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Use of Quotes

davidmoderator
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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participle subject advice needed

Hi And thanks for reading this post. I am trying to find the reason for errors in writing. Being a guy, *it is hard for him to understand her point of view. Having heard this before, *her patience was wearing thin. Being very rational, *speaking frankly was a very important to him. Wounding like an arrow, *he sometimes hated to hear the truth. Mentioned as constructive criticism,*there were no hard feelings. The explanation is: When a participle clause is placed before a clause, the...Read More...
Thanks. Brilliant reply. I just need one last thing clearing up. Can you please tell me, i read something online which puzzled me " Phrases that describe should be placed close to what they describe." Can you expand on this, is there a manner in which descrpitive phrases should be laid out. Many thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By john121 · First Unread Post

sequence of tenses

husseinhassan
Good morning, our teacherS, From The General Secondary Education Certificate Examination of Egypt, 2018: 1. I worked hard all day round, but I had failed to ___________ my goals. ( find / follow / score / achieve ) Sure, "achieve" is the correct choice, but I wonder whether the sentence is MEANINGFULLY correct or not. Note the tenses sequence, i.e. Wh ich action logically should happen first? Shouldn't it be: 2. I HAD WORKED hard all day round, but I FAILED to achieve my goals. Or 3. I HAD...Read More...
Hi, Hussein: The normal, native expression is not "all day round"; it's " the whole day round." If you search for that phrase, you will reap a nice harvest of results. I agree with Gustavo's answer. I'd also like to mention that it is perfectly fine to use the past simple in both clauses, to omit the repeated subject from the second clause, and to use "all day." You do not have to use "all the day" instead of "all day" if the period of time is completed. "All day" is correct in both cases.Read More...
Last Reply By davidmoderator · First Unread Post

get it complete / completing / completed

Which is correct? What rules that we follow? Thanks. Since the tasks is hard, Peter has to burn the midnight oil to get it complete / completing / completed on time.Read More...
That's true, David, so true that I always teach my students only the pattern with "to"-infinitive along with the one using the past participle, in pairs of examples like the following: - Peter got a friend to complete the task for him. (active causative meaning) - Peter got his task completed . (passive causative meaning) I agree. I just made the addition in case somebody else came across this thread (that's why I wrote it for the "general public," so to speak).Read More...
Last Reply By gustavocontributor · First Unread Post

soon

Which position is correct? Are they same in meaning in any positions? 1 (a) It was soon time for lunch. (b) It was time for lunch soon. (c) It was time soon for lunch. 2 (a) Father lay down and dozed off soon. (b) Father lay down and soon dozed off.Read More...
Hi, bear_bear, 1(c) is the only one that is wrong, because there "soon" interferes between "time" and "for lunch": the phrase is "time for lunch," and it cannot be split. The difference between 1(a) and 1(b), as well as between 2(a) and 2(b), is subtle. I prefer 1(a) and 2(b) because the end position gives too much importance to an adverb of time that does not contribute much meaning. When the adverbial provides more information, then the final position may be justified: 1(d) It was time for...Read More...
Last Reply By gustavocontributor · First Unread Post

Formal or informal English

Hi, I have this question concerning teaching English (grammar): Should we teach formal English only or we should teach the informal form too?Read More...
Hi, Ayman and happy Eid al-Fitr, As for me, as a non-native speaker, I always teach students what they have in their books. In fact, that has been Okaasan's advice to me. So, when our books mention something informal, I refer to it and connect my explanation with the exam. For example, our books say: I wish there was/were something I was interested in. I tell my students that both 'was' and 'were' after 'wish' here are correct, but 'were' is preferable . If they have to choose between them...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmedbtm · First Unread Post

Verb form after "rather than"

