraph: https://join.substack.com/p/plato-and-darwin Regarding science in general, Chomsky is a methodological pragmatist —he thinks that there are several rules of thumb for successful inquiry. First, be ready for something to surprise you —inquiry probably isn’t for you if the capacity for surprise is beyond you. Second, always try to explain the phenomena you find puzzling. Third, always evaluate the current explanations to see whether they...Read More...
Here's a situation later on in the piece where I have a new paragraph for "First,". But it's a different context. As for what Chomsky is excited about, we already discussed some of this. First, MP is exciting because it puts Plato’s Problem and Darwin’s Problem—and the apparent tension between them—at the center of inquiry, which is a very ambitious move, since these two antagonistic tensions won’t be at all easy to reconcile. And more exciting still is the fact that we seem to have actually...Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

Could "reading" be ambiguous?

See the bold...the worry is that someone could simply have been "reading" as opposed to reading "about Generative Grammar" (I know that it's a weird interpretation to not attached "reading" to "about", but I'm just curious about this sort of ambiguity): Norbert Hornstein is a professor emeritus of linguistics at the University of Maryland —he’s been reading and thinking about Generative Grammar and its philosophical consequences since first reading Language and Mind as an undergraduate 50...Read More...
I think that there's even an ambiguity regarding whether the bold attaches to "to be able to": I was honored and thrilled to be able to ask Hornstein about linguisticsRead More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

How to address someone

Hello, We used to refer to someone as Miss, Mrs. Ms Mr, but this is not a preferred way to some people who are LGBTQ. I’ve heard that Oxford dictionary included Mx as a new way to call someone who is neither Ms nor Mr. Is it true? If so, how widespread is it? Has it become a norm for English speakers? appleRead More...
Thank you for your reply. It made me feel better to know that you had never once used or encountered "Mx" in speech or in print. I made me feel better because I was worried about being left out of a recent trend. apple How can I change the display name from mitsuko to apple?Read More...
Last Reply By mitsuko · First Unread Post

been meaning

Is the below sentence grammatically correct? My apologies for the delay in getting back to you, I have been meaning to get back to you but always got interrupted by something.Read More...
Hello David, Thank you! Here it is: My apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I have been meaning to get back to you. However I always got interrupted by something.Read More...
Last Reply By Tony C · First Unread Post

drove him

a. I drove John to the hospital unconscious. b. I drove him to the hospital unconscious. c. I drove John, unconscious, to the hospital. d. I drove him, unconscious, to the hospital. Which of the above are grammatical and meaningful? Obviously I couldn't have been unconscious when I drove him/John to the hospital, so John has to be the one who is unconscious. Many thanksRead More...
Hello, everybody—Try as I might, I am not able to hear any of those sentences as indicating grammatically that he/John was unconscioius. I think that, from a strict syntactic and semantic standpoint, each of those sentences indicates that "I" (the driver) was unconscious as "I" drove him/John to the hospital. Now, "drive" is a versatile verb, and it can indeed be used in the object-complement pattern, as it is in the song title "She Drives Me Crazy." However, in that usage, the verb has an...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

those who

1) They who have gone through a war know what to expect. 2) Those who have gone through a war know what to expect. 3) Those of them who have gone through a war know what to expect. Do all of the above sentences mean the same? I think '1' is grammatical, but unnatural, at least in modern English. I think '3' limits the sentence to a group within another group identified as 'them'. '1' and '2' seem synonymous to me and are more general. I think usually they could be used instead of '3'. Am I...Read More...
Hello, Navi—I agree with your commentary about the sentences. The only semantic difference seems to be that (3) is about a group within a group, whereas (1) & (2) are just about the set of people who have gone through a war.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

The meaning of "for"

Does the word "for" make any difference between the following sentences: I've been in France four months. I've been in France for four months. ThanksRead More...
Yes. Again, the meaning in that case will be that you have been there for a four-month period at some point during your lifetime up till now. For example, I've been to India many times, but I have never been there for a month. If I had been there for a month, then I could say that I have been in India for a month.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Deleting the object in the verb pattern [Verb +Objet+ to + infinitive]

Hello, I am wondering whether omitting the object in the following verb pattern would be considered wrong (grammatically speaking). Or it depends on the verb itself. [Verb +Objet+ to + infinitive] Examples: A1. The officers ordered their men to attack the building. A2. The officers ordered to attack the building B1. I warned him not to go there after dark. B2. I warned not to go there after dark.Read More...
Understood. Thank youRead More...
Last Reply By Meriem · First Unread Post

Omitting "to" in [To + verb + and + "to" + verb] pattern

Hello, Q1: Why don't we have "to" before the verb "dine" in the following example? Is it because it borrows it from "to come"? Q2: Is adding "to" before "dine" considered as wrong? Example (1): Whenever he feels lonely, he invites a neighbour to come and dine with him. In case the sentence is written in the following manner: Example (2): Whenever he feels lonely, he invites a neighbour to dine with him. I think we should keep the "to" since it follows the pattern: [Verb + object + to +...Read More...
Thank you David and Gustavo, that was clear.Read More...
Last Reply By Meriem · First Unread Post

"Of the many attempts that ------- to regulate language one way or another, very few ------."

"Of the many attempts that ------- to regulate language one way or another, very few ------." Dear Sir, What answer is the correct one and why? And how to pick the correct answers from such questions? Is there any trick to find out to choose the correct answer from such questions? Thanks in advance! A were made / had succeeded B have been made / have succeeded C are made / succeeded D could have been made / will succeed E are being made / may have succeededRead More...
Thank you, GustavoRead More...
Last Reply By Sundaran · First Unread Post

Reported speech

The teacher said to the girl, "If you are late to school, you will be punished." The teacher said to the girl, "If you are late to school, you will be punished". Should the period be inside the quotation marks or outside here?Read More...
Got it, my dear. Thanks for your usual supportRead More...
Last Reply By Carlos · First Unread Post
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