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Whose is this pen, or Whose pen is this.

I know the following two sentences are both correct and there is very little semantic difference. But pressed for an explanation in regard to the minute difference in nuance, if there is any, what would that be? Whose pen is this? Whose is this pen? AppleRead More...
The only way to make a question with "whose" as an adjective, with the present or past tense of "be," is: "Whose pen is this?" This is modern conversational and written English. _______ You may find examples of "whose is this X?" in Biblical English, , as in these examples: Pistis Sophia: A Third Book: Chapter 113 ... piece ofThe piece of money which was brought unto Jesus. money and thou didst see that it was of silver and copper and didst ask: 'Whose is this image? ...Read More...

Is 'for' somehow a formality marker?

peteryoung
Here's this excerpt from a history textbook: As the new elements in medieval society, town-dwelling merchants and manufacturers had to struggle to obtain acceptance for their activities, which did not fit the traditional concept of the three estates. The word, which have been troubling me for so long, which is 'for', occurs again. And, once again, it occurs in a place which would normally seem to be occupied by 'of'. (I've consulted at least four dictionaries all of which have given examples...Read More...
Let's take the first sentence: "”As the new elements in medieval society, town-dwelling merchants and manufacturers had to struggle to obtain acceptance for their activities , which did not fit the traditional concept of the three estates. The preposition "for" is correctly used, although, given that the direct object is "acceptance," it's in a relatively rare construction. This is because the noun "activities," which is the grammatical indirect object of "obtain," is an abstract noun.Read More...

the perplexing 'the' problem

peteryoung
Hi, My question is: why do the word 'the' appear in the second sentence and not in the first when the two relative clauses both serve the function of narrowing down the reference of the head noun? 1. Like kings and princes who strove to create stable and effective governments, medieval religious leaders endeavored to centralize the organization and improvethe quality of the medieval church. 2. Who was the actor who played Romeo? In the first sentence, the relative clause 'who strove to...'...Read More...
About the first two sentences: "¢ Who was the actor who played Romeo? The reason that the second sentence must have an article is that it is a singular count noun. Singular count nouns need an article or a determiner in front of them. In addition, the conversation is most likely about one particular person who played in a particular performance; therefore, the definite article is necessary. _______ "¢ Like kings and princes who strove to create stable and effective governments, medieval...Read More...

About " a lot"

Hi, I alread know that a lot is sometimes a noun and sometimes an adverb. But I don't know what the following is. Do you have many books? Yes, I have a lot. I am confused wheter this " a lot" is deleted form from " a lot of books"- this is noun, or it is just an adverb which means " a great extent or degree". I'll wait for the answer.Read More...
In the sentence you present, "a lot" is a pronoun. It can't be an adverb, since it doesn't modify a verb. "A lot" can be a quantifier (with "of"), a pronoun, or an adverb. "A lot of " is a quantifier: "”I have a lot of friends who still don't know how to use a computer. "A lot" can be a pronoun. "It's an ellipted (shortened) form of "a lot of [noun]": "”Do you have many friends who've been to Antarctica? "”Yes, I have a lot now. When "a lot" is an adverb, it means "to a great extent or...Read More...

adjectival passive

dear I do not know the Adjectival Passive . Please tell me more about this Thank youRead More...
"Adjectival passive" is not a common term in English grammar; it's used more often for some other languages. English does, however, have an adjectival passive. An adjectival passive is a verb phrase that contains the verb "be" or another linking verb such as "look," seem," "appear," sound," taste," etc. plus an adjective formed from a past participle. It is not a full clause, only a verb phrase. When you say "I am satisfied with the service at my bank" you are using the adjectival passive.Read More...

Noun and gerund

dear i have this sentence Observation of th Sun,Moon,and stars has enabled humans to determine both the seasons and the time from day. I want to ask why there is no determiner to the word"Observation?" .is it better to change it to the observation? if not,why And Can I use "Observating" instead of Observation"? If possible, tell me difference in using Observating" and Observation"?Read More...
"Observation" can be either a count or a noncount noun. It is a non-count noun in certain phrases like "under observation" and "powers of observation," or when it has a general, abstract meaning as in "Observation and record-keeping must be in progress at all times." In your sentence, however, "observation" would be better as a singular count noun, and therefore needs an article. The observation refers to a specific observation, so the definite article is appropriate here. You could also...Read More...