Sometimes I see to infinitive and V-ing used after rather than. Can you please explain the correct use to me?Read More...
Hi, Thienan, and welcome to the G.E's new platform, 'Rather than' can be used either as a conjunction or a preposition. It can be followed by 'a bare infinitive' or 'ing' . Rachel, our great late moderator, gives more detailed information about 'rather than' as a conjunction (or a "quasi-coordinator' according to Quirk) and as a preposition on the following link: https://thegrammarexchange.inf...-than-and-instead-of On 'A Practical English Grammar' (4th ed):Read More...
Last Reply By ahmedbtm · First Unread Post

When it rains, it pours vs It never rains, but it pours

"When it rains, it pours".Have you ever heard that idiom before? I would like to know does it same in meaning with "It never rains but it pours". Thanks.Read More...
Hi, bearbear, Yes. Both of them mean misfortunes seldom come singly. I also agree with the writer 'Joe Devney' that using 'but' in 'It never rains but it pours' is a bit unusual. See his opinion here: https://www.quora.com/What-doe...ns-but-it-pours-mean BTW, you should say: I would like to know if it has the same meaning as: .........Read More...
Last Reply By ahmedbtm · First Unread Post

superlative

1. He completed the test most quickly in our class. 2. He completed the test the most quickly in our class. 3. He completed the test the quickest in our class. Which are the correct choices? Thank you!Read More...
Hi, Ruifeng: Sorry for the delay. The awkwardness of your sentences was a bit of a turn-off at first, and then your question slid down the page. Now that I've returned to your question, I see the source of the awkwardness. The problem is that your sentences all correctly express where or in what circumstances he (habitually) completed the test (the) quickest / most quickly , whereas you are SURELY trying to say something else, something that is expressed by sentences such as the following:...Read More...
Last Reply By davidmoderator · First Unread Post

PERSONAL AND IMPERSONAL PASSIVE

Is it Ok to use "suggest" in the following form: The party is suggested to (be / being) cancelled?Read More...
Hi, Ayman, Thank you for sending us a picture of the page in question, which confirms what David has told you. According to the book, "suggest" can only be used with pattern (B), that is: - It + be + suggested + that + Subject + verb in the indicative mood (in this case "suggest" is similar to "indicate" or "hint"): It has been suggested that the party was cancelled. - It + be + suggested + that + Subject + verb in the subjunctive mood (in this case "suggest" is synonymous with "recommend"):...Read More...
Last Reply By gustavocontributor · First Unread Post

like a wild animal

Are these sentences correct: 1) They threw him in a cage like a wild animal. 2) They threw him in a cage, like a wild animal. 3) He threw me a bone like a dog. 4) He threw me a bone, like a dog. Does the comma change anything? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello again, Navi: To me, that can't mean that she talked to you as if you were a child. That is not a possible meaning. What (5) means is that she was like a child when she talked to you; that is, she talked to you in a childish manner. In informal dialectal English, you might very well hear " She talked to me like I was a child ," and that, of course, would have the "as if I were a child" meaning. As you know, one alternative to using "as if I were a child" or "like I was a child" is to...Read More...
Last Reply By davidmoderator · First Unread Post

grammar issue

hi is this sentence grammatically wrong or just uncommon : he screamed while being shot at.Read More...
Hello, Sadra, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! The sentence "He screamed while being shot at" is neither wrong nor uncommon. The sentence is grammatically correct, and the grammatical structures it contains are common. What is it about the sentence that perplexes you or causes you to worry that it might be wrong? Are you familiar with reduced adverbial clauses, the progressive passive, and the prepositional passive? The sentence means the same thing as "He screamed while he was being...Read More...
Last Reply By davidmoderator · First Unread Post

"He told me his name was" VS "He told me his name is"

