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Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic

David, Moderator
Dear Grammar Exchange members, As we continue our grammar discussions, I want you to know that I am aware that we are all struggling in various ways as a result of the current pandemic and that my heart goes out to all of you. I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. Although we may not know each other personally, we all know that there is much more to us than the English grammar issues we discuss here. This post is devoted to the dimensions of you and your lives that I know...Read More...
Thank you. I am from ThailandRead More...
Last Reply By Pop · First Unread Post

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that

Should we place "that" after "intense" in the sentence below? In some places the crowds became so intense it caused locals, environmentalists and even governments to complain that overtourism was pushing the region's fragile ecosystems to breaking point. https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/southeast-asia-overtourism-coronavirus-intl-hnk/index.htmlRead More...
Hi, Joshua—"That" is optional in this type of context ("It's so hot [that] it burns").Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Instead

The meaning of "instead" in the sentence below is "other than that" or "contraditory" or "contrary" or "nevertheless", or " in contrast". Which one is appropriate? Instead, its main evening news bulletin praises the government and Mr Duda daily and attacks Mr Trzaskowski, accusing him of being in cahoots with Jewish and LGBT interest groups.Read More...
Hi, Joshua—You appear to be quoting an article in your post; however, you have not placed the quotation in quotation marks (or mentioned the author's name, or the title of the piece of writing from which the quote was taken). That makes it look as though you are asking about a sentence you yourself have written and are uncertain of the meaning of a word that you have chosen to use. I am not going to take the time to search for the article you are quoting, since you should have provided a...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

lie, lay

Hello, This is the first paragraph of an article from The Atlantic. You may have seen a recent viral video that showed a polar bear in the throes of suffering. The beast seems to be in the final hours of its life—its legs wobbling under its weight, its pupils widened in pain, its yellow fur hanging loosely off its bones—as it gnaws on trash, lays down, and shuts its eyes. My comment: I think the underlined “lays down” should be “lies down” because “lay” is a transitive verb which requires an...Read More...
Yes, this is an extremely common grammar error among native speakers. I hear the error almost daily, even in the speech of educated native speakers. If you want to hear the error in abundance, go to any mattress store in America. You will probably hear people say things like "You should lay down on that one" and "Have you laid down on that one yet?" much more than you will hear people say things like "You should lie down on that one" and "Have you lain down on that one yet?" Also, if you...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

write off?

hi, From The Top Ten Distinctions Between Millionaires and The Middle Class by Keith Smith, P 95. "Perhaps the greatest advantage of owning your own business is the tax advantage. Business owners can write off several things that you can’t as an employee. I am not a tax attorney or tax strategist, so I will not offer advice here, but you absolutely must learn about the tax advantages you are entitled to as a business owner." Does (write off) mean (reduce) or (delete) or what exactly?Read More...
Thanks a lot.Read More...
Last Reply By izzylovesyouall · First Unread Post

Past or Passive Form

1. Is "tampered" a past tense verb or a passive form or verb? 2. How did he tampered a witness to implore him to stonewall Congress? I am not clear about this statement, is it due to weak in English grammar? And he tampered with a witness, imploring him to stonewall Congress," Mueller wrote in the op-ed posted Saturday evening. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/11/politics/robert-mueller-defends-roger-stone-prosecution/index.htmlRead More...

donate to causes?

Hi, From The Top Ten Distinctions Between Millionaires and The Middle Class by Keith Smith, P 88. "Millionaires get up, do what they love, spend time with their families, donate to causes they believe in, travel to exotic places, and continually look for investments to increase their net worth." Could you please give the possible words that mean the same as the highlighted parts? ThanksRead More...
thanks a lotRead More...
Last Reply By izzylovesyouall · First Unread Post

our class has 35 students

Hello, Is sentence 3 problematic? 1. There are 35 students in our class. 2.We have 35 students in our class. 3. Our class has 35 students. appleRead More...

resumptive pronouns?

Can sentences 1-5 be used for the given meanings: 1) Tom and Sally, the police arrested them. (Meaning: The police arrested Tom and Sally.) 2) Tom and Sally, do you think the police should arrest them? (Meaning: Do you think the police should arrest Tom and Sally?) 3) Tom and Sally, I want to see get out of jail. 4) Tom and Sally, I want to see them get out of jail. (Meaning: I want to see Tom and Sally get out of jail.) 5) Tom and Sally, do you want to see them get out of jail? (Meaning: Do...Read More...
Hi, Navi, I think (1) can work, with "Tom and Sally" being a dislocated object. I'm not so sure (2) can work the same way as (1), because the pronominal object is inside a content clause and that sets it too far apart from the expanded object. I think (3), (4) and (5) can work without "get." You might want to read a recent related thread about preposing and dislocation .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Total

Hi everyone! May I have a question? After the word "total" as adjective, we use plural or single noun? For example, if I write these three sentences, which is correct? 1. There are 20% out of the total students choosing science field. 2. There are 20% out of the total student choosing science field. 3. 7% out of the total profit is distributed to shippers.Read More...
Hi, Moon Le, We generally use "of," not "out of," with percentages. By the way, your question about the singular or plural form should be related to the statement of percentages, not to the presence of the adjective "total." Notice you can eliminate "total" and your doubt remains: 1'. There are 20% of the students choosing science. 2'. There are 20% of the student choosing science. 3'. 7% of the profit is distributed to shippers. (2') is incorrect. You need the plural "student s ." If you...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

went

which is correct:1- They went to the doctor complaining of chest pains. 2-They went to the doctor to complain of chest pains.Read More...
Hi, zonzon, Both are grammatically correct, but different in meaning: (1) means they went to the doctor's while they were complaining of chest pains (time), while (2) means they visited the doctor for the purpose of complaining/in order to complain about chest pains (purpose). I'm not sure that "complain" is the verb speakers would naturally use in the circumstances. Perhaps they wanted to ask about the chest pains they were experiencing.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

If the conditions in all zoos...