tense

Is there a difference between these two sentences: 1-I pay 20 dollars a day for my hotel room. 2-I am paying 20 dollars a day for my hotel room.Read More...
It depends on which conversation the speaker is engaged in. If the speaker is reporting to a friend, he might say: I pay $20a day for my hotel room (every time I go there). You should stay there. Similarly, the speaker could say: I stay at the Grand Hotel (every time I go to Spring City). It's very convenient. _______ In contrast, the speaker could say: I'm paying $20 a day for my hotel room for my hotel room and I expect to have clean sheets every day. I'm staying at the Grand Hotel. Can...Read More...

corner

Are all these sentences correct? If so , is there any difference in meaning? 1. He sat in the corner reading. 2. He sat on the corner reading. 3. He sat at the corner reading.Read More...
Since most likely he was reading inside a building, IN the corner – at a place surrounded by walls – would be the logical answer. "On the corner" and "at the corner" would refer to an intersection of streets. For example: I'll meet you ON /AT the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street. There are several postings on this very subject on the Newsgroup. Do a search for "on the corner" at "Find," at the yellow folder at the third tab on the top of these postings. RachelRead More...

right thing

Which is correct: 1-You did the right thing in coming to us. 2-You did the right thing coming to us. 3-You did the right thing to come to us. To me it seems that 1 is correct; 2 means: "You did the right thing while you were coming to us. 3 means: "You did the right thing in order to come to us.Read More...
All three sentences are correct, and all three mean the same thing, with no other meaning. They all mean "”You came to us, and that was the right thing If you use "-ing" without a preposition, as in Sentence 2, you can use a comma, to show the pause: "”You did the right thing, coming to us Google example: "”He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. ... bastion.diaryland.com/1815.html The comma...Read More...

almost

Almost is labeled an adverb. How then are we able to say "Almost everyone (pronoun) came to the party?"Read More...
"Almost" is modifying "every" in "everyone." The adverb "almost" can modify a number or a quantity: Almost a hundred people came. It got warmer today in Antarctica. The temperature was almost 0 degrees F. Almost all the students joined the protest march. The merchandise weighs almost a ton. The candidate did not get every vote, but almost every vote. What a drag! Almost no one came to the party. The poor hostess. _____ Quirk* lists "almost" as a "downtoner" (in addition to being an adverb)...Read More...

noun clause, phrase

dear Please tell me more about NOUN CLAUSE we have THAT-clause WH-clause NOUN phrase To-phrase V-ing phrase but in this example To become a doctor is difficult Becoming a doctor is difficult tell me if two above sentences are different meaning? and these sentences ex You are the first person to tell I am funny You are the first person tellingI am funny Is my two sentences the same or different meaning?Read More...
This is a tall order. I'll try to answer concisely. 1. A noun phrase in a sentence or clause is that part that functions as a noun. It can be a single word, such as "I," a phrase, or a full clause. 2. A noun clause is a full clause that functions as a noun in a sentence. A noun clause can be the grammatical subject or the direct object. Some noun clauses can be subject complements, while others can be the object of a preposition. For example: "” That she is a difficult person is an...Read More...

difficult sentence

dear there is an error in this sentence but i can find it ex because it is often dependent of the conditions of crystallization, the composition of the minerals in a rock can be important in determining the rock's geologic history. Can you finf where this sentence is wrong? thank youRead More...
Yes. The error is "dependent of." The correct phrase is "dependent ON." The verb depend is followed by ON. RachelRead More...

prepositional passive

dear I have this strange grammar about PASSIVE as known, We just can change one sentence from ACTIVE to PASSIVE when the main verb of that sentence is TRANSITIVE verb. (not passive for other verbs). But, I found a point of Passive very strange in book. ex He stays in the bed -> The bed is stayed by him. Can we change sentence with main verb being 'INTRANSITIVE + preposition +Object" into PASSIVE like the above example? please tell me more about that Thanh you for your rely.Read More...
By adding a preposition, it is possible, but not normally used by native English speakers to say that something was "stayed in by" There are only 7 (seven!) examples on Google. Geomancy.Net: Home-> Ask Expert Forum for practical reasons, if the Home is stayed in by three persons eg. 1. husband. 2. wife. 3. son. we can apply the BINDING element of both husband and wife ... 3dglobe.com/phpforum/article. php?bid=2&fid=1&mid=16775&new= - Hotel star rating in The AnswerBank: Travel...Read More...

