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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...

"And" or "Or"

When we turn sentence (1) to a negative one, which conjunction is more appropriate, "and" or "or"? What difference does it make in terms of meaning? (1) Wolves are a threat and dangerous to people. Wolves are not a threat and (or) dangerous to people. AppleRead More...
Use "or" or "nor." The correlative conjunctions are appropriate here to introduce each element of the sentence. The sentence would actually be better with parallel elements: Wolves are not a threat or a danger to people. Wolves are not a threat nor a danger to people. Wolves are neither a threat nor a danger to people. OR, to use "dangerous": Wolves are not a threat, nor are they dangerous to people. _______ There is a possibility of using "and" in the sentence, but I don't think it is what...Read More...

such a man as

dear I have a question about SUCH ...AS. Example: I have never seen such a man as __. (A) he (B) him Which choice is correct, A or B? Thank you very much for your reply.Read More...
The sentence could be, "I have never seen such a man as him," meaning, "I have never seen a man such as him." In this case, "such as" is a complex preposition, meaning "like." The sentence could also be, "I have never seen such a man as he," meaning "I have never seen such a man as he is." In this case, "such" is a determiner modifying "a man" and "as" is a subordination conjunction. _______ Fowler's Modern English Usage* discusses agreement after "such as." The author gives examples of the...Read More...

Gerund with possessive?

dear I still have another question for you beacause I suddenly do not know about these two sentences. Example: The teacher dislikes the child whispering to his classmate. The teacher dislikes the child's whispering to his classmate. So please tell me if there is any difference in meaning between two sentences, or do they have the same meaning? Thank you for your reply.Read More...
In your sentences, there is a difference. 1) "The teacher dislikes the child whispering to his classmate" means that the teacher dislikes the child. The sentence could also be said as: The teacher dislikes the child [who is] whispering to his classmate. The teacher dislikes the child [as he is] whispering to his classmate. 2) "The teacher dislikes the child's whispering to this classmate" means that the teacher dislikes the action that the child is doing – the teacher dislikes the whispering...Read More...

I am loving it

A slogan for McDonald's new hamburger says," I'm loving it." What does that mean when you use present progressive tense instead of present simple tense for "like"? Is it just an emphatic way to describe your feelings?Read More...
This very question appeared as one of the first on the Grammar Exchange. Here is the question and answer as it appeared then, with some additional examples I've added from Google. Rachel _______ Q: I've been wondering about stative verbs in the progressive form. We teach our students that verbs such as hear, see , and love are not used in the progressive. Yet, we are constantly hearing sentences like these: We' re seeing more single mothers than ever before. I 'm loving it! What should we...Read More...

for example and such as

I am not sure of the different uses of "such as" and "for example." In the following examples, can I replace the original one with the other? 1. There are many different kinds of animals on David's farm, such as horses, cows, and chickens. 2. I don't like some things about Jack, for example, his way of talking. Also, is the comma before "such as' and "for example" necessary?Read More...
In your sentences, "such as" and "for example" may be interchanged: 1. There are many different kinds of animals on David's farm -- for example, horses, cows, and chickens. 2. I don't like some things about Jack, such as his way of talking. Your sentences need a comma before "such as," but not after the expression. "For example" in your sentences would be better preceded by a dash than a comma. _______ Here's an explanation from The Grammar Book* under the heading "For Example Versus Such...Read More...

these and those

I am often confused by "these" and "those" used to refer to things mentioned in previous senteces. What should we put in the following sentence? In Australia one aboriginal language has unique words for many strange local plants. Some of ___ plants can be used for curing skin diseases. My instinct tells me it is "these", but I don't know why it is and how to explain the differences to my students. Please help me.Read More...
Your instinct is sound. The demonstratives 'this" and "these" are used when the writer is going to continue talking about whatever is being named, in this case, "plants." This is an instance of psychological "closeness." In contrast, if the topic is being dismissed, or if it is being confined to the past in contrast to the present, the demonstratives "that" and "those" are appropriate, to show "remoteness." This topic (although the postings focus on the singular forms "this" and "that") was...Read More...