Which one is the correct option? Please explain. If the conditions in all zoos were improved, then the suffering of many animals _________. 1) would be reduced 2) would reduceRead More...
Active voice: If the conditions in all zoos were improved, this (improvement) would reduce the suffering of many animals. Using the passive is certainly much more elegant.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Why do some people...

Which one is grammatically and naturally correct? Please explain. 1. Why do some people ask questions on Quora for which answers could easily be found by searching on Google? 2. Why do some people ask questions on Quora to which answers could easily be found by searching on Google?Read More...
Thanks 😇Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

pays handsomely?

Hi, From The Top Ten Distinctions Between Millionaires and The Middle Class by Keith Smith, P 80. "Millionaires have also developed the special skill of getting people to work well together, which pays handsomely. It is a skill, however, that takes time to develop. It is the ability to get people to embrace one another’s differences and to assign the right person to the right position." Does (which) refer to the (special skill) or to (getting people to worl well together)? In other words,...Read More...
Thank you very much.Read More...
Last Reply By izzylovesyouall · First Unread Post

The trauma will be...

What does this part of the sentence below mean? "for things to be the same/normal" ▪ The trauma will be too heavy for her for things to be the same/normal . Is the sentence below correct? If it's, what does it mean? I am confused about how this interrogative sentence below formed. Are two questions merged in one sentence? ▪ Where was she without me for this to even be possible?Read More...
Yes, you can say that, with a slight change of meaning: 1. The trauma will be too heavy for her = She will go through an excessively traumatic experience. 2. ... for things to be the same/normal for her = She will find it hard (or impossible) to get back to her normal life.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

How is

Why does the sentence below use "how is"? Why can't just take away "How"? "How is it difficult for humans to unite to fight a common enemy that's killing people indiscriminately?"Read More...
Is' isn't a question word. 'How' forms a 'wh-question' while starting a question with 'is' forms a 'yes/no' question or what is called 'a closed question'. They are not contradicting, but different. With 'how is it difficult' the focus is on 'uniting with greater difficulty'. The speaker knows it is very difficult to make our leaders unite. If you used 'is it difficult', the writer would seem unsure of the answer. Here are few examples that have just come to mind: a) How is it difficult to...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

doubts

1) I doubted the science fiction story I had written. Does that sentence make sense? The idea is that I had doubts about it; I didn't know if it was good or not. I doubted its value. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, Gustavo, Yes, I agree.Read More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

than

Could you explain the meaning of "any more than" in the sentence below? I could not understand the meaning of the sentence while it joins the later clause after "than". "As we are experiencing firsthand, you cannot fight the pandemic with lies and disinformation any more than you can fight it with hate or incitement to hatred," Merkel said.Read More...
So deepRead More...
Last Reply By joshua · First Unread Post

Since

There are many new houses belonging to the low income employees. They have been built at a high cost since 4 years ago. To me, "since 4 years ago" is not an acceptable combination. What do you think?Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, This question has been discussed many times on this forum, and I remember sharing in one of its discussions. See here: https://thegrammarexchange.inf.../topic/since-and-ago BTW, this question reminds me of a sentence written by DOC V in one of his emails. He wrote to me, "We (David and DOC V) have been good friends since years before the Grammar Exchange even existed." Although it is rare to use, it seems that native speakers use it spontaneously.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

A photo opportunity

What is the relationship between the statement before and after "a photo opportunity that"? He is also expected to be photographed wearing it, a photo opportunity that some of the President's aides practically begged him to agree to and hope will encourage skeptical Trump supporters to do the same.Read More...
Hi, Joshua, The original text speaks about the possibility of Trump wearing a mask. The appositive phrase "a photo opportunity ..." refers to that possibility.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Can "hear" come in progressive?

ceedhanna
While he ………… his young brother, he felt something wrong in his speech. was hearing hears is hearing heard This sentence was discussed in an Egyptian Facebook group for English Teachers. Their opinions were like that: Some answered (heard) Some answered (was hearing) Those who answered (heard) justify their answer that (hear) cannot be in progressive. But the second group provided a proof: I thought I was hearing things. (Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English) That was the music that...Read More...
Hi, Ceedhanna, It is well-known that 'hear' isn't usually used in the progressive form. So, when can it be used in the progressive? A Practical English Grammar says that 'hear' can be used in the progressive when it means 'listen formally to' (complaints / evidence etc.). - The court is hearing evidence this afternoon. The book adds that 'hear' meaning 'receive news or letters' can also be used in the progressive form but only in the present perfect and future : - I've been hearing all about...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

sales equals income

Hi, From The Top Ten Distinctions Between Millionaires and The Middle Class by Keith Smith, P 82. "Millionaires are always open to learning better ways to run their businesses. Millionaires understand that sales equals income but massive income equals having a team built on the foundation of trust." Does (sales) in the context above mean (items bought and sold)? Thanks.Read More...
Thanks a lot.Read More...
Last Reply By izzylovesyouall · First Unread Post

early (on) in life.

We should adopt a healthy lifestyle early (on) in life. How does the sentence above change in meaning with and without "on"? What is the function of the "on" in terms of meaning? AppleRead More...
That is ambiguous, because "early in life" can refer to "knew" or to "wanted to do," although the former is more likely as it is usual that at a young age we discover what we want to be as adults (that is, if "wanted to do" refers to one's future projects rather than to one's current likes). In reply to your question, it is unclear whether she still knows or has forgotten. Perhaps we can reinforce the ongoing knowledge by using "already": - Early in life she already knew what she wanted to do.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post
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