When considering the following example: "I met a man yesterday. His name is John" I understand the idea behind using "is" instead of "was" - here, arguably, the condition is permanent (somebody's name does not change and is true for all times, rather than a specific time). However, when considering the following sentence: "I met a man yesterday and he told me that his name was/is John" The past tense seems like a more sensible/fluid option. Many study materials (specifically, for the GMAT...Read More...
Thanks againRead More...
Last Reply By Alsawwah · First Unread Post

sunbathed or was sunbathing

ceedhanna
When I was In Hurghada, I ...........a lot. sunbathed was sunbathingRead More...
Swan has contradicted himself with his own example, unfortunately. The assertion that "[t]he past continuous is used to express repeated or habitual actions in the past that were temporary" is correct, and Gustavo is correct in affirming its truth. Swan's example ( At the time when it happened, I was travelling to New York a lot ) actually serves to illustrate the truth of that generalization. "A lot" in the phrase "was travelling to New York a lot " expresses that there were numerous and...Read More...
Last Reply By davidmoderator · First Unread Post

Usage and omission of "the"

Hi there, can anyone please tell me if I can omit the in the following sentence? Is the in the following sentence optional? (The) villagers in this village are very rich because they use modern technology for cultivation. And one more question, I was watching a cricket match and I heard a commentator (a native speaker) saying "The match is in an interesting stage. Indian fans are shouting for Virat Kohli and his team." Don't you think it should be " the Indian fans are shouting for Virat...Read More...
Hello, Subhajit123, I find that "the" is required because we are speaking about specific villagers, those living in "this village." That noun phrase is comparable to " the inhabitants of this village." Strictly speaking, "the" is necessary as it refers to the Indian fans watching the match, but I think it can be acceptably omitted in speech. Please note that in your explanation you are mixing up the people who are chanting with the police trying to stop them. I find the first omission of the...Read More...
Last Reply By gustavocontributor · First Unread Post

Unusual Plural

My school uses an alligator as a mascot. His name is Navi (pronounced Nav-ee) the navigator. We frequently use his name in the plural as we have various versions of his image. How should we make his name plural? Navis Navies Please...anything but an unconventional use of the apostrophe.Read More...
Hi, GrammarCrazed, Great to see you on the new platform, GrammarCrazed. It has been a long time since I last saw your great comments here. I'm very happy to see you here again. Hi, Heather W, I completely agree with GrammarCrazed. The plural of 'Navi' is 'Navis'. You can see the word 'Nazis' on LDOCE as the plural form of 'Nazi', which is close in its written form- and not in its meaning- to 'Navi'.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmedbtm · First Unread Post

Clean / Cleaned?

Which is correct? I could get the toilet clean / cleaned. Thanks.Read More...
Thanks for telling me my thread before. Btw, It's not very convenient to look back the previous threads. Could you please try to "squeeze" all the previous threads in "personal activities stream" ? Just as like the old version that we can find the threads page by page. Thanks. it's my point of view. Hopefully it'll be useful in future.Read More...
Last Reply By bearbear · First Unread Post

boasted / boastful

Which is the word choice suited to the question below? 1 What was the miller boasted / boastful to the king? 2 What did the miller boast to the king? Are these sentences above considered correct in terms of meaning or question? ThanksRead More...
Hi, bear_bear: You should have said, "Which word choice is suited to the question below?" Sentence (1) is incorrect. You can say: (1a) Was the miller boastful to the king? Sentence (2) is not incorrect, but "boast of" would be more idiomatic: (2a) What did the miller boast of to the king? (2b) Of what did the miller boast to the king? With the corrections I have made, they are correct. You could have used such sentences if you were speaking English hundreds of years ago.Read More...
Last Reply By davidmoderator · First Unread Post

Did + base verb

Is the following sentence should be "did + base verb" ? Why should we use "did" ? Should I cross out the verb "did"? Thanks Peter did park his car near the gate of his house.Read More...
That's exactly right, Hussein. In both examples, emphatic "did" (past tense of "do") would also be emphasized in the speaking of the sentence. For example: A: Peter should have parked his car near the gate of his house. B: Peter did park his car near the gate of his house. (Go and look.) Speaker B's sentence could alternatively be "He did park his car there" or, simply, "He did." The point is that B's sentence would NOT naturally be "Peter parked his car there," which gives no emphasis to...Read More...
Last Reply By davidmoderator · First Unread Post

ripen / ripe fruits

Which is correct? They saw a guava tree with many ripen / ripe fruits.Read More...
I agree with Ahmed_btm. Interestingly, "ripen" can be changed from a verb into an adjective (a participial adjective) by adding -ed: "ripened." Thus, we can speak of there being many ripe guavas on the guava tree, or of there being many ripened guavas on the guava tree. "Ripened" is commonly found in hyphenated constructions, like "sun-ripened tomatoes" and "tree-ripened guavas." In your sentence, bear_bear, "ripe" would be the usual choice, even though both words work. If the guavas on the...Read More...
Last Reply By davidmoderator · First Unread Post