a pair of shoes

tommy
Sarah is wearing a new pair of shoes which are very uncomfortable. She says to her friend "i'm being bitten". i think that it should be "which is", isn't it?Read More...
Both "is" and "are" are correct, with the plural verb outnumbering the singular in actual usage. A Google search shows that the relative pronoun "which," although not incorrect, is very rare in restrictive relative clauses, with "pair of (Xs)" and especially with the singular verb "is." Here is one of the very few examples with "which is" that I found on Google: "”buy them and take them with you when you shop for shoes, So you can have them at hand if you find a pair of shoes which is too...Read More...

in the bus, on the bus,

There are more instances of (1) on Google. Which do you think should be taught to EFL students? Any difference in nuance? 1. I left my umbrella on the bus. 2. I left my umbrella in the bus. AppleRead More...
"On the bus" is what is said normally. You would also say "on the plane" and "on the train." You would, however, say "in the taxi" or "in the car." _______ If the means of transportation is public, such as a train, plane, or bus, use "on" + an article: It was very romantic; they met on a plane . I saw a good movie on the plane . I left my umbrella on the plane . They serve excellent food on the train . Do you remember the movie The Orient Express ? It was about a murder that happened on the...Read More...

Conference with questions

tommy
Conference delegates also discussed security concerns in the months before planned Afghan elections. please rewrite above sentence in basic way to understand 1.The conference has been discussed? 2.Can the conference delegate something? 3.What the conference delegate? 4.Can i use before planning Afghan elections. ? and 5.May i can replace the word delegate by other one remaining the same meaning? (please advise)Read More...
The sentence is correct as it is, except for one thing: it needs "the" before "planned Afghan elections": "....before THE planned Afghan elections." 1. It's not the conference that was discussed; it was the concerns about security ( security concerns ). The concerns were discussed at the conference by the delegates to the conference. 2. Delegates in this case is a noun, not a verb (although "delegate" is also a verb). Delegates are the people who were sent to the conference to represent an...Read More...

correction or corrections

After I have marked the dictation exercise books, I should ask my pupils to: 1.make correction.(or) 2.make corrections.(or) 3.do correction.(or) 4.do corrections. Are these sentences all correct? I 've checked the Longman dictioinary,correction can be both countable and uncountable. Shall I write down "correction" or "corrections" on the top of the exercise books?Read More...
Sentence 2 is correct, and Sentence 4, though extremely rare, is acceptable in informal usage. You either make a correction or make corrections.The verb "do" is very rarely used with the noun "correction[s]." The other sentences are not correct. You make a correction if there is one thing to correct. If you have more than one thing to correct, you make corrections . These are individual acts. You don't *"make *correction." Google examples: "”This notice may also inform the recipient that we...Read More...

Why change "y" to "i" before adding endings?

Is there any particular reason for changing the letter "y" at the end of a word to "i" before adding endings to many English words? Thank you in advance for your reply. Best regards, BrianRead More...
This is one of many rules for adding suffixes, or endings, to English words. Most English speakers are unaware of the reasons for these rules; they just learn them and then follow them. There is a historical reason for changing y to ie before adding certain suffixes. The change occurs before adding the s plural or the third person singular present tense s , as well as the past tense -ed . It does not occur before adding the -ing form, however. Actually, final y is a version of i . Otto...Read More...

Modifying Danglers

Hi, I wonder if you could assist with two sentencesa and whether they are modifying danglers i.e. not properly constructed. 1. An arts/history graduate from Edinburgh University, Troughton worked as a fashion house designer prior to starting her own label. 2. With an architect father and artist mother, Troughton said she finds inspiration from things around her. If they are ok - grateful to know why i.e. the intro clauses don't seem to be introductions to what is then expressed. Thanks for...Read More...
Thanks.Read More...

Absolute clause

dear in english, there are many kind of CLAUSE. But to Absolute clause is quite strange to me. So please explain it to me and give some example Thank you!Read More...
Absolute constructions are not full clauses, with a full (inflected) verb. They are phrases. A clause has a full verb, while an absolute construction does not. (1) An absolute construction, however, always has a noun or noun phrase . Absolutes are generally literary in style, and as such are not found in informal usage. You sometimes find them in journalistic writing, but they belong to written, not spoken, English. (2) Here is a sampling of absolutes: "”The horsemen raced down the hill...Read More...