expletives

Is it true that "car" is the subject of these sentences and "it," "here," and "there" are expletives? It is a car. Here is a car. There is a car. Also, would the same be true for this sentence: That is a car. I've seen a few references on web sites about expletives, but none of them mention "that."Read More...
An expletive in grammar, as described by Bryan Garner*, is "a word having no special meaning but standing (usually at the beginning of a clause) for a delayed subject. The two most common expletives are it and there at the beginnings of clauses or sentences." The American Heritage Dictionary** has this definition: a. Linguistics . A word or other grammatical element that has no meaning but is needed to fill a syntactic position, such as the words it and there in the sentences It's raining...Read More...

clause

Are both of these sentences correct: 1-Like Raskolnikov in the Crime and punishment, Ivan is a lost soul in The Brothers Karamazov. 2-Like Raskolnikov in the Crime and punishment, Ivan is a lost soul , in The Brothers Karamazov.Read More...
The title of the first book is "Crime and Punishment," with no article. In terms of punctuation, Sentence 1 is correct; Sentence 2 is not correct. There should be no comma between "Ivan is a lost soul" and "in The Brothers Karamazov." Neither sentence is natural, however, for reasons of information presentation. The sentences as written do not fulfill the requirements of information flow. The name of the work in which the character Ivan appears should be provided right after his name so that...Read More...

better

Are thess sentences correct: 1-He is better than to do anything of that sort. 2-He is better than to be sent away. 3-He is better than to be given such a job. 4-He is better than to be in a second-rate company. 5-He is smarter than to do anything of that sort. 6-He is smarter than to be in a second-rate company.Read More...
These kinds of sentences, except possibly for one, don't lend themselves to the use of "better." Here are some alternatives: A. Action attributable to the subject: "”(About an action that could be criticized) He wouldn't do anything of that sort. He's above that kind of thing "”He's too good [a person/a lawyer/a manager/a student, etc.] to do anything of that sort "”He's better than that (?) (if the action represents incompetence) (1) "”It would be unworthy of him to do anything of that sort...Read More...

doesn't want to

Which of these sentences are correct: 1-He keeps not eating lunch whenever he doesn't want to. 2-He keeps not eating lunch whenever he doesn't want. 3-He keeps not eating lunch whenever he wants not to.Read More...
The sentences above are not correct. The sentence could be: He doesn't eat lunch whenever he doesn't want to. OR He doesn't eat lunch whenever he doesn't want it. OR He still doesn't eat lunch whenever he doesn't want to OR He still doesn't eat lunch whenever he doesn't want it. _______ "He keeps not eating lunch" is an extremely awkward sentence and would not be used normally in speech by native English speakers. The clause "whenever he wants not to," too, is awkward and would not normally...Read More...

Present Perfect or Simple Past/Infinitive or -ing form

Please help me to know which one is correct: 1- After further consideration, we have decided to hold off the purchase of this suite. 2- After further consideration, we decided to hold off the purchasing of this suite. Thank you so much CyrusRead More...
Both forms are correct, but they belong to different time frames. If the speaker and whoever else is involved have made the decision very recently, and if the decision is "hanging in the air," so to speak, the correct main verb is "have decided." That's because the decision is valid and relevant to the moment of speaking. For example: (Jason and Maria have been looking at bedroom suites and have promised the salesperson that they will announced their decision after lunch.) Maria says:...Read More...

future in the past

Is the following sentence correct: We'd visit her next week. If yes, does this mean that using expressions like soon, tomorrow, soon...etc is OK? Please give as many examples as possible. Thanks a lot.Read More...
The sentence would be correct if it is a part of reported speech: I said that we'd visit her next week. My husband said that we'd visit her soon. My wife said that we'd visit her tomorrow. If is also correct if it is part of a conditional sentence: If we could, we'd visit her next week. We'd visit her next week if we had the time. We'd visit her next week, but we'll be in Africa then. _______ It is not correct if it stands alone as you have it. For the sentence to stand alone, it would have...Read More...