Determiners and Adjectives

Is there a definitive, or close to a definitive, decision about whether or not determiners are a subcategory of adjectives? I was taught that articles are adjectives and that some pronouns FUNCTION as adjectives. But now I read that articles and some pronouns, as well as some quantifies, are all determiners, but NOT adjectives!Read More...
DocV, I am American and Emglish is my first language. Most of my grammar I learned in Catholic elementary school. In high school, instruction was more about literature, vocabulary building, different types of writing, and spelling. Grammar was an elective in 11th grade and I took it. Our book was Strunk and White's Elements of Style which focuses more on usage and composition. It is a serious thing for me to add a part of speech and I'm not yet comfortable with the idea of determiners, but I...Read More...
Last Reply By reenie · First Unread Post

only one

1) Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere. 2) One alone is a wanderer. Two together are going somewhere. The first sentence is from the famous classic 'Vertigo' by Hitchcock. Scottie : Don't you think it's a waste, to wander separately? Madeleine : Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere. Scottie : No, I don't think that's necessarily true. Source: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Vertigo I think understand the sentence. But is it grammatical?Read More...

What Say You

ahmad
Hello, everyone, The following is from Faith & Reason Edited by Paul Helm , Chapter 59: David Hume, Analogies and Disanalogies 1. "And what say you to the discoveries in anatomy, chemistry, botany?" 2. "Secondly, you have no reason, on your theory, for ascribing perfection to the Deity, even in his finite capacity; or for supposing him free from every error, mistake, or incoherence, in his undertakings. " I don't understand the structure of the text in bold face in '1'. Can someone...Read More...
Thank you very much for the explanations. Replying with a quote is as fine as it was back in the day, but when a new post is started one must resort to options appearing under the"Format Dropdown Menu". And they surely are not as great as they were earlier.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

From/Since

ahmad
Hello, everyone, My dog has been missing since 08 June 2018. My dog has been missing from 08 June 2018. My dog is missing since 08 June 2018. My dog is missing from 08 June 2018. Are all the above sentences correct? If so, do they mean the same thing? Thanks.Read More...
Hi, David, Thanks for your insightful explanation. By the way, the dog was conjectural. So, I am sorry for having made you feel bad at all. Next time, I will be more careful.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

grammar question

"Please see Annex 1 and 2 for case studies on our existing clients within the healthcare sector which shows how we have successfully implemented recycling procedures which has reduced overall waste volumes and increased recycling rates." What is the error in this sentence? It doesn't sound right.Read More...
Hello, Jamest83, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! There are two grammatical errors of the same type in that sentence. In both of the "which"-clauses (relative clauses), a singular verb is used; however, since the antecedent of "which" is plural in each case, and since "which" functions as subject in both relative clauses, a plural verb is needed. Below I have highlighted the head noun of the antecedent of "which" in each relative clause and have changed the verb of the relative clause to...Read More...
Last Reply By davidmoderator · First Unread Post

Question in "past tense" and answer and explanation in "present tense"

Hi there, I have a question. Suppose someone asks me a question in past tense. I also answers in past tense but in explanation can I mix the tenses? Here is the context: John: Subha, did you sign the petition last night saying you want death penalty of the murder of a little child? Me: Yes, I did. I want the parents of the murdered child get justice so I have signed that/signed that. Which tense should I use in the last part?Read More...
DocV, Thanks a lot for your time.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post
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