Are you going to like to go there?

dear I have a question to you. I really do not know about clearly. About verb "LIKE" We have this -> Do you like to go with me? -> would you like get some water? As you know, we often use " LIKE" for present simple tense or for invition. But I want to ask you if we can use "LIKE" for future tense? ex Will you like to go with me? Are you going to like to go with me? please explain me for these question. I want to know if my two sentences are right or wrong.Read More...
"Like" in the present tense does not have "would": I like pizza. I like to watch old movies on TV. I like tennis and swimming. Do you like American food? Do you like to go for long walks on the beach? Do you like hiking and biking? _______ You can use "will like" or "be going to like" in conversations like these: Conversation 1: A: It's going to be very cold in the mountains. You won't like that. B: Oh, but I like cold weather! A: Okay. Then you'll like it there! Conversation 2: A: What's...Read More...

article choice

(1) It is located within reach of many important Norman towns... (2) the price is beyond the reach of ordinary people. --> Within reach/within the reach (of...) Beyond reach/beyond the reach (of...) ---> Is the use of "the" random and optional in these cases?Read More...
This is an interesting point. The answer lies partly in the nature and function of the noun "reach." In Sentence (1), the phrase "within reach of" (note the presence of the preposition "of" in the phrase) is an idiom meaning "close to" or "near." The idiom refers to the implied subject: [Someone] can reach (arrive at) [a location]. There is no corresponding idiom *"beyond reach of." In Sentence (2) the noun "reach" is not part of an idiom. It refers to "the (abstract, in this case) distance...Read More...

teachers, the teacher, a teacher

When you start talking/writing something in general, you can start with a plural form of that particular noun, as in "Teachers teach. They teach a variety of subjects, such as math, English, biology, history, etc". Is it acceptable to change this "teachers" to "the teacher" without meaning any particular teacher? Can you say/write something like "Teachers teach. They teach a variety of subjects. But sometimes the teacher doesn't teach music, because......." Is it also acceptable to change...Read More...
Apple wrote: "”Is it acceptable to change this "teachers" to "the teacher" without meaning any particular teacher? Can you say/write something like "Teachers teach. They teach a variety of subjects. But sometimes the teacher doesn't teach music, because......." This progression, from the plural "teachers" to 'the teacher" is awkward. That's because the singular with "the" is restricted to 1) types, or archetypes. of something or someone or to 2) a particular member of a class in a possible...Read More...

present perfect or simple past

If it is still morning, I can ask "Have you seen Mary this morning?". But If it is not morning and it is afternoon, I should ask "Did you see Mary this morning?" ---This is what I learned. But I am wondering whether it is possible to say "Did you see Mary?" when it is still morning, say 10:30 am, if no overt "this morning" appears.Read More...
Yes. You can say "Did you see Mary?" when you are asking about something that occurred earlier in the morning. In this case, the speaker is referring to something that happened one time (the possibly quick glimpse of Mary) . The speaker does not include the whole morning in his/her reference, just the time of the listener's seeing Mary. The speaker is thinking of an event ending at a particular finished time, earlier in the morning. This would be true even if the words "this morning" are not...Read More...

correct usage of 'had had' ?

Dear All, Are the following two sentences correct ? 1) We had had to break into your house while you were away. 2)Her family confirmed that, before her illness, she had had contact with dead chickens. Many thanks. Regards, RickyRead More...
The first sentence would not be correct if it is a first statement, like this: A: Hey, neighbor! Nice to see you back! We HAD (NOT had had) to break into your house while you were away. B: Oh? What happened? The sentence would not be right with the past perfect. The action of breaking into the house was not completed before a second action was completed, but it happened during the second action – the neighbor's being away.. _______ However, the first sentence might be correct if a context...Read More...

batted the animal's paws?

The following sentence is from a children's book. What did Annie do to the animal's paws? Annie batted the animal's paws. It had gold fur and black spots. AppleRead More...
Strangely, I haven't found a single dictionary definition of this particular transitive use of "bat." It means "strike lightly." "Bat" in this sense is often used with the adverbial particle "away" or a prepositional phrase after the direct object. Google examples: "”"around" she said simply as she batted his paw back at himself. No further explanation was given and to be honest No better one could be given for tani had ... swiftkill.proboards38.com/index.cgi?board=sabre&...Read More...
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