Using "to be"

Please advise if the following sentence is correct: It was nice to be talking to you. Do we need to use "to be" in here or not? Many thanks. CyrusRead More...
The usual expression would be without "to be", "It was nice talking to you." However, the sentence is also perfectly correct as you have it, "It was nice to be talking to you." _______ Google shows 121,000 examples for "it was nice talking to you," like this: "¢ It was nice talking to you. Bye." And you watch your perfect client rush away to find someone else to talk to. It's important that you are able to ... sbinfocanada.about.com/cs/marketing/a/getclientsib "¢ When you feel like it might...Read More...

What is the real subject when using quantifiers?

Help - I am so confused about what is the true subject of sentences containing quantifiers (pronouns?) with of. I have found conflicting information on various web sites. I went through your threads and found several examples of discussions on this topic: * One of the few available walls in the dining roomshowcases a huge collage of Asian faces." The subject of the sentence is "one." The verb that agrees with "one" is singular: "showcases." * Could you please tell me which is the real...Read More...
Susan asks: "Is [the grammatical subject] the quantifier or is [it] the noun in the prepositional phrase?" There is no straightforward answer to the question. A good rule of thumb is that if you see "of" after a noun in such an expression, the following noun is NOT the grammatical subject; it's the object of the preposition "of." The grammatical subject is the quantifying word, which is usually a noun or a quantifying pronoun. For example, in "”Nice to meet you, Thurgood. Each of the many...Read More...

sentence analysis

I'm having trouble with the sentence analysis of the following. I understand that "nobody" is the subject and "would want to grant" is the verb phrase. What about the object? "denial" is the object? Or "denial of the Holocaust"? Or "the status of one half of a...."is the object? I can't grasp the sentence construction. SVOO construction? "the status of one half...." is appositive? In a class on 20th Century European history, nobody would want to grant denial of the Holocaust the status of...Read More...
Yes, it's an SVOO construction, but not of the kind you describe. The direct object is "status" and the indirect object is "denial" (see below for why). The sentence as written is opaque and hard to process. It contains an abstract, inanimate indirect object: "denial." The sentence could be made much clearer by adding one little word"”"to""”before the noun "denial." Although "to' is not obligatory, it helps comprehension when both the indirect object and direct object are "heavy," as they...Read More...

wolves' only enemy(ies) is (are)...

Of the following sentence which one(s) is (are) out? Which is most commonly used or which one sounds most natural? 1. Wolves' only enemy is a human. 2. Wolves' only enemies are humans. 3. Wolves' only enemy is humans. 4. Wolves' only enemy is human. AppleRead More...
All of the sentences could be uttered, but the most natural one is Sentence 2: 2. Wolves' only enemies are humans. In addition, you could say The wolf's only enemy is a human/human/humans The wolf's only enemies are human/humans A wolf's only enemy is a human/human/humans A wolf's only enemies are human/humans In these sentences, "a human" is a singular noun. The word "humans" is a plural noun but "human"alone is an adjective, not a noun. MarilynRead More...

until and perfect tenses

Are these okay with 'until' rather than 'by the time'? (1) a. We had stayed in the library until we finished the work. b. We had been staying in the library (for two hours)until we finished the work.Read More...
Both sentences are correct with "until," although they need appropriate contexts. (1) a. We felt suffocated from being confined for so many long hours. We had stayed in the library until we finished the work. Now that it was done, we couldn't wait to go out to the park and enjoy the spring air. The past perfect progressive in (2) is OK if it denotes a habitual activity: (2) We had been staying in the library [for two hours] [every night] until we finished the work Other examples: "”Paula had...Read More...

conjunctions

dear my question about Conjunction I have this sentence ex Pennsylvania ranks high among the states in population .......... many areas are sparsely settled. (a) and yet (b) so even (c) if not (d) except for There are two independent clauses in this sentence. Meaning of connectors " and" and " so" is clear. But I didn't find in the grammar books some information about " and yet" And " so even". So please tell me the meaning and the using of these conjunction a) and yet (b) so even (c) if not...Read More...
One of these four combinations forms a unit of meaning, while the others don't. (a) and yet The correct answer for the sentence is (a), but the sentence would also be correct without "and." "And yet" is not a unit of meaning. The words "yet," "so," and "nor" are called conjuncts. They are special in that they can be preceded by a coordinator such as "and," but they can also occur alone, without a coordinator. Thus you can say "”He knew what he should say to her, and yet he hesitated OR "”He...Read More...
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